Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stories, publisher misunderstandings and train pain

Am slowly coming down from the excitements of The Bones of Summer publication date yesterday and the good news is that it’s now available at All Romance Ebooks and on Amazon Kindle too, so lots of options for your summer read, hurrah. And I even seem to have sold a couple of copies, so that’s nice – thank you, kind people, thank you!

Other nice news is that my short story, The Last Morning, has been accepted by Foundling Review for future publication, so I’m chuffed about that too. And my review of Elise Valmorbida’s novel, The Winding Stick, is now available to read at the Vulpes Libris review site. I think the publisher might have got rather confused and thinks that I’m a person who only reads bouncy, shallow kind of books (you who know me know better!), as some of their comments on their blog were really rather snippety which has upset me, I must admit - surely a simple thank you for taking the time to review our novel would have been sufficient?... - but, in compensation I had an absolutely lovely comment from the author herself about the review which indicated that she'd actually read and understood what I was trying to convey. So a huge thank you, Elise, for that. All this aside, The Winding Stick is definitely a book I can recommend. A fascinating read.

Meanwhile, at work, I’m struggling with yesterday’s minutes and not getting very far at all. Too much else going on really. And I’ve spent a long and thankless time battling with the online trainline people to try and work out ticket prices for getting the boss to Leeds in July. And back. It’s impossible to ring for help as you don’t get a real person and the automated system is agonisingly slow, sigh, and obviously doesn't understand my Essex accent. Plus the customer service email chaps gave me one price, whereas the online one is one hundred pounds more expensive. Deep and heartfelt sigh. Frankly, I’d rather be back in Wales. I did look at flights to Leeds too, but you have to fly via Glasgow (!) and it’s nearly a thousand pounds. Ridiculous. Perhaps the boss would be better off hitchhiking to ruddy Leeds? That option remains … UPDATE – we finally booked the tickets, thank the Lord – but I will not celebrate too soon before I actually have them in my hot little hand. Ah the tension is mounting ...

At lunchtime, I chaired the University Writers’ group – not as many there with the summer vacation, but we still had a fun time. At least I enjoyed it. In spite of my underlying headache. And the lovely news there is that a member of our group has also been accepted for the forthcoming University of Maine short fiction anthology, hurrah! So that’s cheered me hugely.

Tonight, I’m popping to Tesco (groan) for another week’s shopping and, ye gods, but my list seems huge today, dammit. Once back in my Home Zone of Safety, I must think about my next review for Vulpes, which is on John Wray's Lowboy. I think it'll be a mixed one, particularly as there are literary issues that make me ponder there. Best gird my loins then!... Plus I’ll try to do some more marketing of The Bones of Summer. Whilst basking in the sure knowledge that at least those slightly bemused publishers (see earlier comment) can’t accuse that of being too bouncy and shallow, ho ho. At least one hopes not.

Today’s nice things:

1. A couple of sales of Bones
2. Short story acceptance
3. The Vulpes Libris review (mainly!)
4. Writers’ Group success

Anne Brooke - paddling in her hidden shallows, tee hee ...


Caro said...

It just never works for publishers (or authors) to comment negatively on a review - even in cases where the review is very bad or downright incorrect. Let alone when it's actually a positive one! They can be cross about it all they like in the privacy of their own home, but they're never going to look good if they complain in public. Plus publishers risk embarrassing their courteous authors.

I suppose it at least shows how passionately they feel about their books, which is one good thing, but you didn't deserve to be upset.


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Caro - it did seem a little odd! Though the author herself was totally lovely.



Jilly said...

Sounds as though the publisher has forgotten what reviews are about - the reviewer's opinion of the book. Shame on them!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly! I've had a really lovely private email from the author, Elise, today and she's just being fabulous. Her response has put that smile on my face big-time! What a lovely lady.