On the first day of Bookfest 2019 in Bucharest, I had an audience to talk about my book A Stake in Transylvania. This is how much I enjoyed it.
Thanks to Bookfest’s clever photographer…
And at the very end of the day, as a very unexpected bonus, the British Ambassador introduced me to one Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania. And to my great surprise, he recognised me… “Is it possible that I’ve seen you in a documentary?” he asked. “It’s possible,” I replied. Here’s the evidence (the Prez is the tallest in the line-up)
Your first book is published. Fame at last! Followed swiftly by fortune, one hopes. But will your publisher help you along the way to fame? Unlikely, unless you’re already famous. This article outlines the truth of book marketing for unknown authors, but be prepared for unvarnished truth you might find deeply depressing.
All that effort to get the book written, perfected, and published… and the copies sit on the warehouse shelves waiting for the news to get out. Book signings, lit festivals, blog tours, press releases, book trailers, social media campaigns, celeb endorsements, reviews… the publisher’s job, yes?
No. For an unknown first-timer, no. Publishers’ marketing budgets go on big name authors, not newbies. A hard fact of the writing life.
But… [read more]
Beautiful TV presenter Ioana Mihalca and her expert crew came to see me in Magura last month, and made a charming 8-minute film from their afternoon’s visit. They also talked to my neighbour Roxana, and my friends from Zarnesti, Dan and Luminita Marin.
The resulting film was broadcast on the show Bonton at the end of November.
What do you think?
I’m donating royalties from my new book, Floss the lost puppy, to two fabulous animal charities here in Romania.
Every book you buy will help save a dog (or a cat) that is homeless, sick or injured.
Romania Animal Rescue is an amazing group of vets at the Centre of Hope in Bucharest – see what they do every day to save dogs and cats.
Eli Pet Transport is a Romanian-British charity that rescues dogs from all over Romania, socialises them till they’re ready for a new home, then takes them to the UK to their new families.
All the people involved are stellar human beings who have devoted their lives, their homes, their careers to the welfare of cats and dogs.
If you love animals, buy a book, donate direct to their websites, spread the word about what they do, teach kids about the value of pets and how to care for them – help in any way you can…
PS: You can find out more about Floss on his website, and read reviews of the book here.
Iulia Benze sent us a wonderful review. Obviously a great dog lover, Iulia sees the book as a way of teaching a vital lesson: why compassion and care for animals is important.
“I believe Floss The Lost Puppy is extremely practical and it should be the beginning of a series which humanizes stray animals, creating heartfelt stories, educating people to be more compassionate towards nature and fellow creatures sharing their environment.
“Overwhelmingly the book brought back memories of animals in distress. I read it on a stormy dark Sunday morning and after that I immediately went out and started searching for homeless dogs to feed and to soothe. I found 5, managed to help 3 – the ones who didn’t run away from me.”
But Iulia also remarked on the emotional journey that the heroine goes through.
“I loved her journey in that magical rural mountainous place: from being afraid of dogs to absolutely loving them. She became a brave little girl, sacrificing her own comfort and selfishness. I think it is a very important lesson to learn: generosity, friendship and conquering your fear. This story contains a deep challenging lesson, making the narration not only for children, but also for adults.”
A review just in from Julie Whyman in York (UK), who read the book Floss the lost puppy to a group of excitable 5-9 yr olds:
“What a wonderful, engaging romp through Transylvania, via England and Wales: it has made us all want to leave a windy and dismal Yorkshire to jump into waist-high snow in the enchanting environs of Hay. You have a brilliant knack of creating believable characters so deftly and sympathetically that you feel as if they could walk off the page and give you a sneaky hug. We all loved it and can’t wait for the sequel!”
Read the whole review, and all the others in so far, here.
Read this today. Thought it was good advice. Thought I should pass it on.
“If there’s any one lesson I’ve learned: writing is sort of a lost art and I would always encourage young people, particularly, to take up writing because if you can write well it is a differentiator. It will separate you from your competition and lead to other things.”
This is a quote from Kasey Pipes – a former White House presidential speechwriter – talking about the skills of writing speeches. But the overall message is that he has had a great career because he learned to write effectively. It’s a valuable skill that many of your competitors lack, and which canny employers value.
In your spare time you can write a bestseller…
Never give up on a story because you think it’ll never be published!
Have confidence in your writing and put faith in your characters. Free your imagination!