Seumas Gallacher’s books are in demand! Master Gallacher describes something all authors feel: the gift of selling books. Thank you very much for your post, Seumas!
…I can speak only for this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler, but sense that hordes of my fellow-authors will agree, that selling even one copy of one title is a source of great satisfaction… to feel that even one single reader has taken time and invested money to indulge my work is such an immense pleasure… over the years since I was first absorbed into the mind-blowing vortex that is the world of writing books, the reading public has blessed and honoured me with more than 100,000 aggregate downloads and sales of my wee literary babies… like many of my contemporary successful writers, I pretend not to pay much attention to my author’s sales pages on Auntie Amazon Kindle, but that would be a blatant lie!…
Like many other writers, occasionally I suffer from self-doubt. I tried to think positive thoughts, tried to find encouragement, and did some research on the subject. And then I came across a quote about self-doubt:
“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
I was surprised that this was said by Jane Austen, one of the most famous and most wonderful writers in English history – even globally.
I learned a lot from that quote: not only suffered Jane Austen from self-doubt – female authors are called ‘authoresses.’ *chuckle* I might be a little old-fashioned, but I somehow like it. Maybe I’m some relic from the 19th century.
But humor aside, like many other artists, I’m occasionally tortured by self-doubt. Am I good enough as a writer? Are my stories readable, are my characters likable? Am. I. Good. Enough.?
Of course, I would like to be a good author. I would love to have readers who fall in love with my characters and love my stories. But will that ever happen? I know, my book was read, I got reviews, and I know they liked ‘Soul Taker.’ But, what does ‘everybody’ else say?
Am I desperate to become famous? To be honest: no. I’d rather have my books and characters to be liked. I’d love people to say that ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series is a wonderful read.
I’m a person who, unfortunately, suffers too often from depression. I keep trying to consciously be aware of these weak times and pull myself out of them, as my Dad taught me, all these years ago. Self-doubt isn’t helpful in my case, but I refuse to drown in melancholy.
To read that even a fantastic writer like Jane Austen suffered from self-doubt in a way makes me feel sad for her, but it’s also a relief to find out I’m not the only one.
Do you suffer from self-doubts at times? If yes, how do you cope with them? Can you teach me a tip or trick to find my way out of them?
Jane Austen was a Georgian era author, best known for her social commentary in novels including ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ and ‘Emma.’
Who Was Jane Austen?
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. While not widely known in her own time, Austen’s comic novels of love among the landed gentry gained popularity after 1869, and her reputation skyrocketed in the 20th century. Her novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, are considered literary classics, bridging the gap between romance and realism.
The seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen, Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Jane’s parents were well-respected community members. Her father served as the Oxford-educated rector for a nearby Anglican parish. The family was close and the children grew up in an environment that stressed learning and creative thinking. When Jane was young, she and her siblings were encouraged to read from their father’s extensive library. The children also authored and put on plays and charades.
Over the span of her life, Jane would become especially close to her father and older sister, Cassandra. Indeed, she and Cassandra would one day collaborate on a published work.
In order to acquire a more formal education, Jane and Cassandra were sent to boarding schools during Jane’s pre-adolescence. During this time, Jane and her sister caught typhus, with Jane nearly succumbing to the illness. After a short period of formal education cut short by financial constraints, they returned home and lived with the family from that time forward.
Ever fascinated by the world of stories, Jane began to write in bound notebooks. In the 1790s, during her adolescence, she started to craft her own novels and wrote Love and Friendship [sic], a parody of romantic fiction organized as a series of love letters. Using that framework, she unveiled her wit and dislike of sensibility, or romantic hysteria, a distinct perspective that would eventually characterize much of her later writing. The next year she wrote The History of England…, a 34-page parody of historical writing that included illustrations drawn by Cassandra. These notebooks, encompassing the novels as well as short stories, poems and plays, are now referred to as Jane’s Juvenilia.
Jane spent much of her early adulthood helping run the family home, playing piano, attending church, and socializing with neighbors. Her nights and weekends often involved cotillions, and as a result, she became an accomplished dancer. On other evenings, she would choose a novel from the shelf and read it aloud to her family, occasionally one she had written herself. She continued to write, developing her style in more ambitious works such as Lady Susan, another epistolary story about a manipulative woman who uses her sexuality, intelligence and charm to have her way with others. Jane also started to write some of her future major works, the first called Elinor and Marianne, another story told as a series of letters, which would eventually be published as Sense and Sensibility. She began drafts of First Impressions, which would later be published as Pride and Prejudice, and Susan, later published as Northanger Abbey by Jane’s brother, Henry, following Jane’s death.
In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her father, mother and Cassandra. Then, in 1805, her father died after a short illness. As a result, the family was thrust into financial straits; the three women moved from place to place, skipping between the homes of various family members to rented flats. It was not until 1809 that they were able to settle into a stable living situation at Jane’s brother Edward’s cottage in Chawton.
Now in her 30s, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. In the period spanning 1811-16, she pseudonymously published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (a work she referred to as her “darling child,” which also received critical acclaim), Mansfield Park and Emma.
Death and Legacy
In 1816, at the age of 41, Jane started to become ill with what some say might have been Addison’s disease. She made impressive efforts to continue working at a normal pace, editing older works as well as starting a new novel called The Brothers, which would be published after her death as Sanditon. Another novel, Persuasion, would also be published posthumously. At some point, Jane’s condition deteriorated to such a degree that she ceased writing. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
While Austen received some accolades for her works while still alive, with her first three novels garnering critical attention and increasing financial reward, it was not until after her death that her brother Henry revealed to the public that she was an author.
Today, Austen is considered one of the greatest writers in English history, both by academics and the general public. In 2002, as part of a BBC poll, the British public voted her No. 70 on a list of “100 Most Famous Britons of All Time.” Austen’s transformation from little-known to internationally renowned author began in the 1920s, when scholars began to recognize her works as masterpieces, thus increasing her general popularity.
Finally it’s available: Kongo.com, the new book by Don Massenzio. From what I read and saw it’s another great book by Don. Read more below.
It’s been a week since my new book, kongo.com, was released. This was an interesting book to write. It contains three novellas that started as serials on my blog. The fourth novella is from an original story that has never been published. The intent of this story is to pull the other three together to show the ultimate goal of this corporation and the truth behind its technology.
In this post, I’m sharing the first part of this story. It’s called 3D life.
Read Master Gallacher’s blog post about the ‘birth’ of a new word. With all his humor and wisdom, Seumas Gallacher provides us with a wonderful blog post I just had to share. Thank you, Seumas.
…it’s not often that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has been present at the birth of a new word… but one such memorable occasion presented itself many, many moons ago… it happened during that part of my career when I was part of the legions of Financial Masters of the Universe, as the embodied historical photograph of the yesteryear money market/foreign exchange maestro in the dealing room in Hong Kong here indicates…
…part of the role of being a prominent F.M.U. entailed, (naturally), whizzing around the globe, ostensibly arranging mega-billions worth of deals (Master Soros, eat yer heart out!)… a trip from the Far East had my itinerary taking in financial institutional visits in London, then carrying on to Noo Yawkin ‘Murica, to repeat the exercise with some of our American banking friends…
Lately, once again, I have been asked a bunch of those really, really dumb questions I keep hearing over and over again.
I was discussing books with someone, and that person tells me: “For years I plan to write a book, but I just don’t have time. I replied: “Time is not the only thing you need. It needs a lot more to publish a book.” – The question back: “Why would you know?”
My answer: “What do you think?”
Or another situation: We’re talking about hobbies, how we’re spending time off work, and people do things like cooking, sports (often means watching football), walking dogs and so on. Except me, I said. “I write.” And of course one asks me: “You mean, you’re writing a diary?”
I looked at the person and replied scornfully: “Oh, I’m sure writing my personal diary is important enough for me to mention.”
Let’s say, the embarrassment of my conversation partner was clearly visible.
The next question is even worse. “Oh – you published a book? Can I have one?”
I replied: “Of course, you can – the title is ‘Soul Taker,’ you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo…”
(Seriously: What do people think? Am I running around with a stack of my books in my purse to hand it out like candy?)
I’m sometimes surprised how insensitive some people are with authors. There are a few more of these, what I call ‘dumbest things you can ask an author.’
Is it good? What am I supposed to reply? No, it’s the biggest crap you can imagine, but buy it anyway?
Will I like it? What am I, a fortune teller?
How much are you making? So discrete and tactful, your question. (And yes, I’m sarcastic!)
Don’t you have a great time writing instead of having a real job? What the hell do you think I do? Sleeping in, typing three sentences into the computer and then wait until the book magically writes itself?
So you are a second J. K. Rowling then? No, not really. J. K. Rowling is one of the most extraordinary writing talents of the last century, and I admire her! But I don’t want to be a second J. K. Rowling – I want to be a first A. J. Alexander!
Can you write a book on teenage pregnancy/family inheritance rows/vampires and werewolves/superheroes/dystopian futures because I’d love to read that story? No. I’m not a performing monkey. I write what I want to write, what I’m interested in and what I love. Also, YOU (asker of said question) are almost definitely not my target audience!
There are so many more stupid questions one can ask an author; this is only a small portion of the insensitivity most of us a facing far too often. If you have any experience with questions like this, funny situations or similar, let’s hear them in the comments, please. We’re curious.
In my January Newsletter, I asked my subscribers to help me collect stupid questions they are asked occasionally because I thought they make a funny blog post. Here are mine and the ones I got sent by Rachel Twomey. Thank you, Rachel.
We’re HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter duo. We write family-friendly fiction from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.
1. When did you start writing?
Helen had fiction published when she was young and she began writing seriously when her job was downsized shortly after her kids left home. A few years later, Lorri decided she also wanted to get serious with her writing, and a partnership was born.
2. What motivates you to write?
Researchers might say what motivates us to write is momoamine oxidase A. When we sit down at our computers and jump into a story, mood elevating neurotransmitters fire up, activating our happiness gene. The hours disappear in a blur of joyful contentment.
That’s probably the real reason. We’re certainly not going to admit we write the stories we do because we’re…weird. So let’s just say we like creating worlds that are one twist of the dial away from the expected. Okay, we’re weird.
3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
We’re multi-genre authors. Our works include fantasy, allegory, satire and mystery. We tend to get bored easily, so switching genres is a great way to keep the ideas and the words flowing. Another advantage is that there’s always something new to learn, because each genre has its own peculiarities.
4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
Our goals change. When we started writing, our goal was to finish a complete manuscript (an entire book, whee!).
When we achieved that, our goal became having an editor respond favorably to our query.
Once that happened, the goal shifted to getting published.
Now…hmmm…let’s see… Oh, yes! Reaching the bestseller list and having a book optioned for a movie is definitely a goal.
After that happens…well, we’ll create the next goal when we get there. 🙂
5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
No, we are quite fortunate. We think that’s one of the benefits of writing with a partner.
6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
If you have a story to tell, tell it.
Then put the manuscript in a drawer and go study authors whose books you love. Ask yourself what draws you to those stories. Write or type out passages that resonate with you. After a couple of months of immersing yourself in your favorite books, take your manuscript out of storage and read it with fresh eyes. Revise it based on what you’ve learned. Repeat the process at least once more.
And all the while, believe in the wisdom of Dr. Seuss. Oh, the places you’ll go.
7. Please tell us about your work.
Our books span genres, yet they all have signature similarities: a strong, practical, intelligent female protagonist, a steadfast friend or two with a sense of humor, and a supportive if exasperating family or family substitute. They’re all “clean” too. You won’t find explicit sex, violence, or language in our stories. We strive to create a world where readers of any age are welcome.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Thank you for inviting us!
About HL Carpenter:
HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write from their studio in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.