Writing for 13+ readers

Yes, that’s me – writing for 13+ readers.

This means I want more than 13 people to read Of Night and Light.

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(That was a joke – sort of – in case you were wondering…)

This genre and age-group pigeon-holing thing. I don’t know. It’s hard to fathom.

I’m not that, well…market-oriented…if that’s the right phrase. If that phrase even exists. (It does now!)

See, I didn’t sit down and say ‘I am going to write a book for 13+ readers.’  I wrote Of Night and Light. From my heart, because that was what was inside me needing to come out. If you’re a writer too, you’ll understand that.

This approach may be one of my many Big Mistakes.

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Admitting that’s what I did may be an Even Bigger Mistake.

I had literary consultants review my manuscript. One of them said I should make my protagonist 16 years old because teenagers ‘like to read about someone older than themselves.’

This made no sense to me. Rosa, my narrator, is 14 years old, with all the confidence and insecurities of a 14-year-old but not the life experience of a 16-year-old. So anyone younger than 14 will be reading about someone older than themselves, surely?

I looked, and quickly found a book with a 14-year-old protagonist.

Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson.

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I bought it. I read it. I enjoyed it. I contacted Kate Thompson, explaining my dilemma. She was kind enough to reply, advising I stick to my guns.

And I like reading about 14-year-olds and indeed, 16-year-olds – and I’m a LOT older than that. At least in years, if not in mentality.

So, Of Night and Light is not exactly YA – which, if you didn’t know, is short for Young Adult.  “Authors and readers of young adult (YA) novels often define the genre as literature as traditionally written for ages ranging from sixteen years up.”

Hence – I’ve placed it, nominally, in the 13+ category. Which does exist, incidentally.

Having said that, I CAN say that people have read my book who are NOT 13 but in their thirties and, oooh, even older. And they tell me they loved it.

Age categories?

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(If Of Night and Light is a big disaster because it’s not possible to place it easily in a category, please refrain from reminding me I said that!)

 

 

 

Book launch at East Grinstead Bookshop?

Say book launch and what comes to my unorthodox mind?

31 Aug 1939, Newport News, Virginia, USA --- First Lady at Ship Launching --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

God bless this book and all who…erm…quail in her! (Some bits of Of Night and Light are just a little worrying!)

Well, that’s one way of doing a book launch. Not a bad idea except, 1) Rather a waste of jolly good champagne 2) The book would get ridiculously soggy 3) The pages would most likely stick together and, ultimately, 4) The whole sorry mess would dissolve.

Another way…

Go to visit your local independent bookshop.

When I say ‘local’ – that might mean a few miles away. Sad to say, long gone are the times when every town had its own bookshop. I’m fortunate. East Grinstead is a mere 11-ish miles from Buxted. That’s local. Added to which, I have a business meeting in the town every Friday morning.

East Grinstead Bookshop. A perfect place for a book launch. Just look at it!

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And inside, you’ll find – book-lovers’ heaven. Books in every nook and cranny. Interesting books. Not your Tesco shelves best sellers, pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap. Quirky books. Books old and new, large and small, for adults and for children.

There’s a café too. Chocolate brownies. Table cloths which match my hair…

And then there’s John Pye.

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He is great to talk to. Great to talk to whatever, but particularly great to talk to for me as an author used to writing but not used to SELLING. I mean to say, I’m an artist. I can’t get involved with COMMERCIAL stuff.

(Better get used to it, girl, if you want to go places beyond your own wish-list land.)

John Pye has most generously offered the use of his premises for a book launch – which will be a party, a celebration, nothing pompous or stuffy.

It won’t be yetawhile. It WILL be a happening, this book launch. When it happens. Which it will.

 

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P.S.  It doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to buy the book!

 

Of Night and Light available on Amazon!

It is, I tell you IT IS!

It’s like some sort of dream…

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Into The Dark Dream Seas by Azure Paragon

So here’s the thing – you can buy it now.  From Amazon. Go to my Buy Now page AT ONCE  – see, handy link provided – and do that One Click thing. That would make me smile.

You could also wait a little, and by-pass Amazon, if you’d like that more.  It will be available in independent bookshops and I’m passionate about supporting each and every one of those.

For postal customers, I’m going to be selling Of Night and Light myself – at least, that’s the plan.

With my sensible hat on, I have to work out costings. If you know me at all, you’ll know that this appears to me as complex as solving the Spaghettic Theory of Relativity…

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But I’m sure I’ll get there, especially if I seek help from People Who Know These Things.

Amazon is jolly useful and efficient, but, by all accounts, does little to reimburse penniless writers. Or indeed, writers who have pennies.

Amazon is also…under scrutiny.

While I’m not, repeat NOT, a money-grabbing self-server, I’d rather any pennies to be earned went to a more worthy cause than a company who paid just £4.2m in UK tax last year, despite selling goods worth £4.3 billion.

Well, what a remarkable post! Me telling you the wonderful news that my book is available on Amazon and then enumerating the reasons why Amazon is not a Good Thing.

Thing is, I have to sleep at nights…

Caroline Coxon, the super saleswoman!

PLEASE drop me a line via the Contact Form – another handy link provided – to register an interest!

I should mention that I’m told Of Night and Light will soon be available from Waterstones online.

Of Night and Light will ALSO, soon, be available as an eBook, if you are one of those people who isn’t firmly stuck in the past, like me, clinging feverishly on to the idea that a book is made of paper and card and sits beautifully on a bookshelf and goes soggy if you drop it in the bath by accident. Or indeed, on purpose.

Oh well, I guess there’s nothing to stop you from  putting your Kindle on a bookshelf… (other eReaders available but I don’t know what they’re called).

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There you go…

 

 

Of Night and Light – Into the Light

Today – June 14th, 2014 – is a momentous day for me. Delivered – the sample copy of my novel Of Night and Light

I’d ordered Room by Emma Donoghue and I thought the package was that. Exciting enough in itself – but when I saw that it was MY BOOK, well…according to Tim, you could hear the screams from half a mile away and, several hours later, his ear drums are still vibrating.

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Screams of delight!

And here it is.

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Of Night and Light

I’ve recounted the long journey to publication on my Quirkyworks website.

How, in heaven’s name did I get to this point? Sometimes I wonder, myself. If I need reminding I could follow my own advice and… Read all about it in a series of blogs

And what of the book? The blurb…oh gosh, blurbs can be harder to write than novels, really they can.

“When Rosa is uprooted from civilised Notting Hill to her mum’s ramshackle family home in deepest Somerset, she hates everything about it.

 But soon, weird druidic rituals, an unexplained death, and airy-fairy sister Alice’s life in peril at the hands of a malevolent old hag are enough to draw Rosa in to rural life, however hard she fights against it.

 And then there’s the boy…”

Thrown Out Old Mirror

A tiny fragment from Chapter 1 – or I could say shard.

 “And now, when I look in the mirror, my face is cut in half, which I wouldn’t mind because I only like one half of my face anyway.”