Please note, this is not a list of instructions – that needs no A B C. To write a book, ‘all’ you need to do, according to a cartoon doing the rounds on social media, is:
Sit. Stay. Write.
This is a list of other important bookish points.
A is for… Yes. Well. A is for the giant, the one we love to hate (but we love them really. Don’t we??) We can’t do without them, anyway. And if anyone’s still in the dark, just click the cover of Chosen Child on the right there and see where you land. (Then please come back.)
B is for… Books! This is why we do it – at the end of the whole long, painful, joyful process, you get to sit – or stand – with your books in your arms and whisper, like Gollum, my precioussss…
C is for… Cake. And coffee. Both indispensable.
E is for… Editor and editing. Also indispensable.
F is for… Formatter and formatting. You can learn to format, apparently. There are many brave and technical souls out there who do their own formatting and get it right. It’s on my list of things to try out for the next book, but I’m not optimistic…
G is for… Gin and – ah. No same letter ‘and’ this time. Gin, or any other favourite tipple, does make the writing life nicer. Weekends only, of course. (See T)
H is for… Home. Where much of the writing is done. And holidays. Where many ideas are collected.
I is for… The ideas collected in H. And ink – we’re happy not to use it much now.
J is for… Joyful. How you feel when the writing’s going well.
K is for… Kindle. Of course. Writers need to read a lot, and the best thing about your kindle – or any other eReader – is that you can take several hundred books everywhere you go. In your handbag.
L is for… Literature. So what is literature, exactly? Click to see what Britannica says.
N is for… Notebook. You want to be able to jot down those flashes of inspiration you get at inconvenient times. You need several: for your handbag, pocket, bedside table, kitchen… (See D and M)
O is for… Offer. As in special offer. A good way to increase your book’s visibility. And orange juice, which is good for us.
P is for… Pre-order. Often you can order a book in advance of publication, then one morning you wake up and it’s there on your kindle, as if by magic. Writers are always VERY HAPPY and GRATEFUL when people pre-order their book. Just sayin’.
Q is for… Quirky. Some of your characters at least should be quirky. (If anyone can think of a better Q, please let me know.)
S is for… Twitter, Facebook, and all the others. Social media. You need to be active-ish in some at least. But it’s fun. Usually.
T is for… (See G)
U is for… Unseen by the reader are: the despair when it goes wrong, the sore bum from sitting too long, the joy when it goes right, the horrible messy desk, the state of your keyboard. And that’s as it should be.
V is for… Video trailer. Another good way to increase your book’s visibility. (See below)
W is for… Website. This is the blog section of mine. Feel free to look round the rest.
X is for… X-rated (but we won’t go there). And xxx as in mwah.
Y is for… You. Reader or writer or both. xxx for getting this far today. (See X part 2)
Z is for… zzz… sleep. This is what you do at night – until you wake up with a good idea. (See N)
And here’s the trailer promised in V. Chosen Child is on pre-order for February 15th on kindle. (See P) The paperback comes out the weekend after. I have started to stock the fridge. (See R)