‘I really enjoyed my time with Donna Morris. Not only does A Wake of Crows focus on solving the case of the death of a homeless man, but it delves into both Donna’s backstory and her position as a woman of a certain age in what is a changing yet still male dominated environment. She’s a likeable character and her feelings of being torn between being a wife, a mother and her career created a well rounded woman.
Strong and determined, yet also vulnerable, she’s very relatable.
I especially enjoyed Donna’s backstory which takes the reader to Berlin, prior to the Berlin Wall coming down. A time and place I’ve not read much about in fiction.’
Emma Rowson, The Rabbit Hole Independent Bookshop, Brigg.
Event: Saturday, 18th March, 2023, 3pm
Crime panel with Philippa East, Kate Evans, Tom Mead & Nell Pattison, organised by the Rabbit Hole Independent Bookshop, Brigg, Lincolnshire.
Tickets are free, but need to be reserved:
The Rabbit Hole Brigg
A Dose of Reality
I was naïve. I thought getting a traditional publisher would be enough. Trained as a psychotherapeutic counsellor, I know to ask: ‘Enough for whom?’ Enough for me? Enough to prove I am a writer? Enough to prove my writing is good enough to be accepted by the mainstream?
And having my three Donna Morris novels bought by Constable/Little Brown, with the first two published, has been ‘enough’ for all the above.
However, recently I have got stuck in the sticky web of promotion. Why? Because publicity drives sales and sales drive contracts for further books. I have also discovered – in a bizarre Catch 22 way – sales drives publicity. The manager of the local branch of a high street bookshop chain told me I couldn’t have a table display because my sales were too poor (and my book wasn’t humorous). She appeared nonplussed when I pointed out a table display would boost my sales.
Being in touch with other authors, I know I am not alone in the lack of promotion offered my books and the focus on sales. Even the great Val McDermid has said she would not have survived in today’s publishing world, as her first three novels did not sell well.
While trying to extract myself from my stuckness, I found this useful:
Surviving the Long Haul: Negotiating the Challenges of Traditional Publication : Women Writers, Women’s Books (booksbywomen.org)
Number 8 on Damyanti’s list rings particularly true for me at the moment: ‘comparison can be the thief of joy’. Comparison keeps me looped back into questions like: how did they manage that? What am I doing wrong? And it is beginning to drain the joy out of the writing.
So here is something which is completely disconnected from scrabbling for publicity and is wholly to do with joy.