New year, new career, new ideas

Three months without posting anything on WordPress probably began with a bit of frustration at the sheer size of the blogosphere, the amount of stuff to wade through before you find what you want, but doubtless it was also due to concentrating on the final module of my degree, which I will wrap up in June. The first tentative steps toward a career change back in the autumn have rapidly moved on to a firm offer of a training place as a secondary school English teacher from September, so it’s new year, new career, all being well.

As part of my presentation to the interview panel I condensed four chapters of Pride and Prejudice into a single tweet, in modern colloquial language, and it seemed to go down well. It’s rewarding to get the thumbs up for any creative effort, however small. I know I’d get a kick out of trying to bring some new ideas into the classroom.

All this has meant the supposed launch date of The Judge of the Dead is going to have to be shifted back by a season, so summer instead of spring. The spring date was arbitrary anyway, six months from my 4th October decision to publish, to give me time to work the internet to my advantage; something I’ve singularly failed to do so far. I’m not really convinced about the efficacy of blogging, doing reviews on Goodreads etc, but I’ll gladly be proved wrong. I need to get back on the case.

I am now in the unexpected position of wondering what the school’s position might be on me publishing a novel. On the face of it you might think they’d be all for it, but it’s a crime novel so there are naughty characters in naughty places spouting naughty language, taking naughty substances, doing naughty man-WOHman stuff. Is that the sort of material parents and governors are going to be pleased to be associated with? Probably not.

Of course this would only matter if my novel entered the public consciousness to any great extent, and I’m well aware that the odds are stacked against me in that regard, but I’ll still need to have the conversation with the school, just in case.

The obvious thing to do is use a nom de plume, but show me a writer who claims not to be bothered about putting their name to their creation and I’ll show you a liar. If Charlotte Bronte were alive today, would she be hiding behind the name Currer Bell? I doubt it. Still, I need to consider the pen name option, unappealing as it is. If I did go down that road, that would kill off any likelihood of me spending any money on the cover. If it’s not going to have my real name on it, what’s the point? I can think of better ways of spending a few hundred quid. I suspect for most self-published authors, the person designing the cover makes more money than the writer. Doesn’t sit right with me that; not unless I can get Dscreet to do the artwork. His owls get a mention in The Judge of the Dead, but I don’t think that’ll qualify me for a freebie cover somehow.

[Edited for tags. I always forget the bloody things, but I like the idea that just by tagging the word ‘owls’ someone with no interest in crime fiction might be drawn into my lair. Sorry once again if anyone gets this twice as a result of my memory slowly disappearing through its sieve.]


One thought on “New year, new career, new ideas

  1. I’d like to see that Pride & Prejudice tweet – sounds intriguing!
    Re book promotion – it’s a difficult one, and something that I constantly struggle with. I’ve got a (more or less) finished children’s book but haven’t yet made up my mind what to do with it. Having previously self-published two books that have sold in tiny quantities, I know I need to do better at promotion but I’m short of ideas as well as time to carry them out.
    Re the pen name – I use one (Peter’s not my real surname) but there was a specific reason for that, i.e. I work in publishing, and used to buy print from digital printers who print some self-published titles and might conceivably have ended up printing a few copies of mine, which could have caused awkwardness and possible conflict of interest if they’d noticed. It wasn’t a massive risk but it was there and I decided it was prudent to minimise it by using a different name. But if there isn’t a specific reason for using a pen name (unless you really don’t like your own) then I guess there’s no need to. The other main cases I’ve heard of are (1) writers of erotica and (2) writers working in multiple genres.


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