INSIDE THE QUIRKY MIND OF SARAH POTTER

This week, the fabulous Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has invited me over to her blog for an interview. Indeed, this is a great honour, as Rochelle is a super-talented author, whose novels I love. She’s also the facilitator (otherwise known as The Queen, the Bus Driver and the Cat Herder) of the ever-popular Friday Fictioneers, where bloggers are given a photo prompt to write a 100-word story.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

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It’s my great pleasure to start the year off by interviewing Friday Fictioneers regular, Sarah Potter who lives in a house on a hill, with panoramic views over the English Channel in SE England. Sharing the house are her husband, son and chocolate Labrador, all three of whom are great supporters of her literary endeavours. When not writing novels, she pens haiku and tanka poems, takes nature photographs, grapples with bindweed and snails in the garden, invents recipes, and sings mezzo-soprano.

What made you decide to be a writer?

My love affair with writing fiction and poetry blossomed at the age of eight. I could read before I went to school, which gave me a head-start with vocabulary. My mother read me lots of books as well; ones that were too advanced for me to read myself, such as The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White. Also, she…

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Contemplating a #New Year #Book Blog Tour

Desiccation ebook_image(300 pixels)Publication Day for my Urban fantasy novel Desiccation in mid-December came and went without much panoply on my part. This was mainly because I was suffering from post-flu exhaustion and felt in no mood to uncork the champagne, let alone shout from the rooftops. Despite this, a modest number of wonderful people — some of them my fellow bloggers — purchased my book and, to my absolute surprise, I’ve sold paperback and kindle editions in equal quantities.

So a big thank you to all you early birds. And an especially huge thank you to Dave Farmer, who read my book over a course of a few evenings and found the time to review it on Amazon and on Goodreads before Christmas, giving it 5 stars.

Indeed, most of the world seemed distracted by the pre-Christmas rush, followed by post-Christmas malaise, plus the stagger on into New Year with no time for reading and little money left for buying books. And would you believe it, about a week before Christmas I caught a cold on top of the flu? — albeit not a bad one, but enough to drain me of any energy to market my book and enough to make me lose my singing voice just when I needed it most.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m feeling like my old self today and raring to jump into the driving seat of my virtual convertible to vroom around the blogosphere on a tour.

All invitations most welcome!

As a little post script, I’d like to add that Jamie Noble Frier, the super-talented artist who produced my book cover, now has his blog interview questions to hand and should be guesting here soon.

And yet another post script — I’ve just revised my Publication Updates page to include links to all the places around the world that my book is available to buy!

Points to Consider Before Posting Your Work Online: by Children’s Author, Kate Kelly

Sarah has kindly invited me over to this blog and has asked me to say a few words about posting your work online.

It’s very tempting for a new writer who has just started their first blog or website to want to showcase their work. I see it often – a synopsis – the first few chapters – or a complete short story posted for anyone to read.

Sometimes the person is asking for feedback. Sometimes they are trying to promote their self published book, but often these sample chapters are part of a Work in Progress – or something that is currently doing the rounds of agents’ desks.

If you have self published and are posting extracts as part of your book promotion then that is one thing. However, if it is something that you are hoping to sell then you should think twice about posting online.

Here are some of the reasons why:

1. If you post something on your blog you are effectively publishing it. In the case of a short story you will have relinquished first rights to that story. You will no longer be able to sell it to a magazine or anthology as technically it is already published.
2. You will also have made the story ineligible for most competitions.
3. There is no copyright on ideas so do you really want the entire world to share in yours?
4. If what you are posting is a WIP then it probably still needs work. Do you really want the world to see your mistakes?
5. Agents do not trawl round writers’ blogs looking for new clients. They have enough in their slushpile to keep them busy. (I’m sure someone will chime in with an exception to this but in general it is true).
6. If an agent or publisher is interested then the first thing they will do will be to visit your blog. If they see a large portion of the work you have submitted to them that could very likely be a deal breaker.
7. If you are looking for good quality critique on your work then a blog is not the best place. Join a good online writers’ community instead.

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“Thank you, Kate, for your words of wisdom that I’m sure will have many novice writers rushing to their blogs to remove material they’ve unwittingly ‘published’. And, yes, I do have some of my short stories on my blog, but not ones that I intend to publish elsewhere! I also have posted some one or two sentence teasers from my work-in-progress, but that is acceptable.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKate Kelly is a children’s author based in the UK. Her début novel Red Rock, published by Curious Fox, is a Cli-fi thriller for the 10+ age group. 

I look forward Kate returning to this blog in the near future for an interview about her novel and how she achieved publication. Meanwhile, perhaps you would like to check out her blog at  http://scribblingseaserpent.blogspot.com

If you live in the UK, you can buy Red Rock as a paperback or Kindle edition here

If you live outside the UK, you can buy the book as Kindle edition (only) here

Gary Bonn talks about WriterLot, where I’m guest storytelling!

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This is what Gary has to say about his dynamic international group  WriterLot and about my story Picture This

A couple of years ago I had mad idea – why not get a bunch of writers together and set up a site that would enable people to access a free bit of writing for their coffee break/wind-down time/bed-night-story time, or whatever?

I sent out an open invitation and grabbed the first fourteen writerly respondents. An international group from seven different countries. ‛Right – we’re going to put out one piece every day – that means one every two weeks for each of us.’

What could possibly go wrong?

As it happens – nothing. I’m still dazed by the discipline everyone has shown (especially me) and frequently dazzled by the writing. WriterLot are a fun, friendly and supportive group.

We challenge each other… “Gary, you’ve never written from the viewpoint of a frog – deal with it”, Gary, write a story that changes genre half way though – but the reader won’t notice”, uh… what?

We love guest writers and it’s wonderful to have Sarah Potter with us. We hope she’ll come back again and again. Take a look at the piece she’s provided and be swept away into a beautifully (and very accurately) described world, which brought back my nightmares of psychiatric nursing.

Thank you, Sarah!

Gary Bonn

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Thank you, Gary, for your kind comments and for inviting me to guest post on your website. There are some really talented regular contributors on writerlot.net, so do check them out after you’ve read  Picture This.