Launch Day Thanks!

Well, I had two options the last few weeks: pour my heart and soul and currently limited energy supplies into getting these books out, OR throwing everything at yesterday’s launch day. I knew I’d do both poorly if I tried to do everything. So writing became the winner, and I’ve fallen short on any kind of huge hurrah… and maybe that also has a little bit to do with denial? Maybe there’s a little bit of concern about my own failings as a writer, an author, a storyteller, and whether or not I even have anything worthy to say. So if the book flopped it would be because I didn’t have a launch party.

And so I left the publishing work to him, and let him advertise and upload the books, and check it was all as it should be… while I moved on to working on the next couple of books due to launch in May and June respectively.

So in some ways, I expected launch day to be a little like any other day. Immensely thankful for the hundreds of preorder sales under our belts, I let go and let things happen a little organically. I didn’t expect everyone to buy it, or to read it this weekend just because it arrived in so many Kindles today, but from Thursday, the responses and reviews and messages have flooded in and I’m both floored and thankful!!

Helen Pryke is my proof-reader, a professional I pay not to like my book but to iron out the last of the editing creases, to make sure the little things are all sorted. She’s amazing, and I highly recommend her as a proofreader. I’m thankful for her and the skills she brings to the final copy of my books.

But imagine my surprise to see this wonderful review, and award, that popped up in my newsfeed on launch day morning!

“….so when Jennifer asked me to edit her memoir, I knew it would be a good read. What I didn’t realise is that it would be a great read! From the first pages, Jennifer had me hooked – if I hadn’t had to read it slowly due to editing, I’d have devoured it in a day!” Helen Pryke – author and proofreader.

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I was flying on the high from this when the next picture popped up with a tag request, all the way from Melbourne Australia!!

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And then my messages started going off and this came through:

“I’ve just sat and read your whole story 🙂 You’re probably up to your eye balls in floods of messages, but I just wanted to say, I LOVED reading your book! I can’t wait to read the next one! 😀 “

A full-length novel is 85,000 words long. My Africa my Home is slightly short of that at around 60,000 words, so for someone to read it in one sitting is a huge compliment and everything I’d hoped for!

And last, but by no means least, this notification popped up. It’s been a hugely busy week on my Author Page!

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So anyway, thanks to everyone whose been a part of this wonderful and very special day!! It was by pure coincidence that we landed up in the UK, amongst family and friends for an impromptu celebratory drink, dinner and evening with the guitar … we went to bed rather late and over the moon!

And now we wait for the Amazon reviews – please don’t forget to leave one, and to share any of the book posts on Facebook?? The sharing over the next few weeks will make or break the success of this book!

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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Gent EDS Conference!

They forget (in love) that I can’t walk at all with out my crutches and even then it’s for no more than about 20 minutes at a time. And twenty minutes of agony at that!I’m in bed almost ALL the rest of the time even for many meals.

The last two days we diverted our rough plan and drove to Belgium so that I could attend the EDS conference in Gent/Ghent yesterday. I’m soooo glad I went, I met so many amazing people including some of the world’s leading specialists in #TMJ #Pain and many other things. 12 speakers in all, over nine hours, was beyond exhausting but so so worth it!

Highlights for me were:

  • Meeting another EDSers for the first time EVER (other than my own children).
  • Chatting in real life with so many of them (there were about 50 at the conference I’d say?)
  • Being in a room where splints, wheelchairs, braces, zebra stripes and bandages are the norm.
  • Hearing specialists and doctors talk about EDS from decades of experience…
  • SOOOOO much validation it’s incredible and difficult to put into words.
  • Crying (sobbing) because the collective pain levels in the room must have been through the roof! And it wasn’t just from me!

Best of all:

  • Meeting Dr Helen Cohen, one of the world’s top pain doctors! I spent about half an hour with her and I don’t think I’ve ever been so in awe of another human being !! She was soooo good, told me I’ve nailed my own pain strategies and I can’t tell you how encouraging that was.
  • Learning so many new teeny tiny things (& a couple of big things) to tweak my life for the better!!

It was all a HUGE reminder that:

  • My new book is soooo needed and important!
  • That I need to get better at reminding those who love me how crippled I am! I’ve been getting lots of encouraging messages lately saying people hope I’m enjoying walking around Europe and having a wonderful time. They forget (in love) that I can’t walk at all with out my crutches and even then it’s for no more than about 20 minutes at a time. And twenty minutes of agony at that!I’m in bed almost ALL the rest of the time even for many meals. No, this trip isn’t making it worse, I’d be in bed at home or in Molly’s bed but at least the scenery changes 😊

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PS: Thanks so much to those who’ve offered to support and keep asking where and how! I’ll keep these links at the bottom of my posts for the next month 🙂 They’re the easy, no-spam emails I’ll send out no more than weekly (and believe me, I miss sending half of those) till the book launches and you can get your free copy!

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Main email group:
Team Tortoise:
Team Hare:

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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@JPeaSmith

The Bit I Hate!

savingpng-5All I want to do is write, and read, and have conversations over tea. I don’t want to edit, or gather up support, or beg people to sign up or share or get involved in interviews.

When I open my email to find requests to write for The Mighty or the EDS Society, or to feature somewhere (watch this space, there are a few those coming up), I love it! They’ve come to me, they know what they want and need, and they choose to have me there. But when one of my books come out (this is my second), I need to take time away from editing (which I also don’t love), and write emails, and write posts, and beg… it’s awful!

In the “olden days” Publishers would do that for you. Now even with the most important publishers, should you get a contract, built into that contract is how much you also have to do your own legwork, gather your own support, and build your own team. Ugh!

So this week I’ve hidden from most of it by doing the other important work of editing, editing, and more editing… and playing with paints, pens, and voila! I have two brand new book covers!

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PS: I maybe shouldn’t have made it sound that easy! There’re four weeks of work in those babies!

PPS: If you’d like to sign on anyway, and get involved, sign on for one or more of the easy, no-spam emails I’ll send out no more than weekly (and believe me, I miss sending half of those) till the book launches and you can get your free copy!

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Main email group:
Team Tortoise:
Team Hare:
The Editing Team:

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

 

New Book Coming October!!

In case you missed it, today I sent out one of my rather rare Authory newsletters, inviting people to join my Launch Team for my next book which comes out at the end of October.

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I’m beyond excited for this one as I’ve learnt so much since we launched The Lion and the Peacock last year, and with over 11,000 downloads with that book, we’re hoping to do even better with this one. I’m a little overwhelmed with writing and guest opportunities at the moment but I feel they’re all important in different ways and for different reasons. And most of all they propelled me forward and gave me the extra courage I needed to make this happen.

So while my health has been a huge problem lately and we’ve been living out of a suitcase for 8 weeks now, bed for me means artwork, writing, and doing all the behind-the-scenes things that make a book happen. And I need to get them behind me so we can finish editing this book!

We fly to Malta tomorrow to find a new temporary home and get ready to head for the UK and the campervan for October on the road (more about that later).

So if you’d like to be a part of the process and hadn’t yet signed on for the emails which are no-spam, behind the scenes, personal, and get a hint of the publishing process (good and bad) then it’s not too late! Sign on here: http://eepurl.com/cvljU9

You’ll also get to see the cover first, the artwork first, and have the opportunity to win prizes and be part of the online launch party 🙂

Or, if you have any other questions, shoot me an email on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Memoir in 3 parts?

img_8570Some people have writer’s block … Others have stories pouring out of them so fast they don’t know where to begin. Most appear to be somewhere in between. There isn’t a right or wrong, and each has its pros and cons of course. But I am the latter, I have a story to tell and it has so many parts that I find myself lost in an ocean of opportunity. I also have the “luxury” of many hours a day in bed writing… many tell me they’d give their right arm to do that (unless they are a writer of course!), but as many of you know, that comes at great cost.

And so I waste time. A lot of time some times, running around in circles following one idea or another…

But in the end, there is an order to all that I have to tell. I jumped the gun with The Lion & the Peacock and I think that gave me an excuse to jump ahead with other tidbits about my life… I have so many things to share! But the truth is, I need to start at the beginning eventually, and the rest will make much more sense once the basics are out anyway.

So it is time to bring out the very first manuscript, the one that I have been playing around with for the last 18 months or so, and dust it off, polish it up, and get it out there!

So this is the current dilemma:

My health does not warrant an old fashioned book signing/launching tour of any kind, or the resources to put out an 85 thousand word story all in one go. Also, eBooks have changed the way we can publish books, and they no longer have to be a set length. My first full-length book has three “parts” to it anyway, each which neatly came out at around 30,000 words. About a third of a full-length novel. But I am told that memoirs don’t work as short reads (is 30,000 a short read?)… so I will be going against tradition somewhat.

So I thought how about Part one as a single eBook this time around, the next part in 2018, and the third in 2019, which would then come out along with the paperback which will be the full-length book only (in all three parts).

Does anyone think that’ll work? And if not why not, and do I then chug away at the whole thing, but only to come out in 2019 or so?

Thoughts?

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To book a talk with me and discuss my schedule you can contact me on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com

Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

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@JPeaSmith

A New Voice in my Head!

img_5205-1There is a new voice in my head, and it’s a good one. First, there were all the people in my life who tried to tell me “You can’t write that!!!” “How dare you write that!!!” “You will regret this young lady” and so on, and so on. I have pretty much dealt with them, thanks to Social Media and the almost steady stream of comments like “Tell your story!” “If they didn’t want you to write about them then they should have behaved better” and the like.

There are other reasons that I am able to mostly silence those voices, but that is for another day. For now, my latest concern is that Social Media is also awash with experts, and not all of them are on the same page. “Publish like this” “Publish like that” “You shouldn’t use this voice” “You can’t use that voice” … AAAHHHH!!!

But a couple of weeks ago I signed on for four sessions with a writing coach. No, coaches ain’t cheap, but the thing is, she is a bit of a veteran in the publishing world and she doesn’t know me from a bar of soap. She is a total stranger and she reads my work in the same way that someone buying my book will. She knows nothing of my history, my imperfections, my excuses.

I was a little worried that I would not be able to remember all the rules that she will teach me, that I will not be able to stick to all that she teaches me, but as I have been writing the last few days (and I have written a lot, she inspires me!) I would find myself asking how Brooke would respond if she were reading it. She is the new voice in my head. I have no doubt that she isn’t perfect, but so far she is more reliable than those who love me and want my writing to be good.

I am only half way through these sessions and already I can hear her voice in my head telling me to rewrite a paragraph, to tell it differently. The changes are both significant and meaningful, yet it is still my voice. She is giving me new roots for all the writing ahead and this is changing the course of the way that I express myself. I write memoirs and the story hasn’t changed, but the way that I tell it has. And if the next two sessions produce as much fruit as the first two, then watch out Authory world, here I come!

Memoir Fest!

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It is ages since I have written about my memoirs. My first love, my “great work.” They were kind of pushed to the backburner when I stopped to publish the chapter-which-turned-into-a-book on Anxiety. Not that I regret that, it was the best decision that I have made in a long time. But now I am back into the swing of things and writing two memoirs at the same time.

This time last year I started writing the first memoir in the series, and over the rest of the year, I kept going. I got so much out of it in all kinds of ways, but now I need to go back to the first drafts and work on publishing and putting them out there. Which means a ton of editing. It is hard work, way harder than simply “sitting at the computer and bleeding it onto the screen”. But my mind doesn’t stop and the stories are still not yet all told.

But there are pieces of stories that are too painful for other people, too detailed or complicated to fit into the ebb and flow of one of the other books, or too small to become a book on their own. And so I am left with a jar of deeply painful, vitally important, singular events which have no home. Stories that need to be told, stories that later books need the reader to already know. And it has been bothering me.

But also bothering me has been a new desire to write fiction. I am a little shocked and very surprised. But there you have it. The seed has been planted and I didn’t know what to do with my jar or this seed. And then last week I realized that I could blend the two. Tell a fictional story and place everything from the jar within it. Accurate and truthful pieces, which now will get to see the light of day with a new name, a new place, and a little bit of new packaging.

And so when my mind is clogged with editing and I cannot go on, but my fingers are itchy and busting to bleed … I bring out the new book and out it flows! 2017 is going to be an interesting year for me and for my writing! These two threads that are happening side by side; editing the memoirs and weaving parts of them into Fiction. Roll on 2017 I say!

Where Jennifer hangs out: 
@JPeaSmith
 
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman