Ferns made me think of ideas!

Have you ever walked in the woods in spring and noticed the ferns? They’re coiled, so tight that their new offspring leaves look like tiny fists.

Little hands gripping secrets.

And then, slowly, warmed by the sun they gradually, oh so gradually, unfurl.

The tight little fists of the ferns unfurl into leaves.

Until the creation is complete.

Just as our minds unfurl their ideas into creations and some of us create books!


Happy Easter Eggs!

For me it’s just as much fun illustrating as writing. I think I created around eighty pictures (forty each) for The Mouse and the Microlight and The Stowaways books. All were created from photos I had taken, using computer graphics.

But sometimes it’s nice to use the graphics tablet and play, and some time back I discovered how to make little moving images – gifs. This was one of my first attempts – hopefully it’ll raise a chuckle or two!

One Down Three to Go!

I’m excited. After many weeks of labouring and puzzling over document set-up for printing in book form – all new word-processing stuff for me – I was ready to send (electronically) my manuscript and book cover for The Mouse and the Microlight to Createspace. They check it and make sure all requirements are correct and let you know within twenty-four hours. I heaved a huge sigh when mine was accepted.

I had a choice as to whether to proof read it online, or order a proof copy, or both. I did both. Proof reading online with Createspace’s reader really only showed me what it will look like as a book, you turn the pages as with a book, and because there were at least three illustrations per chapter I was keen to see how the layout looked. But I also wanted a hard-copy proof to see what the book actually feels like. And of course to put on my bookshelf!

The downside is that the proof comes from the U.S and takes a month to get here! It would seem everything gets faster in life except the mail service! An image immediately formed in my mind of an overworked, corpulent carrier pigeon with no GPS.

When the proof arrives, and if I’m happy with it, then I press the big red button and tell Createspace it can go live. This should happen about May 2nd. It will then be available on Amazon. In the meantime I’ve started the same process for The Stowaways, the sequel to The Mouse and the Microlight. I must say it’s a darned sight easier the second time around – although I still had a problem with page-numbering in LibreOffice! Next in line will be A Red Waterproof Jacket, my own story about following a dream, and lastly The Sleighriders.

If you have the time and the patience self-publishing your own book is a hugely rewarding journey!

Two Days Page Numbering – Arrgh!

For the last week to ten days I’ve been focused on getting The Mouse and the Microlight set up for self-publishing in paperback with Createspace. I thought I was doing really well, and had got as far as the cover design which actually wasn’t that difficult. I decided to use the same design as I used for the e-book. The main difference with a paperback is that you also have to create the back cover and the spine – and do it all in one go on a template. I was really pleased at how well it worked and sat back in my chair feeling a sense of relief that I was now nearly at the end of the journey.

There was just one more thing to do, put the page numbers in the manuscript. Surely this wouldn’t take a minute? It took two days and my hubby nearly divorced me! To start with I needed to number the pages as in a book, so they need to be alternating for left and right pages. That took a day to figure out! I’ve only ever made minimal use of a word processor so new things take far longer than expected, and sometimes I don’t even understand the terminology. It really was a hair tearing out process. But I did it! Great! Ah … but hang on, I’ve suddenly realised that I don’t want page numbers on the introductory pages, I want numbers to start at chapter one. Back to the drawing board. It took another whole day and most of the evening going around in ever decreasing circles before, having lost even more hair, I managed  it. Talk about a sigh of relief.

I have learned something through all this – patience! I like things to work, and work now, and getting annoyed and and frustrated doesn’t help at all. It was a case of trying things over and over again between constant searches on LibreOffice sites on Google. Around and around and around I went like someone lost in a maze, often ending up right back where I started, utterly brain-fogged and despondent. But I did get there, and the book is finally prepared and ready to upload to Createspace.  I may do it today!

In the meantime I decided I’d like my own logo to go on all my books, and after much doodling I ended up with this …

I’ve always doodled mice, and two of my books are about Mouse Formidable, plus there’s a mouse who plays an important part in The Sleighriders. So a mouse it had to be.

Self-Publishing in Paperback: Imprint

There are many decisions to make when you decide to self-publish your book as a paperback, and considerably more research and work than when publishing an e-book.

Something I was giving considerable thought to recently was what publisher name (imprint) I should use. An imprint is a trade name you create for your self-publishing business and is listed online and at the front of your book as ‘the publisher’. When you self-publish you can choose to use your own name or create a publisher name for yourself. I liked the idea of a snazzy and innovative publisher name on my book. I then read the views of other authors on this subject.

Some say that choosing your own publishing imprint name makes your book sound more as though it’s been published by a company than an individual, and many authors think it adds credibility and a certain status to their work. I have also read that many bookshops, reviewers, and readers refuse to consider self-published work. If you do choose to create your own imprint then from what I’ve read you are creating your own publishing company, and whichever country you are in you should check your local legislation because different taxation and administration requirements will apply in different countries. In some countries you may need to register your company name before using it, or even trademark it.

Other authors prefer to use their own name as their publishing name rather than attempting to camouflage the fact that the book is a self-published work.

I tend to rush into things and initially was all set to choose a shiny new imprint name for myself. Then I thought that if so many authors are choosing to do this then surely bookshops and readers etc. are aware of it and if it matters to them they will look up the publisher. You can soon tell if a publisher is a company self-publishing their own works. I also considered the points about creating a publishing company, legislation, taxation and administration; not stuff I want to deal with.

And so decision made. I decided I’d like to keep it simple, use my own name as the publisher’s name and maybe create a logo for my books.

Many years ago I made this logo for the back of greetings cards that I created for friends and family. It’s not suitable for my books but I still like it. I haven’t a clue why I chose a weasel!

Self-Publishing Brain Drain

My brain is getting pretty old which probably doesn’t help.

I’ve just started the process of trying to publish my e-books as paperbacks with Createspace, and found it to be a huge learning curve.

I’ve been floundering with publishing terms: margins, bleed, trim size and gutters! Trying to work out how many pages my book will be so I can figure out the size of the spine, and things like that.

My eyes are just about square and my computer is smoking. I may start smoking fairly soon.

This is the reason I haven’t posted anything on any of my blogs for ages. BUT, I am getting there, and hope to be back with a decent post and a bit of an update SOON. Thanks for your patience!

Guest Post: Here Comes Timmy!

The Purrfect Author

I’d like to introduce you to Timmy who owns a person called Chris. Chris has helped Timmy become a published author; she also kindly took all the photos for him while he posed. The camera loves Timmy whether he’s languishing by the fire, watching snowflakes through the window, or pretending to be terribly fierce when he stalks something in the big outdoors. Timmy has tales to tell. If you’d like to learn more than please visit Timmy and Chris here. Timmy’s books are available on Amazon.



author of fantasy, fiction and memoir