Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Luna Park that is my mind!

Have just returned from a whirlwind five-day trip to Seattle in the Pacific North-West of America, as the invited guest of my publisher Thomas & Mercer. 

It was a crazily-good few days, sleep-deprived, alcohol and fooded-up, travelling from 40 degree heat in Southern Spain to the soft, gentle breezes of the PNW with very comfortable 20 degree temperatures. I was on high adrenaline, socialising like the world was ending and I´d never utter another word again, moving from luxury hotel to luxury restaurant to chauffeur-driven car to dinner with the top in the publishing business. 

It was as surreal as a date with Salvador Dali and just as enjoyable. But at the end of the day, being a sort of grunge person who has real and imagined poverty hard-wired through me, it´s important to look back and write about what I learned from the experience, as a way of reminding myself how much my life has changed in a few short months. 

If this inspires other serious writers to continue in the face of constant rejection (and this was my story for 16 years!), then I will feel all warm and lovely inside, and this is what this blog is about; not shouting from the rooftops about me - but inspiring other serious writers to live and love their talent, regardless of what those strange bods in the publishing biz (and I exclude Amazon from that mini-insult) have to say about their work.

Time to recap on what I have learned. I´ll number the mini-lessons, for ease of reading. Here goes (and I think they are in order of priority):-

1. The Amazon Group is a truly inspirational company and Amazon Publishing is the kindest, most generous, most author-focussed group of people I have ever met in my life.This is the second time in three months they have flown me to America, have requested my company and have treated me like royalty, for no other reason than they love authors, they love publishing novels and they love selling them. They want to be part of literary history, and they are!! Not only because they publish quality, but because the treat their authors like film stars - no expense spared. Their publishing model is what others dream of being able to achieve and yet don´t and they are creative, forward-thinking and always thinking up new ways for authors to sell their work. 

I met 64 fellow Thriller writers at the Thomas & Mercer (Amazon) event, and spoke to nearly all of them. Every story was the same, traditional publishers have never cared enough about them, have never treated them with the same respect. I have never been published by another publishing house so I am just reporting on what others told me, but I get the message. Despite the doom and gloom peddled by the press about the future of publishing, I know there has never been a better time to be published and I´m thrilled that T & M (Amazon) is my publisher.

2. Mini-lesson number 2. The world is an amazing place and not filled with scary, angry people who don´t give a shit! I have never really believed this, but when you´re writing novels for 16 years and agents and publishers reject you over and over, you start wondering if you should become a hermit and go live in a forest and just write stories on the bark of trees, living out your days without any more rejection!!! 

I have had dreams of doing this but I have a family and so that wouldn´t be possible. Still, it had occured to me for my retirement - carve stories on trees and be done with it. Throw away the hundreds and hundreds of rejection letters and live out some non-scary life in tune with nature. None of that is necessary now, because I have witnessed genuine (and I really mean GENUINE) respect and love of my writing, BY OTHERS in the Amazon Group!!! And that is what makes the rides on the Luna Park that is my mind all the more worth it!!!

3. Mini-lesson number 3. I LOVE MY ´job´. It´s an Odd Job or a Non-Job but I get money for it so I suppose you can forgive the fraility of the English language (any other word for job?) and just say the above. Writing stories is my job and it´s an odd job. This is why I have posted up a photo of the cover of my new friend, New York Thriller writer Ben Lieberman´s new novel. He wrote the Thomas & Mercer thriller Odd Jobs, about hachets and work and is a cracking good read. Look him up on Amazon. You won´t be disappointed!

4. Mini-lesson number 4. Cloudy days are good!! When I was in the PNW, it was cloudy and I felt inspired. Cloudy takes me to dark places.....brilliant sunshine has its place but I think I still need that forest and that dark place to get a move on with my next thriller. 

5. Mini-lesson number 5. Is just one word I´m afraid......BERLUSCONI. More on that word in my next blog. 

Thanks for reading. In the words of a Vueling flight on-board napkin - route Barcelona to Sevilla, then Sevilla to Barcelona - RESPIRA YA SE PASA - a literal translation here ´Breathe until it has passed´.

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