Monday, 27 August 2012

It will be no surprise to anyone that has been reading this blog that I havent' been writing, I've been blethering again, this time with my friend, writer and poet Kriss Nicholl. (Take a look at her blog The Diary of an Invisible Woman which is about to get really interesting as she's going on a six week road trip across the United States of America). The blethering was very useful though as she's also been preparing her first novel for publication with a print on demand publisher. I'm considering going down this route with my children's book 'Maxwell's Mega Mission' if I don't get any response from the publishers and agents I have contacted. Self publishing seems to be the way to go these days. 
  I'm in an odd position as some of the time I work with a small publishing company based in Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town. Last week the director and I met with a local man who has written a book that is ideal for GC Books. We've also got two more local history books due out this Autumn. Although GC published my book 'The Belties of Curleywee Farm' my new one, 'Maxwell's Mega Mission' is for an older age group and not suitable for the GC list. It's fantastic to be able to help unpublished writers get into print. I just want someone to step up for me now to get my new story to a new audience. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Still Spending Too Much Time Blethering

Some years ago I was given a copy of The Secret by my sister. At first I was quite taken with this book. I realise a few people would just stop reading any further at the sight of that first sentence and now, quite frankly, I wouldn't blame them. I was going through a particulary spiritual phase at the time whereas reality has since bitten me really hard on the backside. So, getting to the point..... the gist of The Secret is the power of attraction, by stating what you want in life you will receive it. However, the downside is that if you have to control your thinking as well because whilst you may be stating one thing out loud, your thoughts may betray you. So here is the point... ta da... I called this blog Jayne Baldwin blethers rather than writes or creates or scribbles or, you get it, but by doing so I may have just enouraged my inner psyche to continue babbling. Since following Nicola Morgan's advice to build an author platform by opening a Twitter account I have spent valuable writing time getting sidetracked. It certainly is fun, but as an easily led,  undisciplined kind of person another distraction was not what I needed!
What I do need to do is get on with trying to find and agent/publisher for my fantastic children's book 'Maxwell's Mega Mission.'

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Still finding that I'm spending far too much time building my author platform but not enough time putting anything on it to display. Too easily sidetracked. Here I go again.........

Time to get back to some work after the amazing London 2012 Olympics. The advantage of being a writer (euphemism for lazy cow), is that I have been able to sit around watching the sport for the past 16 days. But now I need to get down to some work, especially as it was only in the spring that I decided it was time to take myself seriously as a writer. Like many people I have written since I was a child. Then my forte was the pony adventure and I dreamt of publishing my books under the pseudonym 'Chloe Lockwood.' The story usually went along the lines of a brave young rider from a relatively humble background - loosely modelled on myself, of course - somehow managing to buy a pony that somehow gets through to the finals of The Horse of the Year Show. My favourite book was about a girl who is able to finally get a pony when her mother writes a book that becomes a best seller and they can afford to move to a cottage with a paddock and buy the steed. I pestered my mother for months, constantly asking why couldn't she write a best seller that would earn enough for me to have a pony. My mother had no interest in writing, or reading for that matter. I don't recall ever seeing her with a book. My Dad, on the other hand, was a keen reader and writer in terms of keeping journals and diaries, though only after he retired. 
My parents were perhaps typical of many working class kids who had survived the Second World War, they were grateful to be together and still alive. My Dad was in Bomber Command and had lost many of his friends. They spent their lives being glad for each day and they quietly worked and supported their family and never, as far as I know, harboured any ambitions for anything other than staying in work and paying the mortgage. 
This stability enabled me to write of my ambition which was to be a champion show jumper. If that 'The Secret' stuff worked, you know, thinking positively about things makes it happen, then I would have been winning gold  along with Nick Skelton at the Olympics last week. God knows I so focussed on getting a pony and becoming a show jumper. I didn't think about the writing, the writing just enabled me to work through my dreams and fantasies. 
So, here I am at 50 finally realising that writing was the ambition not equestrian sports. In between then and now I edited the school magazine, was an editor on the university newspaper and then worked as a journalist for many years. 
Then, four years ago I came across the story of Elsie Mackay and my accumulated research slowly became 'West Over the Waves' a non fiction book that followed her attempt to fly the Atlantic from east to west in 1928. The book was published by GC Books of Wigtown and is now in its third edition.