… a writer must selfie herself …


August 2016

August 2016

This  selfie of mine was taken last summer. As you can see, I’m an introvert.

If you’re in for a funny video on selfies, here is one I found on the Urban Dictionary website. Its definitions help to lift despair.

I was initially delighted when in spring 2013 my first novel was picked up by a small publisher. Course of Mirrors was in good shape, thanks to my dear beta reader friend and editor, Evlynn Sharp. Our selfie from 2014 shows below.

April 2014

When over time my publisher was prevented from preparing my novel for its launch, for various reasons beyond her control, I shelved my frustration, finished a sequel, and even started a third book – still, gradually my confidence suffered. Then again, if the promise for my first novel had not been there, I might not have continued writing, so whatever my misgivings, thank you Emma for loving my story.

Back in control, I decided to self-publish. And now I’m challenged, like many lovely writer friends whose fate I follow online, to set up a stage for ‘Course of Mirrors,’ squeezing myself into an overcrowded publishing scene.

I have lived and worked in England since 1978. When time allowed, I contributed poems and articles to specialist magazines and anthologies, but only started writing novels later in life. Writing was a vocation, not a career. An early humiliating experience at school, made me return to writing only through photography, film, and the freedom of another language. Though financially risky, I took time out, and writing became immersive.

Finding words to condense my myth into imagined worlds is totally satisfying, sans financial rewards. But then, forgive the sigh that escapes so many of us in the same situation, writing is a full time devotional activity, and I spent now many years writing and editing into midnight hours, a little financial reward would at least compensate for reduced income and allow me the occasional holiday.

I observe that marketing and advice professionals possibly outnumber writers. However brilliant these experts may be at their job, I can’t afford their services. Now even simple questions I hoped my publisher would support me with shout for answers: What’s your genre? What readership do you hope to address? How will you capture the tone of the novel in a title image? Should the cover express the concept, or a scene from the novel? What’s the unique angle of your story? How does your story differ from others in your genre?

In a public sphere over-saturated with information, how does one engage a reader’s attention without having to boast? I feel like having to provide an answer at gunpoint to one question only – Who are you?

Frankly, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll find out. As I said, I’m an introvert. Like my protagonist, I’m a suspended character. The whole circus is a gamble. I can only hope that you, the readers of my blog, will stay with me through this labyrinth of my author-creation.

While I struggle with particulars, and hopefully amuse you with updates, I’m planning to launch ‘Course of Mirrors’ through Matador/Troubador in spring 2017.

Here, to deliciously confuse you, is a river of keywords relating to Course of Mirrors:

Course of Mirrors combines literary genres to thread in elements of: fantasy; mystery; thriller; adventure; friendship; romance; humour; suspense; magic realism and tragedy. It is adult and young adult fiction, and it includes allusive cultural references spanning: imaginal odyssey; coming of age; quest; road trip; identity; the single child; cinematic style of chapters; psychology; intrigue; loss; murder; betrayal; speculation; metaphysics; insight; poetics; irony; future; despair; passion; triple soul; compelling characters… and in the sequel – Shapers – shape-shifting and time travel across decades.


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25 responses to “… a writer must selfie herself …

    • Jenny

      My Dear Ashen, its a wonderful chance to cooperate with your strength, joy and self Esteem. plunge into the The unknown voller Neugier, Humor und dem unbeugsamen Willen , Deinen weg und Platz zu erobern,…..stand by yourself dear…..fear , uncertainty anger etc..guaranteed, but also good laughs , supportive friends, success, ..
      Don’t give up …dance and be a lioness….Me and many I others are with you ….love…
      ” es wird nie so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird :)) welcome to reality
      It’s a great 🤓 big hug

      Liked by 1 person

  1. With you. Hope you know. It’s a lonely road. One just needs a few friends, and a few appreciative readers. The marketing ‘how to’s’ are almost invariably disappointing, or don’t apply, or cost too much. But getting the work out and read (even by the few) is what it’s about. Your support for mine has been generous and meant more than you can know. Wish you everything possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! Ashen.
    Yes it seems when venturing into the field of creativity, one needs to develop a corresponding degree of marketing skill should selling be the ultimate desire.
    Having lived in the “Other world” of creativity for most of my business life, it has at times been difficult to remain focused.
    I have found that separating my desires for “Me”,from others’ desires to “Box me”, has liberated creativity within.
    From what you portray in your writing and with such a genuine message for others, you are uniquely placed to be successful.
    Enjoy the trip Ashen.B

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoever said writing was easy and the publishing side of things??? A long and windy road for sure Ashen. I wish you GREAT success … I love your genres!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenny

    Ich hoffe, ich war nicht zu belehrend…ich bin sicher, du findest deine Weise diesen Weg erfolgreich zu gehen ..Love

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, it’s a strange road to travel for an introvert! Happy to help however I can. Would be happy to see an advanced copy for possible review. Looking forward to buying my copy, regardless!


  6. I’m still trying to work out the best marketing strategies for my books!! I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For what it’s worth, I’ve published traditionally and although the publishers have done what they could (or, in some cases, what they would) I’ve still had to wrestle with marketing myself. It’s the fate of the unknown writer: How do I get people to pay attention to this book? Wish I had an answer to give you. Some people do manage. I wish you luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wish you the best, Ashen!
    You raised a valid point there- how to make a prospective reader aware and interested, without sounding like boasting.
    Love your blog; so it is a reasonable conclusion that I will love your book too. Will it be published in both electronic as well as hardcopy editions?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish you the very best of all good luck with this venture. I am not sure there really is a best way because there are so many variables in trying to have your book noticed. I think the only thing I have really learned is not to let the marketing/sales etc. spoil your delight in writing. again very very good luck with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. That’s excellent advice, Diane. You’re a proof of this delight in creativity. I haven’t engaged with your phenomenal output lately. Too much of my attention was geared to keeping afloat. It will pass.


  10. Lovely post, and I’m very much looking forward to reading Course of Mirrors. 🙂


    • Thank you, Cath. I’m always pleased and surprised when visitors find old posts. So lovely to know they do. Re: reading Course of Mirrors, I hope you enjoy the story, maybe over a relaxed Christmas, and as a present without obligations.


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