So that’s it. The paperback and ebook versions of my latest novel Fulfilmenthave now launched. Details can be found in my previous post here. It’s been a crazily busy week or so online with all the launch events and publicity and I’ve been so heartened by all the lovely positive comments and support from the online community of writers, readers and of course friends and family. Thank you all.
And I also need to say a huge thank you to Donna Gowland for making the book trailer video to publicise my series of novels set on the Scottish island of Skye – of which Fulfilment is the third and final part. Isn’t it gorgeous?
And now it’s on to something new. I’ve got lots of ideas for the next novel and am looking forward to exploring/developing some of them. I’m thinking maybe a series of contemporary romances set in in the Scottish Borders – with each book about a different couple – but all set in the same community so readers can keep in touch with characters from previous books as the series develops. Can’t wait to get started on inventing a village/town and setting up a cast of characters …
I’d be interested to have your feedback on whether you like reading a series or do you prefer standalone novels? And what do you think of the video?
The story line could be summed up as: The search for resolution after the upheaval of loss. A journey full of insight, forgiveness and love.
And the back cover blurb goes like this:
From the Scottish Hebrides to the Middle-East, ‘Displacement’ is a soul-searching journey from grief to reclamation of self, and a love-story where romance and realism meet head-on.
Divorce, the death of her soldier son and estrangement from her daughter, leave Hebridean crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief-stricken, lonely and lost.
Forced retirement leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to find a new direction for his life.
When Rachel meets Jack in dramatic circumstances on a wild winter’s night on the island of Skye, a friendship develops, despite very different personalities. Gradually their feelings for each other go beyond friendship. Something neither of them feels able to admit. And it seems unlikely they’ll get the chance to because Rachel is due to leave for several months to visit family in Israel – where she aims to re-root and reroute her life.
Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, ‘Displacement’ is a story of life-affirming courage and love.
This is the second novel I’ve published and I’m very proud and happy to have done so. I’m especially pleased because I wrote it whilst still teaching full time. All my evenings and a lot of my weekends and holidays were taken up with writing it. But it wasn’t a chore. When it comes to writing, I’m very motivated simply because I love it so much.
I set up my own imprint Rowan Russell Books and published this one myself. I also re-published my first novel, Change of Life, under the new imprint.
I employed the services of wonderful editor John Hudspith, talented book and cover designer Jane Dixon-Smith and forensic proof reader Perry Iles. So my books are professionally produced as well as, I hope, good reads.
Displacement is set both on the Isle of Skye and in Israel-Palestine. I know these aren’t two places you’d necessarily put together, but it works. One of the main characters, Rachel, has connections in both places, as do I. And the book is dedicated to my very dear Israeli friend, Revital, who works tirelessly for peace and a fair settlement for all in her country.
It’s available on Amazon as a paperback and as an e-book and there’s a link to it at the side of this post or by clicking the cover image at the top. AND it’s about to go on special offer as a Kindle Countdown Deal. From 8.00am (GMT) tomorrow, September 30th until 4pm on October 3rd it will cost you only 99p and then from 4pm on October 3rd until midnight on October 7th it will be £1.99 before reverting to its full price of £2.99.
As a side offer Change of Life will be free for Kindle from September 30th until October 4th.
Thanks for your interest in reading this bit of self-promotion and thanks especially if you’ve already bought either of my books or are intending to do so.
So, it’s onwards and upwards in 2013. I have the motive, means and opportunity – as the cops say of criminal masterminds –to succeed. Only in my case, I don’t plan to commit a crime – but to commit myself to what really matters in life – and especially to my writing.
The blog pause is over and I promise I put my time away to good use.
I did get some writing done but, with the small matter of Christmas to organise, perhaps not as much as I’d hoped. However, I’m not going to be too hard on myself. Last year’s mantra was ‘now’ but this year’s is ‘mind/don’t mind.’ By that I mean I’m only going to be mindful of the important stuff – the stuff that is worth paying attention to. The other stuff – guilt, pointless worrying, and other unimportant wastes of time – I’m not going to pay any heed to them.
So, on that positive note, I’m not going to mind too much that a lot of time in 2012 had to be given over to family matters, health matters and moving house as well as to the ever-increasing demands of my fulltime teaching job. That was all as it should be.
And in spite of all that stuff I did get a reasonable amount of writing done last year. I made progress with both novels-in-progress – my second adult one and my first one for children. I submitted my bi-monthly articles to the writers’ magazine ‘Words with Jam’. I also blogged almost every week. I made a new personal best, record number of sales for my novel ‘Change of Life’ and made it into Amazon’s women’s fiction bestsellers list – albeit briefly.
Other good things from last year – I read some great books – many of them reviewed on here. I spent a lot of quality time with my wee granddaughter during her first year. In July I made my third visit to Israel and had an amazing time there – also recorded here on the blog. And the visit provided some valuable research for the grown-up novel.
And 2013 has got off to a good start. I spent a few days at New Year in my home city of Edinburgh. It was a lovely break made up of family, fun and fireworks.
The city’s Hogmanay fireworks, which I viewed from the street outside my son’s flat, were an awesome and a fitting start for ‘WriteEnough’s’ year of living mindfully. I stayed with my son and his lovely partner and was thoroughly spoiled by them. I met with my sisters for a good catch up and spent some time with my elderly father and auntie.
I spent a magical morning in Edinburgh’s Botanical Gardens, one of my favourite places in this city of many magical locations. I said hallo to the grand old Figus Sylvatica – one of three specimens of this magnificent silver-barked tree situated at the top of the Gardens. It is under this tree, looking out over the town that I would like my ashes to be scattered – but not for many years yet! I spent some quiet time in the Chinese garden section, enjoying the sight and sound of the gentle waterfalls . And I sat on the bench where I used to go and sit when I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer and needed to get my head round the fact that I was mortal after all.
Another highlight of my visit to the capital was going to the John Bellany exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland. Wow! What an amazing artist he is. Three of my favourite paintings were ‘Eyemouth Boatyard’ because it reminded me of childhood holidays spent near there, ‘My Father’ because it was so alive with the artist’s father’s character and ‘The Obsession’ which was subtitled ‘Whence do we come? Who are we? Whither do we go?’ in which Bellany’s desire to know the meaning of life is grippingly portrayed. And there were so many other incredible pictures, from gorgeous Tuscan landscapes to gruesome Holocaust evocations – and some truly amazing ones done while the artist was recovering from a liver transplant and contemplating his mortality. Fabulous!
And now, I’m back at school and enjoying seeing all the children and hearing about their Christmases. Some have had lovely stories to tell about their near misses almost meeting Santa Claus, hearing him on the landing outside their bedroom door or being certain they saw him cross the bedroom floor. Magic!
And as to my writing motives, means and opportunities – well – I have the means – I have my little writing den back as the granddaughter and her parents have their own home once more; I have the opportunities – as long as I choose to take them and make time for them and I have the motives – two novels almost complete and ready for editing AND –
AND – what could be more motivating for an insecure writer who sometimes wonders if she’s kidding herself about being a writer at all – than to hear (today) that I was shortlisted in the story competition jointly run by the National Library of Scotland, the Scotsman newspaper and Scottish Ballet. The brief was to rework the Hansel and Gretel story for an adult audience and to end it at the part where Hansel and Gretel go into the forest. It seems the judges liked my version. I am smugly but quietly proud.
So here’s to 2013, thank you for reading my blog and happy new year to you all.