Friday, December 28, 2007

Highs and Lows of 2007

As 2007 begins to draw to a close, it seems an appropriate time to look back on the year and all that has transpired, from both a writing and personal point of view. The past year has been one of great highs and crashing lows, thankfully though there have been more of the highs.

These include from a writing point of view:

Doing a very well received talk at Borders, Kingston upon Thames in January
Various other talks and events throughout the year
The second updated edition of my book being published in May
3 fabulous reviews which appeared in the weeks following its launch - in Nexus magazine, Self Publishing and Paradigm Shift. The Self Publishing one has done brilliant things in particular since they said my book was the opposite to The God Delusion - mention that and I found that and book shops immediately ordered them!
Subsequently being featured in Self Publishing magazine as a self published success story
My first live radio appearance in June on Internet Voices Radio, New York
Taking over the editors reins of my village newsletter at the end of May/beginning of June
My book being accepted by Gardners in August as a stocked title
Getting featured on Grumpy Old Bookman's blog site and several others hosted by his regular readers
Getting the book into a total of 122 Waterstones stores after ringing each and every one of their 300 odd stores in turn
Also at least 7 branches of Borders - have only just started ringing them
Features in various newspapers and magazines - Self Publishing, Dorking Advertiser, Surrey Advertiser, Epsom Post, Staines and Chertsey Herald, Writers News (twice)
Meeting Richard and all those who work for Authors OnLine at their 10th anniversary celebration in October (and that was a celebration!)

On a more personal note highlights have included:

Seeing Coran finally start to deal with his gender dysphoria and understand where it comes from and also come to terms with other long standing personal issues
My new job, which I started in November
Settling into our new home and getting to know the residents of our village.
2 fabulous and relaxing trips to the wonderful place in the world - Lundy, and 2 trips to Forest Mere, also a lovely weekend in Glastonbury in November
Watching myself get gradually fitter and stronger after working my arse off at the gym
Making some truly wonderful friends through the Internet - on both sides of the Atlantic
The brilliant news that my brother has become engaged to his girlfriend of five years, and hopefully being able to meet her at long last very soon

The low points both personally and professionally have been:

A particularly nasty psychic attack by someone who purported to be my friend and being effectively forced to resign from my position as founder and co-administrator of the Internet forum I helped to launch - all water under the bridge now though
A nasty letter from someone slagging off my book - after they won it in a raffle would you believe - people don't respect things that they haven't had to pay for it seems
Various personal issues that I have had to deal with
The sheer hard slog to get into all those book shops which nothing can ever really prepare you for
The stupid excuses that certain book shops and other private individuals come up so as not to part with their money and buy your book - it is though their stuff and not mine!
Realising how little I would earn from it all - since sale or return has slashed my royalties in half
A disappointing turn out to my book signing at Waterstones in Staines - the people who promised to be there did not turn up and despite emailing to find out why I never did get a reply
An exceptionally busy run up to Christmas working seven days in a row and then having just two days off in which to enjoy the festivities

There will probably be other things that I think of as the week progresses, but whether I will have time to write them is another matter. I am once again working full time this week, and then have one more week of this to go before I revert back to my regular hours. I can't say I will be sorry. Really must crack on with the newsletter this weekend, in between going to the gym, trawling round the sales, tidying the house, surfing the net and going to sleep ...

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