About Me

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I read, write, craft and home educate. My debut novel Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase was published in 2014. My second novel, A Life Between Us, was published in 2017. I live in Northamptonshire. My website can be found at louisewaltersbooks.co.uk

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book launch speech!

My second novel A Life Between Us is published today after a year of very hard work! I can't quite believe I've got here in the end... but here I am. Tonight I will share a bottle of champagne with my husband and quietly enjoy the feeling of having two books "out".

Self-publishing my second novel has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. But I didn't do it alone, of course, and I have plenty of people I need to thank. So here goes!

Firstly, I need to thank all the staff at Troubador Publishing who have been helpful, courteous and most importantly, calm, throughout my dealings with them. It's been a pleasure working with them and I'm so glad I chose my "assisted publishing" helpers wisely. Thank you!

Secondly, I am indebted to book cover designer Jennie Rawlings who designed the beautiful cover for A Life Between Us. Here it is again, in case you haven't seen it yet(!):

Jennie was delightful to work with and came up with this marvellous concept for the cover. She also designed leaflets and bookmarks, which are equally stunning:

Thanks to printers T J International for the beautiful look, feel and smell of the finished books. They really are quality!

Next up is my writing friend and wise counselor Susan Davies, AKA author Sarah Vincent. Susan has the sharpest eye in town and never hesitates to point out to me where my writing has gone a bit, well, crap, and she has saved my arse over the course of three novels now. She is also a stunning writer, and her novel The Testament of Vida Tremayne is a fantastic read. Just sayin'! Many thanks, Susan. (She also recommended Jennie Rawlings to me!)

Next up I must thank all of the The Prime Writers, who have been so supportive of me and my project since I announced back in February 2016 that I was going indie! I appreciate every re-tweet, interaction, review and encouraging word. Thank you!

Since becoming an author I've met so many lovely people, many of whom have become good friends. Here I must mention Isabel Costello, Rebecca Mascull and Louise Jensen. You are all wonderful writers and wonderful people and I'm honoured that our lives have touched.

I must also mention The Alliance of Independent Authors and their supportive members, and their seemingly endless advice and information for us indie authors. So glad I decided to sign up and join in!

I can't lie - being a self-published author is tough. My book has been ignored by people and publications that I think may not have ignored it if it had been trade published (but that is for another post)! The disappointment of being ignored in some quarters has been more than made up for by the support I've enjoyed from the book blogging community and many fellow authors. A Life Between Us has had some wonderful reviews from Anne Williams, Cleo Bannister, Rachel Burton, Louisa Treger, and many others. I can't mention all of them, but I am so grateful for all the reviews. And, hey, even the occasional one star review or rating is still acknowledgement that my book exists!

I must thank my local indie bookshop The Old Hall Bookshop in Brackley, who are stocking A Life Between Us. That means so much to me - I used to work there (too many years ago now!) and they generously hosted the book launch party in 2014 for my debut novel, Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase.

Finally, I have to thank my husband and kids who have put up with me bashing away at my laptop, sometimes in tears, sometimes swearing; and of course many members of my family have had my book foisted on them, with demands to know what they think!

My husband Ian, last but not least. Thanks for being so kind, helpful, hard working, supportive and generous. I couldn't have done this without him. He's also a dab hand at applying car stickers!

So, that's more or less it for Book 2...

... next up: Book 3...!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

From the Other Side: Book Blogger Sarah Hardy

Welcome to the first of a new series of blog posts in which I chat to book bloggers. I thought it would be fun and informative to host bloggers on my (author) site, as it's usually the other way round. I think book blogging is sometimes misunderstood, so I hope these interviews will dispel a few myths that seem to have grown up around the book blogging scene. 

One of the great things about the social media revolution is, I think, the ability for book people to communicate on a daily level. Readers, bloggers, writers, authors, publishers and agents (and all the overlap that exists among us!) can chat to each other like never before. It's an exciting time to be a book lover. And I don't know about you, but I never tire of talking about books! So, I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with book blogger Sarah Hardy. Sarah also freelances as Submissions Advisor at Bloodhound Books.

Here's what she had to say...

All book bloggers are surely book lovers. How and when did your love of reading begin?
From ever since I can remember I have always loved reading. I would spend many an hour as a child with my head stuck in a book and it’s stayed with me ever since.


When did you start your blog?
My blog will be two in April. Can’t quite believe I have been doing it nearly two years and I enjoy it as much now, if not more than when I did when I started it.
Is there a particular genre you enjoy reading and reviewing?
My choice of genres has changed over the years and even though I still read a variety of genres my firm favourite without a doubt has to be crime/thrillers.
Do you have a “day job” (work, children, and/or caring responsibilities) - and if so, how do you fit in all your reading, reviewing and blogging? Yes, myself and my husband have a small carpet shop which I run on my own whilst my husband is out fitting. I have also started recently doing some hours for Bloodhound Books which I am absolutely loving. We also have two teenagers, I would say the hard part of parenting of running around after my children is over with but I am beginning to learn that it seems to be never ending!
I basically read wherever and whenever I can. If the shop is quiet I will spend some time reading there and I hardly watch television anymore so will read on an evening also.
If I don’t like a book, I usually don’t review it on Goodreads, Amazon, Netgalley or on my blog. For me, that’s the kindest thing to do. As a writer, I know how disheartening negative reviews can be. I also appreciate not every reader enjoys every book. Where do you stand on this issue?
If I don’t like a book I don’t review it on my blog. If it’s an ARC/review copy I won’t review anywhere other than Goodreads, as Goodreads is my bible of what I have read. If it is a book I have purchased then I do tend to still leave a review on Amazon but I always try and be constructive. I personally read a mixture of all the ratings before helping me decide whether to purchase a book or not, as what someone else doesn’t like about book could be something that I don’t like. Also what someone else may not like I may enjoy. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same thing.
Have you ever had a negative response from an author after reviewing their work, and if so, how did you handle it? (No names needed!)
I can’t say I really have, no. I know some authors are not overly happy with a three star review but for me it still means I liked it but there was just certain parts that either didn’t work or I didn’t like but overall it is still a decent read.
How do you feel about indie authors? Do you consider self-published books? Yes, certainly. When accepting review copies, for me it is all about the book. If I like the sound of it then I will read it regardless of if it is self published or through a publisher.
On the other hand, how do you feel about those over-hyped books from publishers?!
I have fallen a few times into buying or requesting books on Netgalley due to all the hype about certain novels. Some of them the hype has been very much deserved whereas others I really struggled to see what all the hype was about.
There has recently been some negative stuff on social media about book bloggers. I know how this feels, as I am self-publishing my second novel, and I know how indie authors get looked down upon in some quarters! So - how do you respond to that negativity?
I try not to take it personally. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If people don’t want to read my blog that’s fine, I have no issue with that, I don’t personally like that many readers think that book bloggers are paid for what we do as I can assure you we don’t. I started my blog to support lesser known authors that deserve to get their name out there and to share the books that I have enjoyed reading. Yes, I my get sent free books from time to time but I have to spend how ever many hours reading that book, writing up my review and sharing it on different platforms. That is a lot of hours, but we do it because we are passionate about books.
Sadly a lot of book groups on social media have very mixed views about what we do also, and I have been blocked from a few for sharing my blog reviews on there which is probably what riles me up the most. How me sharing a review via a link instead of doing a status telling people what I thought of a book is any different I will never know.
Have you made “real life” friends as a result of your book blog?
Yes, lots. I have been to a few events and meet ups and have made some good friends who include authors as well as bloggers. I have a BBFF (best blogging friend forever) Noelle Holten over at Crime Book Junkie book blog, who I hit it off with immediately. There are lots of others who I would love to give a shout out to but they who they are.
Tell us about the art of writing a review. How do you avoid spoilers but manage to convey the sense or feel of a book? I find it difficult, so any tips will be gratefully received! I’ve seen some fantastic reviews, which I suspect were pretty tricky to write…
I'm not sure if there is an art to it. Some reviews flow really easily in that the words just come straight out, whereas others it has taken me ages to write them. I never feel that they are good enough as I am not a writer, but I go with how it made me feel and what I liked.
Big question: Have you ever been tempted to write, or have you written, a novel (or any kind of book) yourself?

I would love to write a novel but to be honest I don’t have one in me and I think I make a much better reader than I do writer.
Quick fire: E-reader or print?
Finally, what are you reading at the moment?
I have just started The Crying Boy by Jane E James

Sarah Tweets @sarahhardy681

Thanks so much to Sarah for joining me on my blog today. It's been interesting to hear what makes a book blogger tick! I'll be interviewing more bloggers soon, so do look out for my next post in this "From the Other Side" series.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day and the self-published author...

On Wednesday 1st March, I took delivery of 100 copies of my second novel! It was a thrilling moment after all these months of writing, editing, fretting, and all the other things that happen when you are bringing out a book. At last the book exists, and is real. Always an amazing moment!

These books are lovely. The paper is white, and thick, and the colours on the cover are just right for this story. Perfect tones, not too garish, not too pastel. The book even smells delicious! I couldn't be more pleased with the book as object. I feel so fortunate to have worked with Jennie Rawlings, Troubador Publishing and TJ International.

A Life Between Us is currently available on Netgalley (until 17 March); there are 3 signed copies up for grabs over on Goodreads (giveaway running until 10 March). The print book is available for pre-order on Amazon, and the e-book is up for pre-order on Apple.

I guess this all means there really is no going back now! The decision I made just over a year ago to self-publish has come to fruition. It feels appropriate to write this post on International Women's Day. It's been quite a year! Here's what I've learned:

1: Self-publishing is not giving up. I know some people think you should never "give up" looking for a "proper" publisher, and for many writers, that is true. But for me "giving up" would have meant stuffing this novel away in a drawer and forgetting about it; followed by starting a new novel, not knowing if that one would meet a similar fate. I wasn't prepared to do that. For a start I couldn't afford to, both financially and time-wise. I'm going to be 50 this year. My time on this planet is limited. If I want a novel I've written to be published, it's going to be published. End of.

(That's an advantage of becoming older... you stop worrying about what other people think, and you get on with your life, and your work. The need for validation diminishes. For women especially, that's very freeing, and I'm so relieved I've finally arrived at this point. It took too long, but I made it).

2: Self-publishing, or in my case, "assisted publishing", is "real" publishing. Believe me, when you hold in your hand the book, fresh from the printers, it is "real". The early reviews on Goodreads are "real". The work that has gone into this book is "real". I've invested money and time in this project, and both of those are very "real" too! I've worked so hard to make this novel a viable novel, to rival anything you will find in a bookshop. I even gave myself a "real" lead in time, thirteen months, just as a "real" publisher would do (and am I ever glad I did that! I've needed those months).

3: Self-publishing is frustrating. This is because too many people resent it, look down on it, regard it as a threat. I really wish that attitude could change because self-publishing is here to stay and those of us who do it professionally, for "real", care passionately about our work and we are doing our best to bring out books of the highest quality, in every respect. I would contend that the best self-publishers out there produce work that is indistinguishable from the work of traditionally published authors. Yet most of the major book prizes still keep their doors firmly bolted against the self-published (looking at you today in particular, Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction...!)

4: Self-publishing is hard work. There is so much to do. Editing, re-writing, copy edits, proofs (no different to "real" publishing, of course) but on top of that comes the marketing and publicity, both of which are hard to do as a self-publisher. It kind of links in to number 3  above of course. A few of my - polite, not pushy - e-mails and letters have elicited zero response; but only in some quarters. Many other people have been nothing but interested, and some intrigued, and none more so than my fellow authors, and that now indispensable group in the book world, the venerable book bloggers. I am so grateful for their interest in this project, their offers of blog posts and interviews, their wonderful reviews on Goodreads, and the many encouraging messages of support I've received.

5: Saving the best to last... the autonomy is mind-blowing. In both a good and a bad way! I've lost a lot of sleep worrying about copyright, historical facts, grammar, punctuation... you name it. BUT... I got to pick my own cover designer. We worked together (which for me meant sending quite a detailed brief) resulting in a cover which is, I think, perfect for this book. I had the final say over every aspect of the writing... the book is very much "mine", and reads exactly as I want it to read (at least, as far as my limited talents could take it). I decided on the length of my initial print run. Tricky stuff, but a useful exercise. I even got to decide the price, both of the print and e-book.

I also decided not to plaster the book in quotes or endorsements. I wanted a clean, uncluttered look on the cover, and more importantly, I need it to stand on its own two feet. There is one concession. The cover announces I am the author of Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase. But that is all. No "Stunning!", no "Thrilling!", not even a "Compelling". This of course also meant I didn't need to badger authors for quotes; thereby cutting one task from my workload!

So, despite the hard work, the industry resistance, the hard work, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (and others) barring my book's entry into their prize, the hard work, the self-doubts, the hard work, the sleepless nights, the hard work... would I self-publish again*...?

A Life Between Us is published on 28 March 
in paperback and e-book. 

  * I will ask myself that question in 6 months time! (But Yes)

Friday, 17 February 2017

Sarah Jasmon

Continuing my series of blogs featuring home educating writers, I'm thrilled to welcome author Sarah Louise Jasmon to my blog today. Sarah is the author of The Summer of Secrets, published in 2015. Sarah lives on a canal boat in Manchester, and she home educated all three of her children. We had a chat about the writing-and-home-education-life...

Photo: Marc Melander

What made you decide to home educate your children?

I first heard something about it on Radio 4 when my first baby was a few months old. I thought it sounded like a great idea, but by the time she was of school age, we'd settled in Eastbourne and just went with the flow of applying to the local infant school. Her first school was lovely, treating them all as individuals, but then she moved to junior school. Not so good. This school had been, for a while, the largest junior school in Europe, with six classes in each year. It felt like a factory, squeezing out identical, uniformed children. After a couple of terms, we decided to travel for a while, so de-registered, and never seriously considered school again (my younger two never went). I can still remember being in France at the end of that first summer, looking at the piles of beautiful, brightly coloured shoes in one particular shop and thinking how the shoe shops in England would be full of regulation black. We bought Fuchsia a pair of pink, striped bowling shoes, laughing at how this meant she couldn't go back to school now, because they wouldn't let her wear her shoes. 

What's the best thing about home education? 

Being able to take time to explore and play and follow what each child is interested in at the right pace for them. Plus not having to start the day early. I also really appreciate the fact that we've managed to avoid the worst of peer pressure and the need for the latest whatever item. I think that, as a family, we're closer than most. 

And what's the worst thing?

Everyone has days when everything seems to be going wrong, don't they? When you're a home ed mum, though, you can't blame the school or the teacher: it's all down to you. There are times when it's incredibly challenging to hold your nerve and go with what you feel to be the right thing, especially if you have people doubting you. Both my mum and my mother in law have told me that they had times of being really worried by the idea of home ed, but that the evidence of how the kids were thriving made them realise that it was okay, that we were all doing really well. 

How and when do you find time to write your books?

I had a realisation when I had very small children that it was okay to put my ambitions to one side for a while, because there would be plenty of time to act on them at a later date. I actually started writing properly, however, when my marriage broke down. My youngest was still only six, but it turned out that it  hadn't really been the kids stopping me after all. I ended up with a couple of days a week to write when they were at their dad's, plus odd bits of daytime and evening in between. Now one daughter has left home, the next one is at college, and the youngest is taking his GCSEs. What I try to do is write whilst he's studying. We often end up in the Booth's cafe. It's a great place to work!

Have you included any home educated characters in any of your books?

The Dover children in The Summer of Secrets are home educated, though it's not a major part of the narrative.

What's the one thing you want people to know about home education that they may not already know?

Aside from 'yes, they do have a social life'? It's a LOT of fun. When we were finding out about the ancient Egyptians, we mummified a chicken. And you can make ping pong balls jump on the hot air from a  hairdryer, and make a glass disappear in oil. And that would just be a Monday morning!

How do/did you respond to the (dreaded and inevitable) question, "No school today?" 

Mostly with big smiles and a chorus of, 'We don't go to school!' Though  occasionally I'd pretend it was half term.  

Me and Sarah at a school (of all places!) doing a talk at Banbury Literature Festival in 2015

What are you working on right now?

Novel #2. Nearly there now...

Finally, what are you reading at the moment?

I'm reading Shirley Jackson's Dark Tales and One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis, and I'm listening to Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty.


Many thanks to Sarah for joining me today, it's been an absolute pleasure. 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Keris Stainton

Today I'd like to welcome author Keris Stainton to my blog. Keris is the author of several YA novels, including Counting Stars, Lily and the Christmas Wish, and Della Says:OMG! 

Keris is a fellow home educator, and I recently had the great pleasure of reading her e-book Happy Home Ed: More joy, together, every day. 

(Disclosure - I have a bit part in the book, talking about how my family approaches home education) 

Keris kindly agreed to have a chat with me... 

What made you decide to home educate your children? 

Harry was at school until Year 3 and we were mostly happy with it. But then he started wanting to learn stuff that they'd already moved on from at school. I thought it was a shame that when he was actually interested and engaged in something, he had to leave it behind. I thought at the time that full time home ed wasn't appropriate for us, so we tried Flexischool and loved it so much that we decided to give home ed a go. And we've never looked back. With Joe, we never even considered sending him to school.  

What's the best thing about home education?

The freedom. We can get up when we want, do (and wear) what we want. If it's raining or snowing we don't even have to leave the house. Also I love seeing the boys learning. 

...and what's the worst thing? 

I just asked Joe "What's the worst thing about home ed?" He said, without hesitation: "YOU." So the worst thing is probably that we sometimes get on each others nerves. But I think we still have fewer rows than we did over the school run or homework.

How and when do you find time to write your books?  

Ha, well my two are unschooled, so I can just leave them to get on with their stuff while I get on with mine. When it comes to things like editing, for which I need a bit more quiet and concentration, I usually go to a cafe at the weekend while they do something with their dad. 

Have you included any HE characters in any of your books?

Not yet! There's one in the pipeline though.

What's the one thing you want people to know about HE that they may not already know?

You don't have to be a teacher and you don't have to teach. Children are learning all the time.

How do you respond to the (dreaded and inevitable) question, "No school today?"

I used to worry about this before because I thought people would be rude and perhaps report us to the authorities. But I find that people are usually very interested. Which is annoying it itself, because I end up explaining what we do and why over and over. (This is a good thing, I know, but it does get a bit boring.) The boys used to stare at me when someone asked that question. Now Joe will usually say "We don't go to school..." and then Harry will say "We never learn anything!" just to wind me up. 

Finally, what are you reading right now? 

We've just started reading a proof of The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue. It's her first children's book and it's about a big, wild, home ed family. We're loving it so far.  


Many thanks to Keris for taking the time to talk about her home-education-and-writing life.  

Keris's website is at keris-stainton.com

She can also be found on Twitter @Keris, where she will often post pictures of Harry Styles!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ross Mountney

I'm honoured to be today's stop on writer Ross Mountney's blog tour. Ross is, like me, an author and a home educator (although Ross's kids are now grown up!), and it was fascinating to chat with her. She has written several books about home education, including A Home Education Notebook, A Funny Kind of Education, and her two picture books, Who's Not in School and The Wrong Adventure. Ross was also a regular contributor to the Education Otherwise newsletter, with her column The Diary of a Home Education Nobody.

Ross and I had a chat, and I asked her about her books, her writing, and her home educating life.

What made you decide to home educate your own children? 

The short answer; their increasing unhappiness and dread of learning after they started school when they’d been so interested in everything before. The longer answer is that I’d already taught in schools and witnessed first hand how children’s needs were neglected; I’d witnessed bright children failing and the fault laid wrongly at their door, children whose personality was such that the classroom didn’t work for them, and damaging relationships (some with the adults concerned) that can exist in a school climate. I also thought that education was more than box ticking, which it has become in the system. However, I put all this aside in consideration of the fact I might be wrong. Witnessing the decline of the girls’ happiness, health and capacity to learn persuaded me that there must be a better way. There is!

What is the single best thing about home educating?

The potential for unlimited learning within a happy and respectful environment that the individual can have charge of.

And what is the worst?

In the end, you have to let go of it and allow them to do it themselves, which they do. But this is a difficult aspect of parenting, even without home ed in the equation, that sneaks up on you before you’re ready!

A question I'm often asked: How on earth do you find the time to write?!

I was always a passionate writer – I guess I just like gabbing on! So I originally did it for recreation, snatching moments before the little ones were awake, borrowing time when my mum babysat (you can read about that in A Funny Kind of Education) and being disciplined with time, which I thought was a good example for the children. I also believed that it was important as a family to respect each others’ space and time and we talked about that a lot. 

Today in publishing there is a lot of talk about "diversity", yet there are very few books that feature home educated characters. Why do you think this is?

I don’t think that home education had really permeated into people’s consciousness as a serious way of educating before now. Where it has, it has been treated with both suspicion and, often, derision. People are a lot more open now, so time for change!

How difficult was it to write your picture books about Harry, the hero of Who's Not in School and The Wrong Adventure? For instance, were you conscious that the books should avoid "preachiness"? 

I’m so glad you bring ‘preachiness’ up as it suggests they’re not – big relief! In all of my books I was desperate to avoid that – there’s nothing I hate more. So it’s been a conscious part of my writing through all my books. Who’s Not In School came to me quite easily as I wanted to illustrate home ed family life and make up a story way of doing that that was more likely to be read. More importantly I also wanted kids to be able to read about a character that learnt the way they did. With The Wrong Adventure I wanted to show how every youngster has a natural desire to learn and that’s what leads Harry into trouble, not the desire to be naughty which some see it as. Memories of my two youngsters provided all the scenarios – although they’ll probably deny that!

The books are beautifully illustrated. Was it important to you that the illustrator of the Harry books should be a home educated person? Was that a deliberate decision or was James Robinson's work already known to you or Jane (your publisher)

We were so lucky to find James and his beautiful way with illustration. The publisher put out a shout for an illustrator and he responded – it was never a requirement that they should be a home educator themselves. Although this made their vision much closer to reality than it might otherwise have been. If you haven’t lived home ed, you really have no true picture of what it’s like. He did the job even better than we hoped.

Have you had any joy in getting your picture books into libraries? Libraries stock plenty of Starting School type of books... I wonder how open they are to a very different concept!?

The ones I’ve heard about have been open to the books. I’ve donated a couple and I know others have, and readers have requested them with some success. So here’s hoping the word gradually spreads.

Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 

At the moment I'm reading Grayson Perry's 'Playing to the Gallery'. I tend to read as much non-fiction as novels and find inspiring ideas about education buried in the most surprising places! His opening questions about what is art? - equally apply to education! Really made me think and prompted a future blog post on the question, as my reading often does.


Ross's books are fun and informative, and if you are a home educator, you're considering home education, or you are just interested in the idea, her books are a fantastic starting point. Do check out Ross's publisher Birds Nest Books for more information.

Ross's website can be found at Ross Mountney's Notebook

Big thanks to Ross for being my guest today!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

New year, old attitudes

Hope everybody had a relaxing break over Christmas. I ate and drank too much, but I did watch some TV, I read a great book, and I spent New Year's Eve watching my new DVD: Abigail's Party. How good is that?

So now I'm on a diet, and gearing up for my second novel's publication in March. This time last year I was on the verge of making the decision to self-publish. I remember my main worry was that it wouldn't be "real" publication. I no longer feel that way. Although in my darker moments the thought does rear its ugly head again. So what are these darker moments that cause me to doubt my decision?

Well, dreadful articles such as the Huffpost piece at Christmas time that managed to denigrate ALL self-published authors. Self-publishing is "an insult to the written word". Well, anybody with a brain cell knows that's nonsense, so it isn't the article itself that worries me: it's the fact that these articles are still being given space, the authors of such drivel are still being paid to write them (except this author wasn't paid, because rumour has it the Huffpost doesn't pay its writers). The joyless fact that too many people still appear to share this attitude is what worries me. Of course there are crappy, sloppy, laughable "insults to the written word" among self-published books. But exactly the same can be said of "traditionally" published books. Who hasn't read (and/or given up on) a book and wondered how on earth it got published? Traditionally published books aren't necessarily a guarantee of literary merit and we all know that. And a self-published book isn't necessarily crap. Please, this year, can we dispense with this false dichotomy?

"Yes, Beverley, there is such a thing as a good self-published book." 

Indie music and indie films are broadly accepted, loved and respected. And crucially, indie film makers and musicians are integrated into their respective industries. Why not indie books and authors? It can only be snobbery, and fear, and a failure across the book industry to embrace the exciting development that is indie publishing. Such resistance! And such a long way to go. But we indie authors will get there, because we can't fail. We've come so far, and there is no going back. Technology, Amazon, book bloggers and readers are all on our side. So are some bookshops and libraries. Even a few book prizes are tweaking their rules so as not to exclude indie authors. I think more will follow. It may take a while, but they will.

So, despite silly Huffpost articles, I'm excited for March, and I'm working my butt off (alas, it's a metaphor) behind the scenes on publicity and marketing. I'm also working on a third novel. How that one will be published, I don't know. But I do know I have a range of options, and that is exciting.

Happy New Year!