Friday, 25 September 2009

I posted on another blog somewhere - I can't remember where - that the Summer is over. So here's a picture of Cut Short in the Summer before I write any more.



It's September and the evenings are drawing in, here in the UK. A few weeks ago it was light until after ten, now the sun has set by seven thirty. The evenings have vanished almost overnight. The weather hasn't yet made up its mind. One day it almost seems to be winter, reminding me that I'll soon be scraping the ice off my windscreen in the mornings. The next day is sunny, reminiscent of Summer. In the UK you don't know from one day to the next what the weather is going to be like: hot or cold? wet or dry?

My publisher has produced a new poster : LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFT? What could be better than a book personally inscribed and signed by bestselling popular author Leigh Russell In bookshops, several people have already bought copies of Cut Short for Christmas presents. Christmas? I'm still clinging on to memories of Summer.

It feels like a few weeks since Cut Short was published, and now the MS for Road Closed is with the publisher. I've seen design ideas for the jacket. I'll know when a decision has been made because I'll see the book cover on my publisher's website. You might see it before I do, if you happen to look at my publisher's website first. When it's finalised, I'll post a copy here and see what you think of it.

The time has flown by so fast. I still can't believe I'm a published author. It has been a life changing experience, changing not only my lifestyle, but who I am, how others perceive me, and how I see myself.

Some authors say they want to feel their books have changed other people's lives. I don't believe for one second that my crime thrillers are going to have that effect on anyone. I hope my books engage and entertain; that's the most I would aspire to. But I would like to think that my experience might change other people's feelings about their own lives. Because if I can reinvent my identity in my fifties, anyone can do so at any age.

My advice for success in becoming who you would like to be? Work hard, be lucky and be brave. The last is perhaps the most important, and the most difficult. More difficult even than being lucky? Well, perhaps.

I hope that made sense. I'm not very good at giving advice.

What's your advice?

32 comments:

Barry J. Northern said...

Bravery -- and perseverance -- are more important than being lucky because only the brave will carry on if they are continuously unlucky, and the worst thing you can do as a writer is give up.

Debs said...

You deserve to do so well. You work hard and your book is great.

TOM FOOLERY said...

Find time to smile :-) TFx

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Barry - sometimes you need to be brave just to keep going through the day - that sounds a bit weary and depressed doesn't it? There seems to be so much bureaucracy and chores and hassle to plough through every day . . . thank goodness for fiction!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Debs. I certainly work hard and I'm really pleased you enjoyed Cut Short. I can't wait to hear what you think of the cover for Road Closed. As soon as I have the final version, I'll post it here.

Leigh Russell said...

Tom Foolery :) You're so right!

Leigh Russell said...

ps I will come over to your blogs and say hello, Barry, Debs and Tom, but right now I must stop procrastinating and do some writing!!

Charles Gramlich said...

It's been an exciting time eh?

Star said...

What I'd like to know is 'How many times did you submit your work to a publisher before it was accepted?'I would love to be published and I am very jealous (in a nice way) that you are already. I'm lazy about finding out how to do it and also scared of being rejected. Congratulations to you in your success! :)

Blessings, Star

Leigh Russell said...

The only trouble with exciting times, Charles, is that I don't want it to end! Still, I'm off to Havant for the Literary Festival tomorrow, so that should be exciting. I really love writing and everything to do with being an author. It's such fun!

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Star - I am asked that question quite often, so will post about it next week, I promise, with as much practical advice as I can offer. Not enough time to do it now (sorry)
In the meantime, thank you for the enquiry.

Petty Witter said...

Foe someone who claims to be not very good at giving advice, you did well - thanks for those words of wisdom.

Mel said...

Loved this post, really captures the spirit of the seasons at the moment, must confess I have begun some Christmas shopping ,well done on your hard earned success, an inspiration to the rest of us still struggling!

Leigh Russell said...

'words of wisdom' - ! Thank you, Petty Witter. So much in life is a challenge, isn't it? Sometimes it takes courage just to keep going, and then something wonderful happens and it all seems worthwhile again.

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Mel. I seem to be struggling evey day . . . success is when you find a struggle you enjoy.

Barbara Martin said...

Leigh, your advice is perfect.

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, Barbara - 'be lucky' is excellent advice, isn't it? Thinking about it, it's not as daft as it sounds. It's easy to overlook the luck that comes our way.

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, Barbara - 'be lucky' is excellent advice, isn't it? Thinking about it, it's not as daft as it sounds. It's easy to overlook the luck that comes our way.

BernardL said...

I agree with you about writing to change other's lives. Writing fiction to entertain and provoke thought are more logical goals. Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' is the only book I've ever read that changed my entire outlook on life. I wish you continued success. :)

Leigh Russell said...

I'm not sure I've read a book that changed my entire outlook on life, Bernard. Several books have influenced me, especially when I was in my late teens and going through the trauma of learning to cope in the grown up world. I'm talking about the usual horrible pangs of growing up. My teenage years were no more traumatic than anyone else's, and probably far easier than most.

Tam said...

Just popped in to say Cut Short is now on my TBR pile :-)

fizzycat said...

Great advice, hope the second book will do well too.
I found the Simon's cat video from reading an online cat based forum, then on youtube. I can recommend another I have seen where the man is asleep and the cat frantically tries to wake him, very funny.
A few friends, having seen your online reading of Cut Short via facebook, are interested in reading a copy, one wanted more 'live' online.I have promised a present to one and sent another to Amazon. Normally I will quite happily allow a book to be borrowed. Not so,my collectable first edition with online signing, much too precious!

Aggie said...

Good for you. I hope it has been an enriching experience for you ... well worth your bravery. We look forward to more ... no pressure then. Lol!

Leigh Russell said...

Thank you for letting me know, Tam. Good to hear from you. Please let me know what you think of Cut Short (maybe even put a little review on amazon, if you enjoy it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

Leigh Russell said...

That's really kind of you, fizzycat. Thank you so much for your support. I was feeling a bit fed up (sales on amazon plummeting for a couple of days). Reading the comments on my blog have really cheered me up.
I'm going to have a look for Simon's cat!

Leigh Russell said...

Overall it has been a brilliant experience, Aggie, and really exciting. Book 2, Road Closed, is already with my publisher. I'm just waiting to hear back . . .

Claire said...

thank you for commenting on my blog - it gave me a mini brain spasm when i read that you were a published author. Your blog is amazing and i look forward to asking my library to order your book for me.

Petty Witter said...

Off topic I know, forgive me for that, but how did your literary festival go?

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Claire - a brain spasm!? Please come back and let me know what you think of Cut Short when you've read it.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Petty Witter - the festival went very well, thank you. I must put up a post about it. Thank you for asking.

Pat said...

I agree with Barry - totally.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Pat - I agree too, so the comments on this post have come neatly full circle and we're back where we started. Thank you. I guess I'd better write a new post.