Thursday, 13 May 2010

Personal Contact vs Technology

ROAD CLOSED is being printed & CUT SHORT is having its third reprint in June. I can't believe it!
I have SO MUCH to say about ROAD CLOSED - the last minute panics and alarms, my surprising feelings about it, the last minute photo taken in a rush before I'd had my morning coffee (oh, the nightmare of having my photograph taken)... but that will have to wait for another post.

Today I want to share some of my recent personal experiences. Those of you who follow my blog know that I enjoy getting out and about meeting booklovers. I believe it's important for authors to spend meeting their readers. I place a premium on face to face meeting with people. So much of our modern lives seems to be spent gazing at screens, reading text and email or watching television, rather than communicating with real people, with eye to eye contact, listening to live voices.

Last week I was invited to talk to Verulam Writers Circle, a lively and stimulating group of writers, many of them successful in their own right. It was a very enjoyable evening. Here's a photo taken on the evening. One of the members has posted on his blog about my visit http://blog.kjbennett.co.uk/#post30

Kevin writes: "Reinventing yourself at the age of 55 might be a dream to so many, but for Leigh Russell it became a reality. By day, Leigh is a mild-mannered secondary school English teacher, but by night she miraculously transforms into a bestselling crime novelist.
Wednesday 5 May 2010 saw Leigh speaking at the
Verulam Writers’ Circle meeting in St Albans, covering topics such as how she managed the transformation and how she markets her work. It was while walking in her local park one day that Leigh saw a man walking past a set of bushes. Realising she was the only person around, Leigh had one of those ‘what if’ moments: ‘What if I walked around the corner behind those bushes, and found a body?’
Many people have these flashes, but not many transform them into life changing moments. Leigh spent the next few weeks writing a story with no particular aim of publication, but when she completed it she realised it was actually quite good. Using the
Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook as a guide, Leigh selected three publishers and posted off her manuscript. With two weeks – yes, TWO WEEKS – she received a call from No Exit Press and the rest, as they say, is history.
Leigh’s debut novel, Cut Short, soon sold out and is about to commence its third reprint. Her second novel, Road Closed, is due for release in June.
Leigh is a regular blogger, an avid signer of books (her own), and a great speaker
."

There are times, of course, when technology allows personal contact that couldn't otherwise take place. For example, a reader in the US has just sent me a photo of CUT SHORT in Tennessee. Here it is.
Next week I will post about the publication of ROAD CLOSED... perhaps with a brief extract to whet your appetite...!

19 comments:

Debs said...

I can't wait to read Road Closed.

Pat said...

Fifty five must be the new forty. I think you are an excellent template for how a writer of books should comport herself as far as getting out there and being available to readers et al.
I marvel at your stamina and feel you have earned every ounce of your success. You may well be accused of giving writers a good name;)

Leigh Russell said...

Debs - I can't believe I'm so excited about my second book, having 'been here before'. I'm going to post about how it feels next week but wanted to post about my visit to Verulam Writers who were so welcoming.
I'm quite surprised by myself. After all, it's not as if I'm a child... well, not exactly...

Leigh Russell said...

What a LOVELY thing to say, Pat. That's really a comment to treasure. Thank you!

Undershaw Admin said...

Thank you Leigh very much for the signed copy of 'Cut Short' donated to help save Undershaw.

I wish you well with you second book 'Road Closed' which I am sure will be equally successful.

Leigh Russell said...

My pleasure, Undershaw Admin.

Star said...

You life is very full at the moment Leigh. Is the money coming in fast and furious? Will you give up your teaching job, do you think?
Blessings, Star

DJ Kirkby said...

I refuse to believe you are 55! Did I read that in the wrong context?

Ian Cundell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian Cundell said...

Your stress at a pic? What about me? I ruined a perfectly good camera.

Seriously, though, thanks for the kind words.

(One small point of pedantry: it is Verulam Writers' Circle (not group))

Clarissa Draper said...

I plan to read both of your novels as soon as I can. But, would love to interview you on my blog. I will make up some questions and send them to you by email. That way you can answer them at your leisure.

CD

Val said...

You life is busy, rich, and full.

Meeting an author in 'real life' is always so much more gratifying.

Don't forget to get some private time and relaxing time in!

HelenMHunt said...

I'm also very excited about Road Closed and can't wait to read it.

Leigh Russell said...

Sorry sorry - been very busy and have neglected my visitors. Not very hospitable of me...
Star - Money? I'm an author, not a celebrity, banker or footballer... so no, not a lot of money, I'm afraid. Once my 5th book is out, I hope to see some substantial financial reward, but it's a long road ahead... And I'm loving every minute of it! Poor but happy.

Leigh Russell said...

djkirkby - thank you. Yes, I'm 55. I don't always feel it - sometimes I feel about 75... and probably look about 80...

Leigh Russell said...

I'm so sorry, Ian. Of course, I know it's VERULAM WRITERS CIRCLE - I even think of you as VWC which couldn't end in Group, could it? Genuine apologies for the mistake and thank you very much for pointing it out. Now corrected.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Clarissa Draper, thank you very much. Please feel free to email me your questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Val - I'd like to say, "it's always better to meet real people" but as an author of crime fiction, some of my characters are better met on the page...

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Helen - I'm about to tackle the interview questions!! Thank you so much for sharing my excitement at the imminent launch of ROAD CLOSED. I hope you enjoy it!