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...!