Tapestry – what I’ve learned

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

As you may know if you’ve been around this blog for a wee while, a few months ago I published Tapestry, my first collection of short stories. I decided to take that leap because I wanted to experience the self-publishing process and I’m grateful that many of you came along for the ride. I’ve been reflecting on the experience and thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned.

  1. It’s fun to work with other people

Before publishing Tapestry, in my writing world I’d only ever worked by myself, but to get the stories ready to face the world I needed to have them professionally edited and to have a cover designed. Working with editor John Hudspith and cover designer Berni Stevens were two of my favourite parts of the process. You can find out more about what I had to say about this here.

  1. People can be overwhelmingly encouraging and supportive

Both online and in real life, people have been so kind about Tapestry. So far it’s had 5 star reviews, and I’ve had lovely texts and emails too. Fundamentally people want to be kind and generous and it’s humbling to get a direct reminder of this.

  1. Formatting is not as difficult as you think

Not when you have Self-Printed – the sane person’s guide to self-publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard by your side it’s not. I thought formatting would be a nightmare, because I have been known to get into a pickle even just with headers and footers in my time (Noooo, I said I DON’T want to “link to previous”, what are you DOING?????) but it was really easy.

  1. Amazon is big. Tapestry and I are very, very little.

I knew this anyway, but it’s extremely true and difficult to know how to counter it. Writing the stories and all the work to get the book onto Amazon are the easy bits. Getting it noticed is hard. Maybe you could tell all your friends? Or your walls, in case they do have ears. Or teach your dog to read? I don’t know.

I have lots to learn about marketing. Still, we could be onto something if your dog would just put in the effort. 😉

  1. I would like to do it again

I would like an agent and traditional publisher for my books. It’s just the way I feel. But I’d also like to repeat my self-publishing experience, so watch this space!

Do you have any marketing tips you could give me? Can your dog read? I’d love to know, so please get in touch either here or on twitter!

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Gadding about gabbing

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far. Bit chilly, is it not?

It’s just over three months since I published Tapestry and since then I’ve been visiting some online buddies to talk about it. If you haven’t already seen the posts, I thought you might like to? 🙂

In October I visited the Write Romantics to talk about how much I love both the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and the online writing community. You can find out more about what I had to say to my WR buddies here.

I’m a fan of Rhoda Baxter’s Inheritance Books blog and was so pleased to be able to jump up and down on kick back on the Inheritance Books sofa in December. If you’d like to know which book I inherited from my mum and which book I’d want to leave my children, you can find the answers here.

When I first started my own blog about 3 ½ years ago I met Natalie Trice, blogger at Just Because I Love. I have enjoyed keeping up with Nat’s world since then and was thrilled to be interviewed in her Author Spotlight. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on writing, books and what makes me feel like a pea on a mountain, you can do so here.

Thank you to everyone who has had me on their blog – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being out and about in the blogosphere!

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Random facts and plenty of them

Hey there,

Hope you are well today. I saw this tag on the lovely Portobellobookblog – Thanks, Joanne! I love random fact posts, so I thought I’d just join right in. 🙂

What is your middle name? 

Elizabeth.

What is your favourite drink?

Sauvignon Blanc or Caramel macchiato

What is your favourite song at the moment?

When He Sees Me by Sara Bareilles. It’s from the Soundtrack to the musical Waitress.

What is your favourite food?

Baked salmon with tomato puree and cayenne pepper, rice and broccoli.

Or a burger with blue cheese. 😉

What is the last thing you bought?

I think it was Molecule 01 perfume.

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Favourite book of all time?

This is so hard to answer, but I’ll try.

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Although I loved reading as a child, this was the first book on the high school syllabus that resonated with me. I spoke about this when I visited Rhoda Baxter’s blog to take part in her fab Inheritance Books slot.

Addition – Toni Jordan

Even though I had wanted to write since I was a child, it was while reading this book that I decided I was definitely going to write books myself. I enjoyed it so much I thought, I want to be able to do this.

11/22/63 – Stephen King

Blimmin’ good book, this.

Favourite Colour?

Green, most shades until it heads towards yellow.

Do you have any pets?

No, sadly not. I’m allergic to most household animals. We used to have budgies, though. Budgies are cool. They really are.

Favourite Perfume?

At the moment, a blend of French Lime Blossom and English Pear and Freesia by Jo Malone.

2015-05-04 17.29.50

Favourite holiday?

In 2000 Hobs and I went to the States for 16 days and visited New York, Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I love the US and would go back in a heartbeat. I’d love to tour it in a motorhome for a year – that’s on the bucket list.

Are you married?

Yes. Hobs and I met at University. We got married in 1997 and chose our wedding date to coincide with my Grandad’s 93rd birthday. Everyone at the wedding signed a massive card for Grandad which, now that he is no longer with us, is a keepsake we have at home here.

Have you ever been out the country? If so, how many times?

Um…Canada twice, USA twice, Lanzarote, Majorca, Germany, Italy, mainland Spain and Hungary so that makes ten, I think.

Do you speak any other language?

I’m very embarrassingly rusty, but languages were my “thing” at school. I did French, Spanish and Italian. My brain doesn’t work fast enough for me to speak any of them well, but I could probably pick up reading them again OK.

How many siblings do you have?

None.

What is your favourite store?

Blimey. I’ve been thinking about this for a while but I’ve no idea. It’s a while since I’ve browsed anywhere as I’m usually on a clock when shopping. I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

Favourite restaurant?

We’ve forgotten how to go to restaurants, really. We still go to places our guys like mainly – Pizza Hut, TGI, that sort of thing.

When was the last time you cried?

I mist up a lot, mainly at music and books, sometimes the TV, but I’m not a big boo-hooer in any circumstance really. My nose goes instantly red, so there would never be any scope to hide it, so I try not to.

Favourite Blog?

Ooh, good question. There are so many. In fact, I’m going to cheat a bit and pretend this question said Favourite Vlog so that I can narrow it down better. I loved watching these vloggers variations on “Vlogmas” over Christmas.

Pretty Shiny Sparkly

Ms Goldgirl

Lily Pebbles

The Michalaks

Favourite Movie?

Hmm, another tricky one. I don’t watch a lot of films, but I loved the ones we watched when our guys were smaller like Ice Age, Cars and Monsters inc. I like a good romcom too, so probably Love, Actually or The Holiday.

Favourite TV show?

Coronation Street.

PC or Mac?

PC

What phone do you have?

Iphone 6. Permanently attached to it. Love love love.

What’s your favourite pastime? 

Reading, falling down the rabbit hole that is YouTube (to watch the folks I mentioned above).

Can you cook?

Yes, I’m nothing spectacular but I can cook well enough. I can’t bake, though, everything comes out a bit wrong.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

I have pierced ears, but that’s all. Periodically I toy with the idea of a tattoo. I’d like a little witch on my shoulder.

 

So that’s it! I’d love to know what you would say to these questions! If you join in the tag, please let me know so I can check out your posts.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Merry Christmas everybody

Hey there,

Hope you’re well today.

Continuing with the Christmas countdown, I thought I’d re-post the first short story I allowed to see the light of day on my blog! I was so nervous about posting this originally and wouldn’t have believed that a couple of years later I’d have a whole collection out.

Thank you, online buddies, for all your support and encouragement this year both with Tapestry and just generally in social media land. I’ll see you again on Friday with my 2015 favourites but, until then…

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY ©Elle Turner 2013

I hope you like it and thank you so much for reading.

Much love

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Five for Friday – Christmas reads 2015

Hey there,

Happy Friday!

I’ve been homing in on my Christmas reads, so in this year’s final Five for Friday, here they are:

The Art of Christmas – Jane Lovering

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage – Talli Roland

Cora’s Christmas kiss – Alison May

How to stuff up Christmas – Rosie Blake

One hundred Christmas proposals – Holly Martin

What are you reading this December? I’d love to know so please get in touch to tell me either here or on twitter!

Have a great weekend.

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Me – mushy and amazed

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

As you may know, at the end of September I published Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories. It was my first foray into the world of self-publishing and my first major effort to get my fiction out into the world. I have been overwhelmed with the support I’ve received, both online and in real life, so I wanted to tell you some of the things that have happened over the past couple of months.

This is going to be a bit of an uncharacteristically mushy post, so look away if mushiness upsets you. I think I will. 😉

Not only did people take the trouble to buy Tapestry, they read it (I wasn’t fully prepared for this, which I know sounds ridiculous) and then they told me what they thought. I have been very touched by the reviews and comments and definitely feel it was worth taking the plunge.

Thank you so much, blog buddies, for your contribution to my Tapestry-happiness (shall we call it Tappiness? No? OK).

This was COMPLETELY unexpected, but some of my friends in real life actually gave me presents to celebrate Tapestry’s release. How kind is that? I was at pains to let people know that I didn’t want them to feel pressured to buy the book, so it never even crossed my mind that anyone would give me anything else. I mean, that’s not necessary, is it? They know me well, though, because notebooks and fizz were their presents of choice!

IMG_1507 IMG_1510 IMG_1544

I’m really lucky with my friends, they got on board without exception and made the whole nerve wracking process much easier than it could have been. My family near and far have been amazing too. I’ve kept a lovely answerphone message from Hobs’ mum and I’ve been FW emails and texts from friends and friends of friends. A friend of my mum’s even took the trouble to write me a letter. A real letter. How lovely is that?

And Tapestry has been borrowed too under the Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Owners Lending Library thingy (one of these is right). Borrowed. From a library. Like a real writer’s book.

If you’re still with me, thank you! A couple of final things – to mark the occasion, my Hobs got me a lovely Pandora charm for my bracelet. I chose it because it kind of looks like the heart on the Tapestry cover, don’t you think?

IMG_1516

I’d like the final word to go to my Twin 1, though. Tapestry came out on the Tuesday. On the Saturday I said, ‘Let’s go to Starbucks and celebrate.’ His response?

‘Milking this a bit are you not, Mum?’

I’ll take my leave now and you can decide.

Much love and gratitude,

Elle. 🙂 xx

ps: I still think #Tappiness could catch on, you know.

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

How will your weekend go?

Hey there,

Happy Friday!

Today is a very exciting day. It’s debut novel publication day for the very lovely Jan Brigden from award-winning writing group The Romaniacs. Jan’s been one of my online buddies for years and I was so happy to finally meet her in person earlier this year at the Romantic Novelists’ Association summer conference. 🙂

Jan’s novel As Weekends Go is published today by Choc Lit following her success earlier this year when she won their search for a star competition. I’ve been looking forward to reading As Weekends Go for AGES and now I finally can. So excited. 🙂 🙂

As Weekends go

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?
When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

As Weekends Go is available here. Sounds a good ‘un, doesn’t it? Gazillions of congratulations, Jan, and I wish you EVERY success! xx

I know how I’m spending my weekend, with my nose in a book, as it goes.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

No more broken hearts?

Hey there,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are well today.

As I *might* have mentioned, a few weeks ago I published Tapestry, my collection of twelve short stories. I’m not going to go on about it (much), but I do have a question for you…

One of the stories, Not Everybody Hurts, is about Nilbreaks, a fictional fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. If you’ve lost the love of your life, that’s no problem, Nilbreaks will stop the pain. If you’re scared of being hurt, it won’t happen. Nilbreaks will make sure your heart is protected.

That sounds OK, doesn’t it?

Violet doesn’t think so.  She isn’t happy, but she won’t touch the pills. The pills may stop feelings of pain, it’s true, but to do so it appears they stop feelings entirely. Violet looks at her friends and colleagues and fears that no one actually cares about anyone anymore. No one really looks at anyone or is prepared to make a connection. No one is capable of feeling love.

Violet would even go so far as to say Nilbreaks are damaging the structure of society.

So today’s (very tongue in cheek) question is:

Do you agree with Violet? I’d love to know!

 

And, of course, if you’d like to know how Violet gets on trying to convince her friends that she’s right, you can find out in Tapestry. 😉

Much love,

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

In light and shade with Elle Turner

So pleased to be talking Tapestry with the lovely Write Romantics…

thewriteromantics

Hidden FaceOur guest on the blog today is friend of the Write Romantics, Elle Turner, telling us how she’s got this self-publishing lark all sewn up. Over to the fabulous Elle…

Hey there lovely Write Romantics! Thank you so much for having me back on the blog. I can’t believe two years have passed already since I was last here. It’s been great to follow your individual journeys over the period – you’ve all done tremendously well.

I re-read my 2013 interview with you guys before writing this post and one of the things I said was that I was mulling over the idea of self-publishing a short story collection. Well, at some point I must have stopped mulling and taken some action because I published Tapestry, my first collection of short stories, in September!

One of the things that struck me when I re-read the interview was how apprehensive I…

View original post 616 more words

It is where you start and where you finish

Hey there,

Blog buddies! Can I ask you a question about books?

Great! Thanks.

It’s about prologues and epilogues and, really, it’s just this:

Prologues and epilogues – yes or no?

I’ve heard and read much criticism, particularly of prologues – that they are forgotten by the time they become important to the story, that they jar with the first chapter because the reader is whipped from one thing to something completely unrelated or that they are used as an information dump to support a weak beginning. Similarly, epilogues are criticised for being a way to tie up loose ends that the writer wasn’t able to do in the main body of the story or are used because the writer doesn’t know how to stop.

It sounds, then, like they don’t have much going for them. But that’s not the fault of prologues or epilogues, just prologues or epilogues that are not used well, and that’s not the same thing.

The reason I ask is that I don’t have anything against them. I would go so far as to say I actually like them.  Prologues can add a bit of intrigue and, if well done, you can see the point of them emerging as you go along. Or they can be useful for orientation. In the case of epilogues, I like to get a bit of information about what happens “after”. If I have a gripe about a book, one of the things it might be is that it finished too abruptly. I appreciate this is in an attempt to “finish when the story’s over” which is the right thing to do but, sometimes, I feel like someone took my plate away before I finished the last mouthful of my lunch.

This could be debated at some length, I know, but I was really just wondering:

Prologues and epilogues – yes or no? What say you?

Thanks!

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.