Happy Anniversary Tapestry!

Hey there,

Hope you are well today.

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I published Tapestry! It made it’s way into the world on 29 September 2015 and has been rolling about like a pea on the Amazon mountain ever since.

I’ve been thinking about how nervous I was last year at this time. I’ve been re-reading comments and reviews and I’m SO GRATEFUL for the kind words and support both Tapestry and I have received. Although I know I should have been more proactive on Tapestry’s behalf over the past 12 months, the experience of having it out in the world and how it’s been treated has heartened me and helped me with other ventures this year.

When I was having wobbles about launching my business, Emerald and Lime, opinions of Tapestry from both on and offline allowed me to believe I was capable of something worth doing. Thank you, therefore, to everyone who read, tweeted, commented, liked, reviewed, welcomed me to guest post on their blog, wrote to me and spoke to me about Tapestry. Y’all have made my year. 🙂

In my new efforts to be proactive in a marketing-y kind of way – please tell all your friends about Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories about the complexities of life and love.

You can tell people you don’t like too, if you want to.

Oh, and it’s at the new price of 99p…

Hmm…

*pencils in to come up with new marketing strategy*

Anyway, THANK YOU again. Here’s to the next 12 months…

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.

Tapestry – how it all began

At the end of September, it’s the first anniversary of when I published Tapestry. How has it been nearly a year already?

Tapestry is a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. This post from my blog archives first appeared on 8th September 2015 and explains how it all began…

Hey there,

I hope your day is going well so far.

Last week I posted that my short story collection, Tapestry, will be making its way into the world towards the end of September. (Eeep!) I made the decision to take the plunge just over a year ago. This is how it all began…

I first started to read short stories when I had my twins and found reading a whole book in any reasonable timescale went out the window. (A few pages every three weeks does not help you keep tabs on the plot, does it?) When I started to write seriously, it seemed natural to try short stories first. It seems natural too, therefore, that my first foray into self-publishing is of a collection of short stories. (Did I say eeep already?)

I decided that, for the collection, I wanted to write stories about love – love in different guises, whether romantic love, familial love or obsessive love. I found it was an opportunity for me, in some stories, to explore the darker sides of the emotion. By and large my novels are “hopeful ever after”. It was very freeing to take an “anything goes” approach (plot-wise) in my stories and interesting to explore how people react in more difficult situations.

When I started writing the stories, I wrote more than I knew I would use for the collection so I could see which ones sat together best. I’d previously completed the London School of Journalism’s short story writing course by distance learning, so I’d had some positive feedback about my stories and writing style in this medium. A couple of the stories I produced for the course are actually included in the collection.

I’ve chosen twelve stories, a mix of happy and less happy tales. Some of the characters appear in more than one story – I wanted to see what happened to them before or after their first story in the collection. I hope, if you read it, you find you wanted that too!

So, I had my stories and that’s all very well, but it was only the first step in the process. Cue the search for an editor, someone I’d never worked with before. What if it turned out that my stories weren’t good enough to see the light of day when a professional editor looked at them?

If you’d like to know how I went about finding an editor and my experience of the editing process, I’ll be posting that next week, so please come back and join me!

How do you feel about short stories compared to novels? If you have children, did you manage to read novels when they were small? If so, HOW?

I’d love to hear from you, so if you’d like to comment, please do so.

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.

 

 

Tapestry – promo follow up

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far. 🙂

A few weeks ago I did my first free promotion of Tapestry and was quite excited about it. I did it because I wanted to see what would happen, if anything, and I also wanted to do it to celebrate Mother’s day.

When I was little my mum said she wanted to have a book dedicated to her. (She also said wanted a trip on the Orient Express and a rose named after her. I know what you’re thinking – demanding much? 😉 ) Anyway, I never forgot about the book dedication and when I published Tapestry it was “For Mum”. It made sense, then, that my free promotion would be over Mother’s day weekend in the UK which, this year, was from 4-6 March.

I’d like to claim it was stellar planning and strategic marketing on my part that, as the promotion period began, two blogging colleagues posted guest posts I’d written for their blogs. It was, however, solely down to kind accommodation on the part of my blog hosts, Hayley and Elle. On 4 March I appeared on Rather too fond of Books talking about the books that have influenced my life and on Chick Lit Uncovered talking about patience, rejection and perseverance. These posts, as well as the one on my own blog, made for quite the advance on social media. (Sorry if my ugly mug appeared in your timelines more times than you could say, ‘Good grief not her again.’)

My hope from the promo period was that I would be able to spread the Tapestry word and hopefully get some more reviews. I feel the first part has happened (there were certainly many more downloads than any other three day period has seen!), I’ve had a couple more reviews and I guess time will tell if more will follow. I’ve not made any secret of the fact that I’ve found marketing Tapestry trickier than writing it and publishing it put together. In fact, the only thing it’s not been trickier than is finding out where the leak is in my tumble dryer…

The free period aside, though, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago some other guest posts and Q&As I’ve been involved in as part of Tapestry’s promo. I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of spreading the word because I’ve made connections with some really kind and generous people who are now definitely new online buddies. Any Tapestry downloads as a by-product are a bonus.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve put together a page of the guest posts. It’s called “out and about” and you can find it here.

Do you have any promo tips? If so,  I’d love to hear them so please get in touch either here or on twitter!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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.

 

 

More gadding about gabbing

Hey there,

Hope you’re well today.

I’ve been out and about again in the blogosphere visiting online buddies to talk about books, writing and Tapestry, my collection of short stories. There’s a wee roundup of the posts below. I love doing guest posts and Q&As, so I’m very grateful to all the lovely blog buddies who have hosted me over the past few weeks and months – thank you so much!

Lovely author Jennifer Joyce asked me a bit about Tapestry, the inspiration behind it and why I want to be a writer. If you’d like to know what I said, you can find out here.

I’ve been telling Sarah from By the letter Book Reviews all about my highs and lows of self-publishing. I’m happy to say that there haven’t really been any lows so far, but plenty of highs! You can read about them here.

I’ve been chatting to Hayley from Rather too Fond of Books about the books that have influenced my life. You can find out what I have to say about the Famous Five, the Abbey Girls series, A Woman of Substance, Fahrenheit 451 and Addition here.

And lovely Elle (nice name, don’t you think? 😉 ) from Chick Lit Uncovered listened to me rambling on about Patience, Rejection and Perseverance. If you’d like to hear all about me being patient, rejected and persevering, you can do so here!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Tapestry

Hey there,

Happy Tuesday! Hope you are well today.

This is a big day for me! It’s over a year since I started seriously considering self-publishing a collection of short stories and today, it’s happening. Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love, is available now.

TAPESTRY

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

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

Available now. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Thank you so very much to everyone who has supported and encouraged me about Tapestry’s release. You’ve been lovely, joining in my excitement over the past few weeks and helping to spread the word. I have the best blog buddies. 🙂

Much love,

Elle xx

Tapestry – the stories:

Never-ending

Imogen is unhappy in her brief marriage. She feels guilty because there is no “acceptable” reason to leave her husband, but she still wants to go. One day when Neil leaves for work she resolves to make her decision once and for all. Can she break free or are the ties of her marriage too strong?

Crush

Gemma’s love for Nicky is unrequited, but everything she does, she does with him in mind. Her feelings for him have ruled her life for years, any happiness she feels is short-lived because she recognises and is ashamed of her predicament. What will it mean for Gemma when Nicky finds out how strongly she feels?

The Letter

Maggie’s life collapsed when her daughter, Mia, was sent to prison. Her marriage crumbled under the strain, she was unable to face Mia or deal with her guilt. But when she receives a letter from Mia explaining she is due for parole, Maggie cannot hide from her daughter any longer.

Fifty pence for the first step

Gemma turns to her boss, Andrew, for advice when she needs direction. Despite much soul-searching she finds that, sometimes, the most insignificant event can be the catalyst for positive action.

Never Let Go

Andrew may have given Gemma good advice, but he is unable to recognise the obsessive love his ex, Leanna, feels for him. Leanna is determined to get Andrew back from his new girlfriend, Merin, but what lengths will she go to?

Not Everybody hurts

Nilbreaks is a fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. Violet despairs that, as a result of taking the pill, no one actually cares about anyone anymore. She resolves to get Nilbreaks taken off the market but meets resistance from her friends and colleagues.

Again

After the end of her marriage, Freya finds love unexpectedly with Aidan and feels her life has begun anew. Everything is perfect until Aidan’s ex-girlfriend, Melody, returns to his life leaving Freya’s future uncertain. Again.

I hope you get your rabbit

A teenage mother makes a heart-breaking decision about her new born baby. This is her opportunity to tell him why.

Meeting Eric

After years of waiting, Kate nervously prepares for the day she will finally meet Eric.

Lost

Gerry is the love of Chrissie’s life, but they didn’t stay together. She thinks of him a lot, her past is always in her present and she expects it to stay that way. That is until her friend turns up with news of Gerry. What happens to the future when your past isn’t there anymore?

Living Without

Claudia starts to become her own person after years of living in her parents’, then husband’s and children’s shadows. She has her own flat; her professional life is going well, but is her newfound independence all that she expected it to be?

The Beginning

No matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the memory of what love can be like, especially what it’s like in the beginning.

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