By now many of you will be aware that my second novel, After Black, is out there with Amazon available to read. Sorry if you’ve had any overload! Today is its designated ‘birthday’ and a few paperback author copies are in the post to me. It has been a strange couple of weeks for me doing so much on the computer, and I’m now ready for a wee rest from staring at a computer screen, working on images, and copying and pasting lots of URLs. Thank goodness for this blog post being the last communication for the weekend, and, saving the very best until last, I get to talk to you! This blog is my favourite online place to be, and that is down to the support from all of you – and I do thank ALL of you!
But over to some vital After Black promotion:
Here’s the new front cover:
Next up is a quote from the book and the book description:
Janet visualised hurling Marian Johnson, shrunken to the size of a doll, right through that hole in the wall, coming to rest at the bottom of an abyss with a thud and a whimper, never to be seen again.
‘Recently widowed Janet is a dark and embittered woman with a troubled past. Determined to throw off memories of her life with deceased husband, Frank, in the new year of 1990, she returns to her beloved job within the soft furnishing department of Masons retail store, to forge a new life for herself safe behind the mask of customer service.
But Janet’s newfound happiness is soon threatened by a feisty young co-worker in the form of Marian whom she loathes. Sparks fly between the two women and they are forced to go head to head for a management position to gain the upper hand. When a triumphant Janet wins, their tempestuous relationship intensifies, which ultimately forces Janet to confront her own past and the death of her husband. She soon needs to recruit family and friends to help resolve a painful decision she made in her youth which shadowed the whole of her married life, as well as keep herself out of prison!
As she fears losing control, her antagonistic relationship with Marian escalates and proves to be more challenging than Janet could ever imagine. Will Janet be able to face her own demons? And what will her future hold?’
The story begins right after Christmas in the new year of 1990. It is set in the English town of Cheltenham and covers a present time period of two years, but also drawing upon the character’s personal history from the 1950s.
And the universal link, which should open to view the book wherever in the world you happen to be is here: viewbook.at/AfterBlack
These short links for books are nifty little things and can be obtained for free from www.booklinker.net. I got this particular tip from T.R. Robinson, who gives great advice for all writers on many varied aspects of the writing life. You can find Tanya here
Tanya also recently invited me to do an author interview and it was just posted yesterday. Here it is if you are interested.
Now on to the thinking behind the writing of After Black, which I found myself trying to describe this week. It came from some of my writing notes as I was working on the novel. This is what I found myself coming up with:
‘The plot of After Black developed from the conceived hard and embittered character of Janet, the main protagonist, where the idea of revenge for her deep past hurts came to the fore in the writing. After the death of her husband, Janet gains power, rising from a weaker position through her entrenched attitudes and closed off shadows of her past, to what she thinks of as success, with her latent ambitions of a lifetime and need for meaning through status unleashed.
But with increasing strains upon her, and the emotional complications that bereavement can bring, it all proves too difficult to handle and, more tellingly, difficult for her to maintain her ‘mask’ – her concept of who she thinks she is. There ensues a moral cost to her gaining power, and with her ‘fall’ she must come to terms with her past and move towards finding her true self again and make amends. The theme became very much about personal growth and Jung’s quote, cited at the beginning of the book, came into its own by my adapting it for use as a subtitle for the novel.’
The First Chapter:
I’ve included a link to a PDF of the first chapter in my newsletter which should have just gone out, but anyone who signs up from this point can access this too.
Now that I’ve got the promotion out of the way;>), I can tell you a bit more about those advert designs I mentioned last time. You can sign up for free with CANVA and get going yourself whenever you fancy coming up with some new ideas for graphics for twitter, facebook, instagram or for posters, business cards and a host of other functions.
It’s all about building up the design from the background in a succession of layers which many of you will be familiar with – but Canva is very user-friendly. In goes the background into the template of your choice, then maybe an added image (such as a front cover or 3D image of your book), then the text, which you can so easily resize and move around. If you upload lots of pics from your own files which you have the copyright to, or which are copyright free (for example from pixabay) then in addition to the free images within Canva itself, you’re all set to have some fun…
In this design, the Christmassy background and the gold ribbon bow came from Pixabay, the 3D book image duo (using the former cover) was generated via the site above, and the rest was done within canva. I got a real kick out of doing this!
And here is that woodland scene again adapted for a design:
If you’ve wondered where more still life-style, stage-set, images for books come from, one of the sites may be this one which I stumbled across – finding out ‘how do they do that’ is one of my compulsions.
So that’s it! Wishing you a merry and peaceful festive season and may your Christmas be the kind you love the most. I’ll be back in the New Year, so cheers for now :>)