Occasionally, caught in the slipstream of social media, our own voices can be drowned out by the baying of a crowd that yells, “Like me, follow me, review me, add me, and friend me.” And ‘friend’, last time I checked, isn’t even a verb. How close a relationship can it be when someone wants me to ‘noun’ them?
I try really hard to accommodate my fellow writers. Honestly. I know that, whether in the short term or long term, a raised profile means more book sales, which in turn means more likelihood of another book becoming economically viable. Plus, as I have a foot in both Musa Publishing and A Word with You Press (not the same foot, silly), I recognise the importance of standing shoulder-to-shoulder and backing those who have backed you.
I know all of that, but sometimes – just sometimes – I would love to see Twitter (my favourite playpen) have a non-promo day. Just a blissful 24 hours of opinion and stupid jokes – even if they’re not mine. Of course, I might feel differently if I had a clutch of my own books to sell right now, but in a way…and I’ll whisper this next part…I’m pleased that I don’t.
Right now, I can reintroduce myself to the business of writing, taking those scrappy notes from my writing pad and seeing whether they merit further attention. In short, I can be a writer for a time.
And the photo? I know you’re dying to ask. It’s connected with Scars and Stripes, my recently edited comedy drama, about a semi-fictional year spent living the American Dream. For a whole bunch of reasons, some of them related to Richard Bach and his books, Oregon was my Sarras island. Naturally, reaching there changed little for me, but it was the culmination of an inner and outer journey. Sounds hippyish, I know, but it was a long time ago – before I found my inner cynic.
And Grace Kelly? Surely it’s obvious!