Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jolly cold and a college class

This week it's been unusually cold - for England in November: hats-and-gloves-and-your-warmest-coat-time. Something about the cold makes me simply want to stay indoors and I ended up watching last weekend 100-odd minutes - i.e. the first DVD of the first series of the 1970s TV period drama series The Onedin Line. History, drama, adventure - just my sort of thing - but fatal to wip-progress.

I did venture out into the dark and freezing mist earlier this week to give my 'six senses of writing' workshop to a class of creative writing students at Oaklands College. It went well and I even plucked up enough courage to give them all a postcard featuring the cover of The Lady Soldier. 'Ah, marketing!' one of the students said perceptively. Of course, it's marketing. If I knew I could sell 5-10 copies of a book at an evening event, I'd happily do one every week. But you don't. You sell one or two if you're lucky, so I can only do things if they are extremely local and of interest to me in some other way. I quite enjoy sharing what I've learned about fiction writing with others, and seeing the students get something out of it is the reward. Hence I think, unless I'm forgetting one, I've done five practical writing workshops with creative writing classes and writers circles this year.

But it would still be nice to sell a few more books along the way! If an author shares their learnings with you in a class or workshop, do say 'thank you' by buying their book! It will mean a lot to the author. There is a good chance that the author is giving their time and expertise for very little payment, perhaps for travel expenses only, or even completely for free.

I've also done at least five 'author talks' at various events from small groups to festivals and conferences this year, but these seem to do better vis-a-vis book sales, plus there's a chance of actually being properly paid.

I'm going to try and do better with the wip this weekend. But I'll hopefully get a chance to watch some more of The Onedin Line too. ;)