Not being a mathematical sort of person (and being married to someone whose degree was in Statistics and with three children who have all been inclined to the sciences) I’ve always contended (on principle) that stats, and mathematics topics generally, are boring.
But today, while updating my ‘Events’ page on my website, I was seduced into gathering the statistics for the last four years, since I moved from being traditionally published to first of all Indie and now a hybrid author, with a foot in both the traditional and Indie camps.
And I have to (reluctantly) admit that I found them rather interesting (don’t tell my family).
In the hope that you might too – here they are:
Numbers first –
Author events: talks, presentations – 55
: workshops – 5
:panellist in shared events – 4
: 5 minute reads (open mic events / shared festival events) – 11
Chairing events: involving others – 10
Book Launches: 2 launches for each of 3 novels, 1 x Short story collection
And one (wonderful) month-long writer’s fellowship. For those who might find it interesting – a link to some reflections on my time at Hawthorden Castle.
And if I haven’t totally bored you with the figures, some detail:
Author presentations – (I love making up Powerpoints, but I so wish I really knew what I was doing, as it would be a much more efficient use of time…)
I love talking about writing, about my books and a wide variety of related topics – from the trials, tribulations, and sheer joy of research, to the historical context for Macbeth.
From Food Standards Agency 16th century-style
to the influence of place. From my (long) road to publication to the impact of faith on fiction.
And many more. Some are very personal, some focused on history and the historical background both to my books and the 16th century in general. And while I feel very at home in the 16th century now, I’m quite glad I don’t have to actually live there!
Workshops range from the more general ‘He said, she said. Writing Effective Dialogue.’ and ‘Stealing Stories – Where fact and fiction meet.’ to the specific ‘Writing authentic historical fiction.’ Always good fun, and the more attendee participation the better they are.
Chairing events has included the joy of being in conversation with a fantastic writer, Robyn Young (Brethren / Robert the Bruce trilogy) and historian David Crane (Went the Day Well – Waterloo), as well as introducing many writers in the context of Open Mic events.
Highlights as a panellist – It’s Nae the Tudors – a new historical fiction festival at Grantown in the Scottish highlands, and taking part in an Amazon Academy Day at Newcastle upon Tyne (yes I am happy to stray over the border from time to time and it was lovely to meet and share a platform with L J Ross – a fantastically successful author who writes crime set in Northumberland).
The book launches have been exhilerating and daunting in equal measure and I am very grateful to Waterstones, Edinburgh, Blackwells Edinburgh and Mainstreet Trading, St Boswells for hosting me.
I could hardly believe when I counted them up, that I had more than 80 events under my belt, and with some exciting new opportunities already booked ahead, I am looking forward to 2019.
An average of just over 20 events per year doesn’t really seem very many (especially not when compared to Kate Mosse’s 60+ appearances in connection with her newest book) but it’s a start…