Bit late for the party, as usual, it’s been World Book Day all day, hence the day bit in the name, and at 5pm I think, hum… maybe I should write something about it. Should I have been proactive, I’d have something better prepared, but hey, those semi-skimmeds won’t deliver themselves.
Though we have done, one thing we don’t have nearly enough of on Devizine is local book reviews, yet I know matter of factually, there’s a number of authors locally. I welcome you to let me know of your writing, and I promise to be nice about it; got the t-shirt, haven’t I? Written quite a number of words in my time, some, but few, made sense.
Stereotypically shy and reserved, authors need either an agent or big balls, else they fall into the trap of underselling and marketing themselves. Vanity presses will hound such writers until they’re blue in the face, and begging for scraps with the pigeons in the park. It comes naturally with the monumental and solitary task, I think, to be wary of promoting and not to boast, generally being modest about their abilities. Either that or they’re paranoid their associates will discover they’re the influence for a wayward character, like a mad axeman, or the brains of their fictional counterpart were eaten by zombie robot pigs from Mars in the opening chapter.
Yet it’s a delicate balance. Consistently bark “buy my book” on social media and once your mates are over the surprise you wrote something other than an IOU, they’ll anger at the stream of blatant and shameless self-promotion you impel unto their newsfeed.
Next option is you join a local group of likeminded individuals, such as Devizes Writers Group, which can be rewarding and social. And online small communities and groups act similar, you could be engaging with an international community of writers. Often though, online groups fall into obscurity, else flourish and get a somewhat too big for their boots. Sarcastic trolls and mocking dogmatists have never delivered such effectively harmful words then those with a talent for writing; it’s what they’re good at. Even if you don’t join such groups, they’ll find you on Amazon, and air their spiteful opinions.
Non-writers will be surprised at how harsh the literature world can be, at times. Those who look like book worms, with the nerdy glasses and pimple-puss faces can be saw-scaled vipers from hell when locked up in a bedroom with Wi-Fi.
So where are our local authors? Don’t be afraid, we’re bunnies, we’re all friends here; show yo’ bad self! And for those who simply like to sit back on an easy chair and lose themselves in a page-turner, where do you find local authors to support them?
Your local bookshop is a good place to start, if you want to seek out the local authors lurking among us, and if upon asking the bookshop they’re more interested in flogging you a Tom Clancy novel, tell them off. Scorn at them, like Tubbs and Edward, and tell them you want local books, from local people. Tell them Devizes Books will climb over mountains to support local literature, and will sell folk’s wares in their wonderful shop; that ought to do it.
I was going to feature the few authors we do know about, on this very post, starting with the weirdest first, which I’ll hold my hands up to, as there are a few, some not nearly as weird as me. As well as yours truly, then, who spends so much time with Devizine has unfinished works in a blocked pipeline, there is our esteemed contributor Andy Fawthrop, and our town’s amazing poet, Gail Foster goes without saying. But from the twisted narrative of Jerry Bradley, of whom we reviewed the debut novel of, The Candyman, to children’s authors Robin Rowles, and Sara Hill who created the Whimsey Woods series, there must be too many of us around and about to mention all in one article, and besides, I’ve got washing-up to do.
So, here’s the plan, just as we’ve done with our artist gallery, I’ll open a new parent page for local authors over the weekend, and every author who contacts us can have their own page, where we will add their wares, websites, and links to reviews from myself or outside links.
Sound like a plan? All it takes is for local authors to reveal themselves! Avoid commenting on social media shares, as I rarely pick them all up, rather message below, to let me know you’re out there. And who knows, by next year’s World Book Day, I might just have it up and running!!
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