At the end of 2011 I finished Hope’s Daughter, the novel I’d been working on sporadically for a couple of years. Having already written two and a half books prior to this one, I didn’t want to just leave Hope’s Daughter languishing inside my laptop with the others, sending out an occasional approach to a publisher or agent whenever I managed to remember.
Some friends and family had read the book and given positive feedback, which you would hope was genuine ;) but I wanted to know what other people thought – real people who read young adult books by choice – and so I took the plunge into the self-publishing e-book world.
Of course, like every other first time author, I released the book, told a handful of people and sat back wondering what to do next, because checking your Amazon sales rank every hour surely wasn’t the most productive use of my time!
It wasn’t long before I stumbled across Goodreads, which has been a fantastic discovery for me. I already knew I loved reading, before I started writing, but I hadn’t actually thought that something like Goodreads might exist.
Within my first month I had signed up to lots of groups, set myself the reading challenge for the year (a book a week – which wasn’t bad as I probably only read around 25 in 2011). At the same time I discovered a whole new world of books and readers, I also discovered book bloggers. I loved seeing what people thought about books in their reviews and finding new things to read, as well as chatting with people in the threads.
Overall, 2012 was a year of discovery for me: I made new ‘book friends’ online, learned new ways to reach out to readers and help people to find your book. I started a new blog Aside From Writing, which brought my interest in writing together with my existing love of reading. I also tried a lot of different things, like Facebook and Twitter, which I had not really bothered with previously, besides having a barely used account.
So…what’s in store for 2013…?
If 2012 was mainly a reading and blogging year, with lots of new things in that area, I hope that 2013 will allow me to focus a little more on writing – it can be difficult to find the balance between the two if you enjoy both. I would like to have the next two books in the Ambrosia Sequence released and be finalising the fourth (which is already well planned out in my head and exists in notebooks and mini-chapter drafts on my laptop).
Now that sounds like a plan…wish me luck!
About the Author
|After graduating from The University of Sheffield with an English Literature Masters in 2003, Melanie has been writing fiction - time permitting - ever since. The Ambrosia Sequence (started in 2008) and The Elementals (begun in 2004) are both ongoing, extended projects each containing several novels, aimed primarily at young adults and hover somewhere in the middle of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy genres. 'Hope's Daughter', released in January 2012, is her debut novel and the first of The Ambrosia Sequence; the companion book 'The Rainbow Maker's Tale' is due later in 2012, with the sequel 'Outlanders' coming in 2013. When she's not writing Melanie enjoys the wet weather of the north of England with her dogs or disappearing into a book for a few hours (no surprise there then). Unfortunately, all too often the 'day job' gets in the way of the nicer things in life!|