Welcome to ‘Readerly Ramblings,’ the monthly blog I write to keep in touch with my readers. If you’re not already on it, you are very welcome to join my reader ‘keep in touch’ list and will be sent a free download of short stories, ‘How to Get Away with Murder.’
It’s all hotting up now. 2020 so far has been dedicated to getting married but now, this week, it’s been time to celebrate my book launch!
The Last Cuckoo has just been released and I am so grateful to my new husband, my beta readers, Jane and Jack as well as Steve Whitaker, Literary Critic for the Yorkshire Times, my Advance Reader Team and also all my supportive writing students who are watching my progress with bated breath as they pursue their own writing adventures.
Both the writing and reading community are wonderful and I feel very blessed to be part of this world.
The second edition of ‘Don’t Call me Mum’ has been out in the world for over two months now and is climbing the Amazon rankings. 2020 has been amazing so far and we’re only just into March!
This month my 'readerly ramblngs' focus is on the invisible 'contract' that exists between an author and a reader.
As an author, when I’m developing ideas for novels and getting first drafts down, the books very much belong to me. This continues to be the case throughout second, third and fourth draft stage but eventually, when I start passing my work onto the people mentioned above, the story becomes less mine, and more theirs.
Once the book is out there, standing on its own two feet, I have to truly let it go. It no longer belongs to me, but is now the property of its readers. I find this a really exciting prospect. Images, worlds and characters I have invented in my head become available to others to visualise and bring to life in their own mind’s eye as they turn the pages.
There is almost an unwritten contract between me and my readers. I promise to write them the best story I possibly can and they promise to keep reading as long as I deliver this promise. But they then own the story to make of it what they will. They may think about it, talk about it, love it or even hate it but what becomes of it is no longer under my control.
I love the fact that readers are holding my books in their hands – I find it both exciting and scary in equal measure. I will possibly never meet many of my readers (though I hope I do!) yet we are somehow in one another’s heads for hours on end. What a gift we give each other. The gift of time and the meeting of minds with all the emotion that comes with the power of story.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you aware of the author when you read or do you become so immersed with the characters, story and worlds they have created that you almost forget you are reading a creation of another mind and become lost within the pages? Feel free to post into the comments as I’d love to hear what you think.
If you’d like to join my Advance Reader Team ahead of me sending ‘The Man Behind Closed Doors’ out at the beginning of April, please click here to request to join. You will have the chance to win a reader goody bag as a thank you for being part of it.
Cover Credit: Darran Holmes
Thanks for your support and interest in my work. Readers can not exist without writers and writers cannot exist without readers. The process is pure magic.
See you next month when my focus will be on ‘reading space.’
With very best wishes, Maria