Monthly Archives: March 2018

Revisiting Books Written Some Years Ago

Have you ever gone back to read books you wrote some years ago?  Most writers, I suspect, don’t. We write, we publish and we move on.

Some writers say that when they do go back, it makes them uncomfortable to see their earlier, less formed self.  They have learned so much in the meantime.

Indeed, some remove their own books from sale, lest readers think this is the best they can do.

Looking back with pleasure

But there is another response. Some of us return to old books to find ourselves surprised at how good they were. We have also learned much in the meantime, yet our earlier self was unexpectedly thoughtful. It is wonderful to discover.

Last year, I returned to two books I had written many years ago, which were trade-published. I was so impressed with both that I re-launched both for new readers, after getting my rights back (much easier than you think).

Ten years ago

cover of Life in a Hospice

The new self-published edition

Ten years ago, I wrote a book offering the thoughts of hospice staff about working in end-of-life care, Life in a Hospice. It had been published by a highly respectable medical publisher and had a Foreword by Tony Benn, a well loved MP. Indeed, it was Highly Commended by the British Medical Association in 2008.

But I was irritated by the lack of publicity by the publisher (taken over by a major conglomerate) and wondered how relevant it would feel today. Yes, what a delight. I was very touched by the stories and it felt fresh as a daisy!  That prompted me to take back the rights and re-publish it as both a paperback and e-book, but added a new cover.

RESULT: I must have been right, because after selling one or two books a year, it has sold nearly three hundred copies since March 2017. That’s not Harry Potter, but it is good for a book on hospice care.

Twenty-five years ago

cover of Wise before their time

Once topical, now of historical value

That experience prompted me to go back to a book I had published in 1992 setting out the personal stories of people with HIV/AIDS when it was a life-threatening disease, Wise Before their Time. It was long out of print, although there were second hand copies available on the net. I approached the task of reading it with some trepidation, as I could well have been embarrassed.

On the contrary, I found myself incredibly moved by my own book, which I had not read for twenty-five years.

Although the stories have no current relevance, as people diagnosed with HIV can now anticipate a normal life span, they had a historical significance.

Again, I took the rights back and republished it as both a paperback and e-book, again with a new cover.

RESULT: It is selling less dramatically, but selling nonetheless. And it has garnered nothing but five star reviews, which is pleasing.

Conclusions

I am not a young woman, so these books – old as they are – were not written in the full flush of youth. Perhaps if I were able to go back to writings from my twenties or thirties, I would well be embarrassed.

But for those of you who have traditional publications long out of print and wonder whether to just forget about them – think again.

Take them out and have a look. You might be pleasantly surprised. And if you are a member of ALLi, you know that self-publishing is easy.  The next step is obvious.

 

This post was first published by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)  See https://selfpublishingadvice.org/self-publishing-back-catalogue-hybrid-authors-advice/

Worrying

 

Are you a worrier? There are a lot of us about. Perhaps especially as we get older. Personally, I’ve been a worrier all my life. There is so much to worry about!

The State of the World

We can start with the state of the world. There is global warming. Isis. The Middle East. Korea. Politics of all kinds, whatever political persuasion you happen to be.

We worry whether the world we are leaving our grandchildren is as good as the world we inherited. And whether there is something more we should be doing about it.

 Family

Then there is your family. Children are always a source of worry – when they are small, and especially when they are teenagers. Remember that period? At that time, we worried about one thing or another about them from the moment we woke up!

But it doesn’t end even when they’re all grown up. Indeed, if they are married or have a partner, the people to worry about doubles.

Does everyone have the right job? Or, for that matter, the right partner? Is everyone coping all right with day-to-day matters, such as getting that possibly dangerous car fixed? Or are they becoming too obsessed with social media?

People whose adult children have serious problems – such as bringing up a child on their own, a tendency to depression or even moving house – have even more to worry about.

I am told there is an old Chinese proverb that states mothers are as happy as their least happy child. It resonates with me, a lot.

We also worry about our grandchildren. Are they getting enough attention from their parents – or, perhaps, too much? Is their school giving them the education they need? Do they have enough friends? All the worries that you experienced when your children were small emerge all over again.

Yourself

I worry about a lot of things, but I probably worry about my own self the most.

Did I say the right thing to the woman at that party last week? Have I remembered to do that favour for a sick friend that I said I would? Was the person who said they liked my new haircut – or, worse, my latest book – really just being nice?

Not to mention all the silly things we inevitably worry about, such as did we turn off the gas on the stove when we left the house? Or did we leave a window open where a burglar could see it?

Doing Something about it

If you are a worrier, what can you do about it? All my life, people have said to me that I worry too much, that I should relax. I don’t know how other people react to such admonishments, but they mildly annoy me.

First of all, they won’t make any difference. Worrying is part of me. Asking me not to worry is telling me that I should be a different person. At some point, I realised that if worrying is a part of me, I should simply accept it and live with it.

And second, what does worrying too much mean? Yes, if you are making yourself ill with worry or turning to drink, that is one thing. But worrying too much is also a matter of giving due attention to getting things right. It can be a good thing.

Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control

Fortunately, I have a husband who hardly ever worries. He says there is no point in worrying about something if there is nothing you can do about it. Since this covers most contingencies, he is a very relaxed man.

This was initially published on sixtyandme.com (http://sixtyandme.com/how-to-stop-being-a-worrier-no-matter-what-happens-in-your-life/) and cannot be re-blogged

Chatting

I like to chat. I chat first thing in the morning about any problems I faced in the night. Then I chat at lunch about events of the morning, and I chat in the evening about the rest of the day.

There is so much to chat about – some small disturbance in the local supermarket, family news from my children, problems with the computer, the characters in the book I am reading, a programme seen on TV. The list goes on and on.

Chatting seems so inconsequential, you might well ask how anyone could even think of writing about it. Yet have you ever stopped to think about how important it is?

The Significance of Chatting

I chat a lot with my husband, but also with other family members and friends, not to mention neighbours. Chatting is the glue that holds people together.

We live with someone or a set of other people, we live near neighbours and we keep in touch with a much wider circle of friends and family. What makes us feel a part of one another is chatting, talking about everyday mundane matters. It’s probably one of the more intimate things we do, aside from the obvious.

Spending such apparently inconsequential time with close friends and family allows us to keep abreast of the texture of their lives – what they are thinking about, excited about or, indeed, worrying about. We also get to tell them about ourselves. It is a key way of creating connections.

Even a brief moment talking to a neighbour over the proverbial garden fence can lead to a cup of tea, the discovery of shared interests, and, eventually, the possibility of helping each other in some way.

Chatting can take place over the phone or Skype or even texting, I suppose, although I don’t text except for sorting out plans. It may be at the dinner table, lying on a sofa or even in bed. Those early morning chats, before even getting up, are a lovely way to start the day.

Other Conversations

Of course, we have much more significant discussions with people we are close to. You can call such discussions chat or not. I probably wouldn’t, on their own. But, in the course of such conversations, we move quickly from issues which are important to ones that are less important and back again.

In some circles, the concept of chatting has a rather bad press. It can be seen as synonymous with ‘gossip,’ ‘chatter,’ ‘jabber,’ ‘babble’ or the like. And we all know people who tend to go on and on until we want to scream.

But it is quite wrong, in my view, to conflate these concepts. Chatting is, above all, talking and creating a sense of connectedness to other people.

The Absence of Chat

The opposite of chatting is having no one to talk to, or, in a word, loneliness. I don’t need to tell you how difficult that is. A recently widowed friend told me how the day-to-day chat about matters of no great significance was what she missed most in life on her own.

You can be lonely because you live on your own and never see anyone. But you can also be lonely when you live with one or more people who won’t – or don’t want to – talk to you. Whatever the reasons, it leads to a terrible sense of isolation.

And then there are the couples you see everywhere these days, sitting at a table over a coffee or a drink, each glued to their own telephone.

For years, loneliness was seen as something to be ashamed of, and few people were willing to admit to it. It is now slowly coming out of the closet as an issue to be taken seriously, with growing media attention and efforts to overcome it. Long may they thrive.

There is a need for more chatting in the world.

This post was first published by SixtyandMe.com and cannot be re-posted (http://sixtyandme.com/how-to-use-the-power-of-chatting-to-create-meaningful-connections-after-60/)

A good example of author collaboration

The Bad Boy Billionaire Bachelors Boxset

A post by Emma Calin, contributing author

Last year, Romance Devoured, a media company focussed on romance readers, brought together thirteen authors and asked each of them to write a new story for a themed box set.

The authors were all given a free rein in the content of their stories – the only stipulation was that the heroes had to be hot and wealthy, very wealthy but flawed. Real bad boys. It would be for the sassy heroines to get under their skins, tame them and turn them round.

In February 2018 – on St Valentine’s Day of course – they announced the launch of a brand new romance collection – The ‘Bad Boy Billionaire Bachelors Boxset.’ If you’re excited by a genuine bargain and enjoy steamy love stories then this anthology of thirteen brand new full length novels should be on your reading list.

There’s something for everyone in this set. A billionaire proposes to a barista to get an image makeover before he loses his company and fortune along with it. A secret masquerade hookup leads to complications with a new boss. A tattooed billionaire rocks a woman’s world and the bad boy’s desires threaten to scare her back to her humdrum single life. A rich banker fights for a traffic cop’s body and soul. The devil himself falls in love when a rookie reporter is sent to interview him. A businessman masquerades as a tattooed Harley rider to find his ideal mate. These stories and many more are included in this steamy, hot collection.

Don’t wait to read this set. It is only out for a short time before it will be gone forever! Priced at just $1.99/£1.49 and FREE on Kindle Unlimited, it’s easily affordable.

Authors included in this boxset:

Jeana E Mann
Julia Bright
Nicole Morgan
Elise Faber
Annie Young
Tricia Barr
Maggie Carpenter
Emma Calin
Aspen Drake
Megyn Ward
Angela Kulig
N. Isabelle Blanco
Kim Carmichael

This limited edition collection of new and exclusive romance novels is guaranteed to melt your kindle. It’s available on Amazon worldwide until the 14th May 2018 on this link:

http://www.smarturl.it/BoxBatch

There’s a $25 Amazon GC and book giveaway running until the end of March to celebrate the launch:

http://www.emmacalin.com/giveaways

You’re sure to find a new favorite book boyfriend among our bad boy billionaire

Life in a Hospice: The Back Story

A friend asked me recently why I wrote Life in a Hospice, which explores the joys and challenges of working in a hospice from the viewpoint of nurses, doctors, managers and others in their own words.

The answer is simple. Back in the early 1990s, I had a close friend who died from AIDS, who was himself an AIDS nurse. This had made me very interested in the complex lives of people facing death, as well as those looking after them. After he died, a chaplain friend of his took me to a hospice, as he was doing an errand (but I suspected he wanted me to see it) and I was immediately drawn to the place.

Hospices tend to be places of great tranquillity and calm and I felt yes, I want to be part of a place like this. I applied to work as a volunteer in a local hospice and ended up doing so for four years. It was very satisfying – albeit sometimes demanding – work. But I was there only one afternoon a week. I was intrigued by all the regular staff whose day-to-day job was turning up to work with people who were dying.

As I was a writer, I felt this would be a good topic for a book. My books were all based on in-depth interviews, using the actual words of the people interviewed to tell readers what it ‘felt like’ to be them. I set about looking for two hospices who would agree to be part of this research and found two without much difficulty.

I interviewed roughly fifteen people in each hospice, some of whom volunteered and others were selected by the director. There were nurses and healthcare assistants, doctors, chaplains, various managers and even a very reflective chef. Everyone was more than happy to talk, especially as I promised anonymity (and sometimes changed minor details in the book to avoid identification).

Tony Benn, who was interested in hospice care, agreed to write a Foreword – and the rest is history.

The book was initially published in 2007 and was ‘Highly Commended’ by the British Medical Association. In 2017, I took back the rights and re-published it as both a paperback and e-book at a much reduced price.

You can read more about this book on my website www.annrichardson.co.uk and see reviews on Amazon at http://myBook.to/Hospice.  It is also available on other electronic readers (see https://www.books2read.com/u/bpWk0z)