Anybody visiting my website right now could be forgiven for thinking it a bit of a confused mess. I apologise. It annoys me too.
For months I’ve been in the process of trying to get things done but, as ever, getting things done depends a lot on other people doing things and it seems I have little or no control over timescales, errors and misunderstandings. So I’ve decided the best thing to do is apologise and explain the reasons for the sorry state of some of the information available on my website (which is not the fault of the website’s creator).
Let’s begin with a problem for which I (and only I) am to blame; I do more than one thing. If I just wrote books or just painted pictures, my internet persona would be easier to manage. Instead I write, paint, and hold forth on all sorts of subjects. And I do get the feeling that doing more than one thing makes people take me less seriously. ‘Oh, if she writes books, she can’t be much of a painter then,’ and vice-versa. Doing more than one thing certainly complicates matters when it comes to self-promotion and it gets worse because I write books of a different genre and don’t always paint in the same style. All my subjects fascinate me but they do vary and, in telling you this, I know I open myself up to the accusation of having a butterfly mind. I freely confess – I do. Within the space of a minute I can become absorbed by any number of topics from the true nature of the universe to how long the bog rolls in the bathroom will last. Having said that, it’s my attempt to get things organized which has caused the mess and (hopefully only temporarily) brought about the even more disorganized state of my website.
Firstly, and easiest to explain, is the non-appearance of paintings for sale. This is due to my inability to muster photographs of my new work. It began with my camera breaking – actually, and most annoyingly, what broke was a small piece of plastic which kept the batteries in place. One day I found it had simply snapped off, leaving no way to use the camera since the batteries would not stay in place. There, all that techno brought low by the snapping of a silly piece of plastic – and money down the drain. I bought another camera; cheap and not good – more money down the drain. I asked people to take the photos, I took the paintings to a professional photo shop. That took time and results varied. I am close now to having all the pictures I need but I have to say, getting my paintings photographed well has caused me more trouble than doing them in the first place.
Now, the really gritty stuff – the books. The bloody books! At the moment, look up Immortali and Tribes on Amazon and you will find a confusing number of versions and a variety of covers. To cut a very tedious story to the bone, this is mostly due to me changing publishers. Why? Well, when you can’t get an answer to any of your emails for a fortnight and no clear explanation over the phone as to why, it’s time to up sticks, don’t you think? So now both books are handled by Authorhouse. But, predictably, that has brought some problems. Immortali has two covers already but will be getting a third due to technical problems with printing. There is no Kindle version (although it’s available on Google and Nook) for more technical reasons and the soft and hardback are over-priced (yes, this is an honest blog). It might interest you to know that, on the softback, I receive just 6p royalties. For that I have no logical explanation. All I can say is, as some compensation for you forking out £10.50 for one of my books in softback on Amazon, you get free postage so it does bring it down a bit. Publication of Tribes seems (touch wood) to be free of technical hitches (so far) but confusion can arise over the fact that a very old version (published 1999 and with a different cover) is still doing the rounds in the second-hand market. The book has been rewritten twice since then so really is of no interest to anyone other than the dedicated student of how an author’s writing changes over time (yes, I really believe I write better now).
Some good news – Tribes will soon have a great promo on You Tube.
Back to the bad. Attempts to move and begin a life dedicated solely (almost) to writing and painting have been frustrated by delays in acquiring my new home. I wait in hope. In the meantime, I’m still at the disposal of others. Is that my little grandson I hear, calling from the bathroom – a bright child who can negotiate his way through the various levels of the video game, Lego Harry Potter, unaided but, as yet, hasn’t quite mastered the art of wiping his bum. – Now, doesn’t that that have something to say about the present state of society?