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My Journey Into Authorship
01 Feb 2021 My Journey Into Authorship - Blogging
Hello, I'm new to blogging and asked someone what's it all about? Their answer to me was it's all about what you know! Write about yourself, write about something you're passionate about, write whatever you like! So I decided to try it out
I'll be starting the new blog shortly - see you soon!
If you want to save time in the future keep the link at www.carolmmottershead.blogspot.com
WELCOME TO 'My Journey Into Authorship' I hope you enjoy the read ��
02 Feb 2021 My Journey Into Authorship - Independent Publishing

KDP Publishing was not my first choice for publishing my book. Vanity publishing for me was a definite non-starter if I can't get someone to believe in my story enough to invest time and money into it, then I wasn't going to pay someone to feed my ego, I didn't want to just be writing for no one to read but myself, friends and family, my book has a story to tell, a message to the world and I want it to be read by many.

'I want to do it properly' I thought. Find myself a literary agent who would do all the hard work for me;  finding a suitable traditional publisher who was as enthusiastic about my story as I was, someone who could see the potential that I saw in it, and could take on the role of marketing, and yes... pay me for the honour! I am now able to appreciate just how hard marketing a book can be in today's market, with so many people writing books the competition is overwhelming!  How do readers choose a new book to read? What are they looking for? What are their search criteria? I was at a loss! 

After emailing several literary agents, sending them a synopsis of  my story, an elevator pitch aimed to enthuse someone about your book in a few short minutes and the first three chapters then waiting weeks and weeks for a reply only, in the nicest possible way, to be rejected, I finally gave in. 

A fellow author Comedian Lester Crabtree told me about him writing a book during lockdown about the Real Life of a Comedian 'Born To Die' he called it; he introduced me to KDP Publishing, the modern method of publishing your book widely used today.  I was sceptical, but I was prepared to look into what they had to offer... Professionally published book available as an eBook, Audio Book and Paperback all to your own specifications, but under advisement of themselves and best of all NO UPFRONT COSTS TO THE AUTHOR KDP only get paid when a book is sold!

 'Joan - Put On A Happy Face' by Carol M Mottershead 

was published Sept 2020 with the help of KDP / Amazon. 

I really was unsure about publishing independently. I'd heard some negative stories about doing it yourself, that they were a waste of time, royalties were poor, which at 70% on eBook and 60% less print costs on paperback I don't think that's a bad deal myself! No upfront costs was a definite bonus too! Traditional publishers don't ask upfront costs, if anything they pay you to publish your book and recoup their money from future sales - they take the risks! Vanity publishing was one way I was 'definitely not' going to use - so KDP Publishing it was...

Personally I've found the KDP publishing to be a great help, and they will support you throughout the process of publishing without charging I might add! 

Like many people, I was scared of the technology in case I pressed the wrong buttons! But KDP were supportive... and very quick to reply to my enquiries. Marketing options are available... free promo's or  countdown deals and of course click to view, which personally I don't like the idea but have yet to try it... maybe! 

I'd recommend KDP Publishing to anyone who has written a book and not found a traditional publisher, but not vanity publishing... only my personal choice though. :-)

Having said all that, I do recommend that you check and recheck your writing, or have edited by a professional if grammar, spelling and punctuation aren't your forte lol! To produce a published book that has loads of errors gives independently published books a bad name of being sloppy or of poor quality which will prevent potential buyers from taking a chance on purchasing books of other independent authors, which isn't fair on the rest of us who HAVE bothered to check our work!

If you're an avid reader you will enjoy my book (I hope :-) )
 
 
Whatever you decide - Happy Reading and remember... as Joan says
'Put On A Happy Face' - KEEP SMILING!
If nothing else you'll look younger if you smile

04 Feb 2021 My Journey Into  uthorship - What do I hope to achieve with my book
 
 What do you hope to accomplish with your book ‘Joan – Put On A Happy Face’?
 
I would like to think that my book shows how, regardless of life’s challenges we can, with resilience, and a positive ‘can do’ attitude, become the best that we can be, no matter who we are, where we come from, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, it’s how we, as individuals deal with things that counts!
I hope through my fictional characters that readers will recognise in them, a bit of themselves, maybe resonate with the characters over their worries, their anxieties,... their mental health issues, it’s all in the there, something for everyone to relate to - for example, there is Joan’s niave and forgiving nature, her belief that love conquers all; then Pulcinella’s personal demons that require him to publicly ‘Put on a happy face’ but leave him struggling within himself, in private. Even young Nicholas... we see first as ‘only a child’, but children can be so cruel and so thoughtless and His feelings are as true to him as they are to any adult.
In my story, Joan was born in medieval times and she lived in isolation for years. First tied by her belief that a wife should never go against her husband; then by her religion... a religion that required her to believe that you give yourself to your husband ‘til death us do part’, then there was the constant fear of being inadequate, a fear of rejection by her peers, that she didn’t quite fit in, and for not conforming to the appropriate social behaviours.
Victorian social reformer Caroline Norton couldn’t help Joan, any more than Erin Pizzey, a more modern social reformer and Founder of first Women’s Refuge could. Joan couldn’t, wouldn’t be helped until she was ready. She had to reach rock bottom before she would seek help. Life forced her to face her biggest fear – an eternity of loneliness!
And sometimes we need a push to take that one step to change don’t we? If even one person recognises themselves through my story then maybe they will see that they are not alone, but they are the ‘only one’ who can take that first step to change and be strong. 
09 Feb 2021 My Journey Into Authorship - Where did I get the idea for my story from.

 

I was asked by someone 'Where did  you get the idea for your book?'

This is a strange one to answer. 

First off, my main job is that of an Entertainment Agent since 1998. In 2018 one branch of entertainment was being censored, namely, puppeteers known as Punch and Judy. One or two of my acts had received quite a number of cancellations and on one occasion had been asked to change the content of their show completely! Punch and Judy without Punch? It's ridiculous!

The Punch & Judy Professor in question was none other than Professor  Brian Llewellyn. He was invited onto a morning TV show 'Good Morning Britain' 28th July 2018 and it seemed the show had it's own agenda - that of 'domestic violence'. They introduced another guest to the show, Tricia Goddard who claimed that the puppet show condoned violence - not true  at all! 

Anyone who has ever listened to Judy's words will tell you that she dislikes any form of violence or naughtiness... Judy always tells the audience to call her if Mr Punch is being naughty - everybody knows that! 

'It's slapstick comedy' the Professor replied, adding that 'they're only bits of wood after all!'

Only bits of wood?! The idea that Judy could be based on a real person started to brew in my brain.    How would Judy otherwise known as Joan, Dame Joan to be precise, feel if she heard people talking about her puppets as just bits of wood?

Video of Interview courtesy of Professor Brian Llewellyn and BBC

Musical Storyboard for Joan - Put On A Happy Face
Song 01 blogged 05 February 2021
Whilst writing my book I would get chatting with authors, agents, publishers via social media forums and one publisher gave the advice that is good to build yourself a list of songs that fit your story, so I did and will be sharing them with you individually so that they can be savoured rather than just listed. I hope you enjoy my story through my choice of music - Happy Listening! ��

[Extract from 'Joan Put On A Happy Face' by Carol M Mottershead]
"One time Governess had told me that Mother would be watching over me from high above in the sky, so I would sit and watch the various shapes and shades of white fluffy clouds drifting across the bright blue skies and imagine she was playing hide and go seek, our favourite game; sometimes I thought I could see her face in the clouds and imagined she was smiling down on me. Occasionally clouds would resemble waves on the seashore and I’d be reminded of the many happy times we spent together on the beach with Grandmamma. "

This is a song written and performed at a lovely little resort known as Seaton Carew on the North East of England, just down the coastline from where Joan lived for a time, when she lived at The Castle, Castle Eden (in my story that is!) 
'Seabird' is by Jeff B Butterfield (c) who has been a singer songwriter all his life, performing in the USA and all over the UK, please enjoy - it's one  of my favourites - Thanks Jeff!
 

The strangest thing happened yesterday. Firstly, an audio CD was found linked to my book on Amazon called 'Come, We That Love The Lord' released by Shawnee Press

I notified KDP Publishing who can only handle publications that they have produced and advised me to notify the publishers of the audio cd. 

I also reported incorrect information from the books page to Amazon Retail who I haven't heard from; then later on I emailed the publishers direct.
It's taken 24hrs to unlink the audio CD from my book.

To add to the mystery, my book is appearing on the paperback page only, on a sponsored banner that I have not requested, it appears to be only on the paperback page though, but if anyone sees it on any other page could you let me know as I'm curious how far it has spread across Amazon lol! Hey it's potentially free advertising lol! How often does that happen?

I'm not what you'd call a religious person myself, but the night before this happened, I had been feeling a little down with myself. All the effort I've put into trying to promote my book. Trying to learn about social media and understand how categories and keywords work in promoting 'Joan - Put on a happy face'  and I suppose it was a prayer, a plea if you like, to the universe, to karma, to God... but I asked for guidance to do the right thing, to know how best to promote my book. I asked for some proof that all my efforts were worth it. Even just one more book to be bought would give me some hope. January has been such a quiet month on sales.

Then this happened... a link to a religious audio CD that my Amazon info said had unknown author and the sponsored banner... is this some sort of message? Am I being shown what I need to do ie the sponsorship banner? which was why I was curious about how far the banner stretched out across Amazon... for I am the doubting Thomas lol! 

I experienced something like this shortly after my husband died on 5th February 2017.
I had been looking at his picture and the statue of Ganesh that he'd bought me the Christmas before. I'd been talking to him, to them both I suppose when I turned round feeling annoyed at myself for wallowing in grief and said 'Why am I talking to either of you, it's not like either of you are listening or can answer me!' I was so angry with myself!

Half an hour later, it was about 1030pm, my iPhone pinged... an email had come through; since I'm an entertainment agent in my full time job, our entertainers work all odd hours so it's not unusual to get communications late at night, so I glanced at it - it was from an entertainer I'd never heard from before, he had sent a video, he was a musical theatre singer and I would normally have just ignored it completely, except that his name was Daniel Ganesh!!! 
I couldn't believe it!

I didn't open the attached video until the next morning but when I did I was in floods of tears, for the song he sang was the song that was played at my wedding to my husband Barry!!! 
Was it co-incidence or were they saying they are listening?
As a doubting Thomas I will never really know, but as someone who needed comfort at that time...
it was overwhelming!

I replied to Daniel after hearing his lovely voice and I suggested he send me his details for our website, he has such a lovely voice and I wanted to help, but here's the thing... he doesn't live in the UK, he thanked me for my email, but he was already booked for work and thanked me for my interest. Why did I receive his email in that case? lol! 
HOME | Dali (wixsite.com)

As I said I am not religious in the conventional sense, but I do believe things happen for a reason.
We may not know what that reason is, and we may not need to know, but I do believe that thought precedes action. Believe in yourself, Keep the belief strong in your mind and don't weaken.
I also came across a post yesterday on Facebook that was relevant to me and I'll share with you

'May you always have enough happiness to keep you sweet;
Enough trials to keep you strong;
Enough success to keep you eager;
Enough faith to give you courage;
And enough determination to make each day a good day!'

I am not sure who wrote it, but it says it all for what we have to face during this year's pandemic, I hope it helps!
Keep smiling :-)
and as Joan says - 'Put on a happy face' lol!

For a Sneak Preview of 'Joan - Put on a happy face' courtesy of Amazon goto
https://amzn.eu/cAm8Mu9


P.S. The upshot of this deal was that I'd submitted the Countdown Deal only for the U.S.A!
I couldn't see the knocked down pricing because I'm based in the U.K... 
I swear to you - I WILL get the hang of the internet before I die or die trying lol! 
Happy Reading!����
 
Press Release for Joan - Put On A Happy Face

Children’s favourite seaside puppet show highlighting domestic abuse becomes basis for novel

The book is currently available on all Amazon sites worldwide. It is free on Kindle Unlimited and can be bought as an eBook or paperback. Carol is currently working on her audio version to be released soon.

Punch & Judy has been accused of promulgating domestic violence on an off for years and after listening to an interview on Good Morning Britain and yet another tirade on the subject Carol felt outrage over the comments made on the show. Firstly, the puppet show doesn’t condone violence in fact quite the opposite, Judy tells the audience to call her or Mr Plod if they see Mr Punch doing anything naughty - she is totally against violence and naughtiness of all kind! Secondly, Carol began wondering where the story for Punch and Judy really came from it had to have started from somewhere. How would they feel about their story being misunderstood?
 
Upon researching the puppet shows, Carol discovered that in Britain, Judy had another name and was known as Joan or Dame Joan to be precise. And in Carol’s imaginings, the puppets were based on real people, Joan and her family came to life. They are immortal. They are still alive and living in the Lake District; although they may have to move now their story is out! Carol published her novel ‘Joan – Put On A Happy Face’ in September 2020 and her story tells how a young Mother found a way to calm her baby when he missed his Father putting him to bed. Joan had always loved her dolls they'd been her friends for years, her only friends to be truthful, so she decided to make puppets of her family... baby Nicholas, his Father and herself. Together they go on adventures as Joan makes up different stories about their family and her son’s Father is always there to say goodnight, at least in his puppet form. As her son grew older he would sometimes get angry with his Father and Joan would encourage him to talk about it through his puppet, the cathartic effect of the puppets solved many a dispute between Father and son over the years which she herself found useful later on. The years passed and more puppets were added over time; puppets of their friends and family. They became part of the puppet shows and it was a way of keeping the memory of their friends alive. The stories grew year after year, changing with the times, but the telling of them was always a 'special time' for Joan and her son.
 
As time went on, Joan allowed her shows to be shared with other children from their troupe of actors and her shows became popular, so popular that other puppeteers began copying her shows, telling similar stories, but always using the same basic characters. They were all different in their own ways and at first Joan was felt honoured that her stories were entertaining so many children, for Joan loved all children. She herself had been blessed with only the one... her Nicholas - who she adored!
 
What people don’t know is that Joan and her family were / are immortals! An elixir - given to them by a family friend known to Joan as John Dee was to change their lives forever! Immortality did not give them and easy life, not entirely - for over the centuries they had faced many challenges, experienced many passions, not only laughter, love and happiness, but as times became hard, they experienced anger, rage, jealousy - even murder!
 
The story of Joan shows how she survived to tell this tale. It tells of her resilience and strength born out of adversity. A story that many can relate to if they’re honest with themselves.