Why it's kind of awkward when your friend writes a book.
So, I kind of fancy myself a bit of a writer. I write books and then I publish them. I talk about the books I publish. A lot. And I try to get people I know the read the books I publish.
Which is probably, actually, really awkward for the people I know.
Because there's always that little question at the back of their brain, no matter how polite they're being, which says, "What if her books are rubbish?"
It's a fair enough question. I've asked it myself. And I've been in that awkward position where I've read books that people have written and have hated them and then not been able to really say what I think when they ask me what I think, which of course is what all writers want to know as soon as they've heard that you've read their book. Tell me, tell me, tell me, did you love it? is what we are desperate to ask, with the enthusiasm of new puppies who've discovered an open fridge full of easily accessible soup bones, but we hide our wagging tails and shrug our shoulders and say nonchalantly, "Oh, really? You read my book? Coool," and then change the subject, all the while hoping they'll gush and rave and want to buy all our back catalogue on the spot.
It's awkward being a wanna-be writer. I'm constantly battling my insecurities. No *real* publishers want to buy my book. Does that mean I'm not a *real* author? Will all this effort be for nothing? Am I just fooling myself?
On my sane days, I think I'm okay at it. I know I'm not a world-beater. I'll never win a literature prize for children's fiction - at least not this decade. But I'm not the worst writer you'll ever read. You might even be surprised, if you can get past your question: "What if her books are rubbish?"
Here's a promise. If you're my friend, I won't ask you what you thought of my book - any book. You're free to take the risk and read it, knowing that if you totally hate it, I'll never ask and you'll never have to tell.
And yeah, here's the ad. Two new books this month. Two totally different audiences.
I'm Sad and I Need Cake is non-fiction for grown-ups, a series of letters with fellow author Hannah Boland, exploring grief, faith and friendship, particularly in light of her double tragedy, losing two babies in three years. Available as an ebook from Smashwords or as a paperback.