Why I loved 2014!:
Reminiscences on 2014….whilst clutching a crocheted, green, ‘baby kraken’ 😉
At the end of 2013 I met Brandilyn on Facebook and after endless group chats… Brandi, Myself, and a couple of other wonderful Facebook friends, re-branded Brandi’s site and named it Prism Book Alliance. I was excited about every aspect, as I had never been involved in a blog before and there was a lot to learn.
However, 2014 did not have an auspicious start for me and I wrote my first review for PBA wearing sunglasses, doped up in bed with meningitis…that review was for Once upon a Haunted Moor by Harper Fox.
I am writing this post with another headache, but totally ‘self-inflicted’ this time, so forgive any errors. The way we put up reviews has changed considerably over the year, and I had to learn HTML codes to put them on site initially….I continued to do this long after the system had been changed but I didn’t realise lol…at least I learned a new skill.
I love writing reviews and take it very seriously. Authors work very hard to get their work out to the reader, and there is a lot of emotional investment in writing. However, not all books can be wonderful, and it is up to the reviewer to point out where maybe some part didn’t work, or there were too many obvious editing / grammatical/spelling errors. Plot holes or impossible physical feats are another area the reviewer can catch and discuss. For as much as a reviewer must respect an author’s work they must also stand as an advocate for the reader and remember that the reader will be paying money for this book and should be aware of any problems before making their choices.
Having said this the most wonderful feeling I have reviewing, is finding a beautifully written work that thrills me with its language and story and then shouting about it from the virtual rooftops. I am lucky that I have read several such works in 2014
I ‘met’ so many lovely people on Facebook during this year, and the friendships I have made with the other PBA members, I shall remember and treasure for the rest of my days.
This was also a happy year for me because my beloved ‘other half’ finished his Chemo in October 2013, and this year all his check-ups were clear. 2014 saw him put on annual check-ups, which was the best news we could ever have. I wish, for all those suffering with cancer, happy news in 2015.
All my life I have written stories, poems and articles. My first published poem was when I was 10…called The Owl it was published in a national schools anthology and I thought I’d made it! I have had small academic things published since, but never managed to write the stories I wanted to.
For many reasons it took me several decades to get to the point where I wanted to try and be published for fiction. In June I attended UKMeet and in emails before the event, Charlie Cochrane, persuaded me to pitch the story, I was currently working on, to publishers also attending UKMeet in Bristol. Charlie arranged the days and times for me to meet with three publishers, and from these meetings I accepted Wilde City Press’ offer and found myself with a contract. From then on my book has taken up a lot of my time and thoughts. I will always be grateful to Charlie for her support and help.The feeling I get when I’m writing and it’s going well is nothing short of joyous.
UKMeet was an astonishing experience. I have rarely been in the company of so many interesting and like-minded people. One of the aspects of academic life I enjoyed was the discussion, and debate, over subjects many of us shared and felt strongly about. This aspect existed in Bristol too along with the liking for alcohol and good food. So many highlights, but I have to mention meeting and talking with Harper Fox as very special. I haven’t felt star struck in a long time, but I was totally in awe. Such a very lovely and gentle person, so very self-effacing and considerate, but I couldn’t calm myself enough to ask the questions I wanted to. It was still a very special meeting for me and I hope when we meet again in September I shall be a little less wide eyed and brainless.
In October I experienced a steep learning curve in the form of the extraordinary Queer Romance Month… for me, perhaps the second most important event of 2014. It led to me talking on PBA about my own struggles with gender and sexuality, although I tried to simplify it for the post…well the response to my opening up in real life, as well as on-line, has been very positive.
There were sad moments of loss, but the overall memory I have of 2014 is a year of new experiences and happiness.
This was a year of finding out about so many interesting authors, readers, reviewers and making new friends. It was the year that saw the birth of Izzy van Swelm my alter ego. Although 28th January 2015 will see the release of my first book Soul Mate for Sin…it was in 2014 it was created and I started learning about the fascinating, frustrating process of writing and publishing.
On Facebook and Twitter I saw glimpses of the very best human beings have to offer and the very worst, but social platforms are seldom boring and always informative.
I hope your 2014 was as happy as mine, but however your year turned out, I wish you all the best of everything for 2015 and beyond.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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