Published by Canelo (8 January 2018)
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
available in ebook
TA (Trevor) Williams talks about the highs and lows of being a writer
Somebody asked me the other day what my favourite moment has been in my writing career. Looking back, there have been quite a few highs, although there have been a huge number of lows as well.
Writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely pastime. It’s you against yourself. You sit at the keyboard and hope the words will flow. When it goes well, it gives you a real buzz. When you sit there for hours with very little to show for it, or when you read the two or three thousand words you wrote the previous day and realise they are rubbish, the result is depressing, to say the least. So… wannabe authors out there, prepare for setbacks because they will happen.
So, with that caveat in mind, what about the highs?
Writing The End on the final page of my very first full length novel was pretty special. Nowadays, looking back over thirteen published books, the sheer physical achievement of churning out 80,000 words is no longer such a big deal. But, as they say, you never forget your first time. Of course, as I now know, The End doesn’t really mean that at all. You send the manuscript off to your editor and, before long, it comes back to you and you are going through it again, taking out character A, making character B edgier, or less up himself, moving the final scene from an ocean going yacht to a beach hut in Torquay or whatever. Then off it goes again this time to the copy editor, to return with words chopped out, grammar questioned, and suggestions in red ink all over the place.
So, The End – great feeling but short-lived.
But by far the hardest thing about getting a book published is finding a publisher. All right, nowadays you can self-publish and a lot of people are opting for that solution, particularly as it gives you total control over subject, style and, of course, price. But if you are trying to go down the traditional publisher route, companies taking on new, unknown writers are as rare as hen’s teeth. So, without doubt, a great, great moment for me was getting the email telling me a publisher had read my first book and loved it enough to want to publish it. I rushed through to the bathroom where my wife was taking a shower and almost soaked the iPad in my excitement. Yes, that was something else.
In contrast, when my first book came out, then my second, and so on, I was less excited. Yes, it’s good to see the covers appear on Amazon. Yes it’s good to see the books begin to rise through the rankings as people, not just my close friends and family, started shelling out real money to read my stuff. But nothing beats that first email, specially after (in my case) many long years of beating my head against a brick wall trying to get people to read my stuff.
And that brings us to reviews. You buy a toilet brush on Amazon. It works, You post a good, very good, or excellent review. You buy a book on Amazon and suddenly it’s a very different matter. A toilet brush is a toilet brush, however you look at it. No two books are the same and no two readers are the same. When somebody leaves a bad review, it hurts. I have no doubt that even for the million-sellers in the writing world, it hurts. Yes, it’s inevitable – you can’t please all of the people all of the time – but that doesn’t help. All those long hours at the computer make your book a very, very personal thing. Just as any mother would be gutted if a total stranger came up and observed, ‘What a disgustingly ugly baby you have,’ so the effect of vicious criticism can be the same for a writer.
Which makes the good reviews so very, very special. When I read reviews, specially from people I know and respect, praising my work, it gives me a high that lasts all day. So, after all that, I have no hesitation in saying that the very best moments for me in my writing career so far have been those 5 star reviews that make you just sit back and grin to yourself. That’s really special.
| About the Book |
Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence
When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!
Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?
Warm-hearted and unputdownable, Dreaming of Florence is the perfect escape for readers of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.
| About the Author |
I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.