Archive for the ‘Selling Aranrhod’ Category

Time Goes By …

February 12, 2009

winter park

I’m busy writing a sequel, and thoroughly enjoying getting back to some creative writing, watching ideas spring out of the flow of words on the screen. There’s no feeling quite like it.

Creating something is the only way I’ve found to slow down time. You would think it would be the opposite, that being absorbed in the creative process would distract you from the passage of time, so that when you notice the clock again you exclaim, “Wow! Is that the time?!”  One associates time dragging with boredom and time racing with being busy, but there must be a difference between busy-ness and creative preoccupation.

Maybe it’s to do with brain waves (no, not brainwaves: brain waves, though they are connected). I saw a programme about intelligence last night and it advocated emphasising your theta waves if you wish to maximise clarity of thought, memory, etc. Theta waves come to the fore when you are totally absorbed in an activity – and I suppose I’m saying that you can’t create without being absorbed in the creative process. So maybe the brain’s perception of time slows down during theta wave production.

The expert mentioned sportspeople being ‘in the zone’ as an example of theta wave prominence, and one of the consequences of being in the zone is that the sportsperson seems to have more time to react than the normal player. Time slows down. Cricket commentators talk a lot about ‘timing’, about ‘seeing the ball early’, and all sportspeople regularly go in and out of form, that elusive state.

Well, it’s possible that ‘form’ is the ability to give prominence to theta waves, an ability which can be disastrously compromised by what the pundits call ‘outside distractions’. If you’re full of ‘Just Married’ emotions, or your first baby is due any day, or you’re worried about your ankle niggle, or you had a row with a team mate, those theta waves will stay firmly locked down and no matter how much you’ve practised, no matter how good your technique, the ball will arrive at your bat or racquet at its proper speed and, while your technique might allow you to make contact with the ball, without the extra millisecond granted by theta wave prominence, your timing will be rubbish – you’re out of form. This helps to explain silly losses like England v West Indies recently and England v Spain even more recently.

I like the idea that there is a link between artistic creation and playing sport at the top level.

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The North London Launch …

May 28, 2008


Blog Directory - Blogged

By the way, did I tell you, the north London Launch was a great event, with all kinds of creative things going on. Watching someone bind a book, using the stitching method, was fascinating – and labour intensive.

I want to thank Rev Mel, Catherine and all who helped organise the day – and the sunshine between two wet days!

There was a drama workshop, while Aranrhod’s cover artist Imogen Hallam came all the way from Devon to get children making minibooks – and they were delightful (the minibooks and the children!).

Betty started reading Aranrhod there and then, as you see from the pic …

First Prize …

May 5, 2008

On Wed 30th April, just over a year from when it first went on sale, The Legend of Aranrhod was awarded First Prize in a national competition.

The photograph captures the moment when the result was announced.

The competition was organised by the David St John Thomas Charitable Trust. Their aim was to find the self-published novel of 2008 that is being the most successfully marketed. The average total sales of self-published books is 300. Almost four times that number of Legends have been sold thus far.

This is where I want to express my thanks to all who have bought The Legend of Aranrhod and to all who have recommended it to others or who have actually sold copies for me. THANK YOU!!

But I have to reserve my greatest thanks for the novel itself, to Carys and all her fellow characters. Ultimately, as the marketing maestro himself remarked on an episode of The Apprentice recently, you can’t market a duff product, so the prize is definitely the book’s, not mine. Last week I met a 13-yr-old girl who has read the Legend five times and says it’s ‘the best book ever’. Her father commented that her copy is indeed ‘very thumbed’. It’s humbling for a writer but true that a few ‘very thumbed books’ probably sell more copies than all one’s carefully orchestrated book signings and author appearances.

Having said that, I continue to flog copies personally as I tour with my choir. The novel is selling in greater numbers than on last year’s tours, which is exciting.

Happy Birthday Aranrhod …

April 25, 2008

photo courtesy of Gary Mackley-Smith

In three days time, April 28th 2008, it will be one year since the first Aranrhod Blog entry. And a couple of weeks ago marked the anniversary of the first print-run of 1,000 copies.

All of that first print-run has gone and this month I began marketing the second thousand copies. I am selling them as I tour, as I did last spring. Interestingly, they are selling in greater numbers than last year.

The photograph is a picture of people arriving at the Devon Launch last October, one of many highlights in the first year of marketing Aranrhod. The photo is courtesy of Gary Mackley-Smith.