Hey! Everybody!

Hey!  Everybody!Amsterdam 2010

Welcome to the blog. I'll be using it to promote the holy living cupcakes out of my novel, Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World, as well as presenting action-packed tales from my adventures in writing and publishing.

But to tell the truth, I'm more interested in your reactions than in anything I'll be setting out myself, and if I have an unsolvable question for the universe, I will most likely be posting it here.

Here's my first unsolvable question:  Why am I doing this?

Aren't there enough writing blogs out there?  Does the world really need one more person with a megaphone standing in a line yelling, 'Hey!  Everybody! I'm saying stuff!'

humpty-dumptyWell, maybe the world doesn't need this, but I do, and if you're a writer, so do you.  As I've recently learned, most agents and publishers expect to be able to type your name into a computer and see a blog, or a website, or both, and no internet presence seems to mean no existence for you on this planet.

Am I exaggerating? Possibly.  But let me share a story.  In April while I was still searching for a publisher, I received a very positive response from a major Canadian imprint (which I won't name, except to say that it was Harper Collins Canada).  They were seriously considering taking on my book.  I went mad with joy.  They told me they would get back to me within a few weeks with a final answer.  I waited.  They said no.

It was close, I heard. They liked the book.  The problem was me.  First of all, there was the fact that I live in Ireland and the publisher is based in Canada.  But more importantly, when they googled my name, they found nothing, and because of this they didn't think the risk would pay off, no matter what the quality of the book.  When I found out I was angry, but only at myself.  I had been head-slappingly stupid.

Because this wasn't the first time I'd come across this idea – that you need Twitter and Facebook and a big megaphone in order to even have a chance of survival in publishing these days.  I just chose to put my hands over my ears and ignore it.  Look at the time and effort it takes to write a novel or even a story, I thought.  Do I really need to put 'farting around on the internet' at the top of my to-do list? And the whole idea of endlessly twerping on about myself and pasting it on a virtual bulletin board for anyone to see: my students, my ex-boyfriends, my boss – thinking about it felt like biting down hard on a ball of tinfoil.

But!  I came round to the idea.  Writing is solitary.  After a long day of working on something that I'm never sure anyone will ever see, I find myself drawn to blogs that reflect my experience and deal with questions I'm asking, even if it's just about whether semicolons are in fact the work of Satan.  I'd love to be able to interact with other writers and readers this way, and of course to let people know how things are going with the book.  I find I'm happy to have a chance to do this.  Thank you, technology.

What are your thoughts?

If you're a writer, do you use social media to promote your work?

If you're a reader, do you actually choose books based on Twitter messages and Facebook 'likes'?

Are semicolons really the work of the devil?

Well?

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Get your copy of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World here

...in Ireland and the UK 

51U3E6BPgnL  SL500 AA300  Cinnamon Toast pb cover low res

In the U.S.A.

In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

"...page-turning, top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner