Saturday, 22 August 2015

Now for the commercial...

Like many writers, I'm appalling at advertising my books. I've even been known to find myself unable to sell copies at a book group meeting when I've been specifically invited to do just that. But after some difficulty in getting hold of my editor (my emails were being accidentally binned), he's managed to get the Kindle price for The Birds, the Beas and Other Secrets down to a reasonable price, so please forgive my posting this short extract (for the first time ever, I've advertised this novel on Facebook, and wanted people to have a taster before they they think of buying it). I  know some of my followers have already bought and read the novel (and I'm really grateful to them), but for anyone who hasn't, I'd love you to give it a go. Down from over £10 (!), it's now just £3.12p.

The mother in the novel is based on my own eccentric mother, and the primrose story is entirely true. I shall never know how she got away with it.

We did have fun, didn’t we?” It’s as though she is reading my thoughts. “Do you remember the time I sent a note to school and we went picking primroses?”

Oh yes!”

A blue and white spring day, a dapple of bright new leaves, and the primroses like stars in the chalky soil, their faces turned to the sun. We picked the slender pink stems, sniffing the perfume of the flowers, and filled a basket with them, then sat on our coats on the ground (“Don’t sit on the wet grass; you’ll get piles.” “Piles of what?” “Never you mind.”) to eat our picnic lunch of crisp rolls and ham and apples. It never occurred to me at the time to question what we were doing. My mother always reasoned that we were her children, and if she wanted us out of school for a day, then that was her right.

What did you say in the note?”

What note?”

The note you wrote to the school on the primrose day.”

I forget.” Her eyes start wandering again, then return with a snap. “On yes! I said you had your period!”

Mum!” I was ten years old at the time, my chest as flat as a board, my body smooth and hairless as a plum.

Well what did you expect me to say?” And of course, as usual, there is no answer to that.

And Deirdre and the cowpat. Do you remember that?”

Blowing up cowpats with Lucas and his friends in the field behind our house, choosing a nice ripe one (“crisp on the top, with a squidgy middle,” advised Lucas, the expert); our excitement, watching the smouldering firework, waiting for the explosion; and the sheer joy when a particularly messy one erupted in a fountain of green sludge, splattering the blonde ringlets and nice clean frock of prissy Deirdre from next door. Oh, Deirdre! If you could see yourself! We rolled in the grass, kicking our heels, convulsed with mirth, while Deirdre, howling and outraged, ran home to tell her mummy what bad, bad children we all were.

What’ll your mum say?” One of Lucas’s friends asked anxiously.

Oh, Mum’ll laugh.”

Mum laughed. She tried to tell us off, but was so proud of the inventiveness of Lucas, and so entertained at the fate of prissy Deirdre, that she failed utterly. But she promised Deirdre's mother that we would all be “dealt with.”

Whatever that means,” said Mum, dishing out chocolate biscuits and orange juice. “Poor child. She doesn’t stand a chance, with a mother like that. But I suppose she had it coming to her.”

I wonder what happened to her?” she muses now.

Who?”

Prissy Deirdre.”

Married, with a nice little semi with net curtains, a Peter-and-Jane family and a husband who washes the car on Sundays.”
For the cowpat idea, I'm indebted to my two younger sons. My lovely neice, Hannah, was the hapless victim.


24 comments:

  1. An excellent book it is....I would have liked it to be twice the length but it is the length it is.

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  2. Lovely book, Frances - I hope you will reach even more readers now the Kindle price has been reduced xx

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  3. $4.99 from the US/international. Just checked for comparison. I already have it since before. And I may add that it has proved to be one of those that tend to linger in memory (which cannot be said about every book after a few years).

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  4. It is a brilliant book, so beautifully written and utterly engaging as well as deeply moving. I'm sure it will reach many new readers with the reduced Kindle price, Frances. xxx

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    1. Joanna, I should ask you to do my publicity for me! Perhaps we could do each other's

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  5. I read this book a few years ago and loved it, but not as much as I loved " Dead Ernest". I still tell people about that one!

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    1. Dead Ernest was on the way to being filmed, but sadly it was the recession, and there wasn't enough money. But thank you. It was my first baby, and I owe it a lot!

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  6. I've enjoyed and admired all three of your books so far Frances. I shall do all that I can to further the readership because I want to fourth to be finished.

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    1. Thank you so much, Graham. The fourth book, has caused me no end of trouble, but is now nearing its end. Never have I found so many reasons to procrastinate...

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    2. I tried procrastinating once but I made a rule not to do things I can't spell. However it didn't seem like a good rule so after much thought I decided that I might try it again. Then again I might not.

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    3. No excuse, Graham, since you spelled it perfectly...didn't you?

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  7. If anyone reading this hasn't read The Birds and the Bees...' then I'd like to know why not. Frances' books are fabulous!

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    1. You're very kind, Wendy. I find self-advertising a cringey process, and I'm not even sure that it works, but at least I've tried!

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  8. It's a great book, Frances, and I'm glad to see you mentioning it! Hope that reduced price attracts new readers to all your books.

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    1. So do I, Rosemary. So do I! The price has now come down even further, but I daren't post about it again...But thank you for your kind comments.

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  9. Hope the price promotion works.

    I can understand your reluctance over the marketing. I think it's something which comes naturally to very few writers.

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    1. Thanks, Patsy. I think we all have that in common!

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  10. It's a great book and I am not just saying that because I follow your blog and you follow mine, Frances.
    Whoever wants to read my review before deciding on buying it or not is welcome to pop over to my blog.

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