Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mummy Misfit's Magic Moments (2011)

It’s been a hectic few months for a Mummy Misfit and as 2011 draws to a close I’ve been reflecting on my year.

In early June I published my first book on Kindle - all very exciting and nerve-wracking but I received great reviews and was relieved to find I’d made the right decision to go Indie.

I now have two books on Kindle and in paperback and the long and exciting job of marketing and promoting is stretching out ahead of me.

So … what have been the highs and lows in the year of a Mummy Misfit?

  1. Hubbie woke me at 2 a.m. to tell me I’d had my first unbiased praise on Facebook.  The joy of knowing that someone I didn’t know had found my book and was enjoying it had us up and out of bed in the kitchen with a glass of wine and jumping for joy!

  1. I blogged every single day for three months - I wrote about everything from my how I got my 38C’s to periods, dream jobs to imaginary holidays.  Then I realised I just couldn’t keep it up - I could be writing another book.  My daily musings became weekly and the pressure was off.

  1. I went from Twitter virgin to addict in the space of a week.  When my husband told me I should join, I poo-pooed it - what could Twitter do for me?  Now I get an attack of the heebie-jeebies if I don’t get my ‘Twit-Fix’.  I even dream about it!  But I’ve met some great people and it’s helped to sell heaps of books.  I learnt a harsh lesson quite early on - you can’t trust everyone but I refuse to listen to my mum when she says that nobody on there is real!  So what does that make me?

  1. A literary agent changed his mind within the space of 24 hours about representing me.  My work was “excellent with a strong voice and great dialogue” and the next day I was “too commercial!”  Go figure!  I give up on them and will continue to fly solo and work my socks off for myself.  I will get that six part mini series!

  1. My marriage survived getting two books out there and editing the second.  Many late nights and hissy fits (me!) were involved but we got there in the end.  I would fight to keep every word I’d written but I know he’s usually right and would back down in the end.  Twitter friends gave me permission to poke him in the eye if he got too bolshie but I refrained - I did sulk a lot though.

  1. My clever son designed both of the back covers and also helped with a tricky bit of formatting for Kindle.  Sixteen year olds have their uses and it lifts my heart every time I sell a book and I hear him shout, “Go, Ma!”

  1. I’ve been through more highs and lows than I ever thought possible in this past year.  I’ve gone from having complete faith in myself and what I’m doing and then I’ve had days when I find my work dominating my life and I just want to throw the towel in.  Another book sale, a great review or a happy tweet from someone can change all that in an instant.

  1. The day I received my first hard copy of the book felt surreal and dreamlike.  It arrived on the day we’d decided to go to St Paul’s to check out Occupy London and I remember drifting around the streets thinking “I finally have a copy of my baby!”  I now have them both in paperback and I can quite happily sit and stare at them for hours.

  1. I’ve realised that writing is something that I have to do - maybe it’s the frustrated actress in me coming out in another way but I need to do it.  People like what I write and that feels good.  It was very flattering to have readers begging for the sequel and it meant the world to me.  BUT  I’ve got to put all my time into getting these two books talked about and I’ve decided to ban myself from working on a new book until Easter.  I don’t always listen to myself though, so who knows?  But that’s the plan at the moment.

  1. I’ve realised that writing isn’t a lonely profession any more.  There’s always someone out there to chat or moan to.  I’ve made some real friends - some writers, some not, but I know I can always find someone to connect with.  Poor old Barbara Cartland would have been all alone in her negligee and feather boa - I don’t know how she did it.

So that’s my year in brief and I’m very excited at the prospect of 2012.  I don’t believe in New Year resolutions but I do believe in having a dream and the drive to see it through.

I wish all my readers a very happy and peaceful 2012 - watch this space, Mummy Misfit is going to be hitting the ground running.

My books can be found on Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

When Ananda met Amanda

Today my blog is a series of questions posed to me by the fabulous Ananda at ‘Books to Remember’.  Check out her blog and her great review of the diary.

Thank you Ananda and here goes.

Describe Mummy Misfit in 3 words
Bitchy, funny and warm.

Where does the idea for Diary of a Mummy Misfit come from?
My son has been privately educated and we’ve struggled to do it - I was the Mummy Misfit at the school gates - no designer handbag or holidays abroad for me because all our money went on our son’s schooling.

Can we sense a bit of Amanda in Libby’s character?
There’s a lot of me in Libby - I felt awkward and was made to feel like a second class citizen on many occasions.  (I may have to move out of London now!)

If she wasn’t Mummy Misfit she would be - Mummy ________?
Mummy Who Doesn’t Belong!

Do you sing in the shower?
I love my deep bath at night and at the moment my son is obsessed with Pink Floyd so I enjoy humming along while it’s blaring from his bedroom.  I HATE the nights he listens to Radiohead (husband’s fault!)

What annoys you the most - people, situations etc?
Snobbery, inequality, racism, rudeness and people who lie or distort the facts.

Five things Ms Egan can’t live without?
My family, humour, sleep, cigarettes, white wine.  (Bad mummy!)

How much does it take for Mummy Misfit to become ‘Monster Mummy’?
If people lie or have a different set of rules for themselves I will most definitely become ‘Monster Mummy’.  I am fiercely protective of my family and I won’t be told how I should live my life.

Is there someone like ‘Fenella’ in your life?
There is a Fenella in my life and I love her dearly.  She’s been made larger than life for the book but she was the basic outline for the character.  Had it not been for my ‘Fenella’ I may not have survived prep school!

Is there a time when you say to yourself - “Damn, I’m acting like Libby now?”
Often!  I’ve had many mad Libby and Fenella nights and I’ve also panicked about school fees - I lived to tell the story though!

What qualities do you admire most in people?
Resilience, a good sense of humour, generosity of spirit and the ability to take the pee out of yourself.  I love people who can turn a boring time into fun.

All Ms Egan wants for Christmas is ………..?
For my family to be happy - I’m saying no more.

Any New Year’s resolutions?
No!  I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  New Year is just another day as far as I’m concerned - make changes in your life when you feel they are right!  I HATE New Year’s Eve - always have.

Your reaction to a bad (negative) comment about the book (if there were any?)
I have been fortunate to never receive a bad review for the books - YET!  (But I am prepared).  Somebody once told me I was the most boring blogger EVER and needed to get a life and that upset me for a while.  Then I stepped aside, deleted their comment and realised there are weirdos out there who deliberately want to upset.  I know I have a life and also that I have lived an interesting and exciting one.  I also know I have my followers who love my books and my blog so … stuff the rest.  You can’t please everyone - I learnt that as an actress.

Christmas is all ABOUT - _______________________?
Children and making it magic for them.  Even with a sixteen year old I want him to have a great time, to feel loved, cosy and special.
Hubbie and I exchange our stockings on Christmas Eve - our quiet time together with a glass of port.
If I’m totally honest, the rest of Christmas is about family, friends and a huge dollop of stress!

I would like to give huge thanks and hugs to Ananda for her varied and fun questions and to wish her, and all my blog and book readers, a very Happy Christmas.

Ananda’s 'Books to Remember' can be found here.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is on Kindle and paperback.

The sequel, The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit is also on Kindle and paperback.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Darker Side is Here!

Mummy Misfit is a tad excitable today so this post will be short and sweet.

It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year for me - son’s last week at school, mum’s birthday, finalising the Christmas shopping - and in amongst all that I’m launching the sequel to the diary.

Yes, I have in my hands the preview copy and, I have to say, it’s beautiful. It is now available to buy in paperback and for Kindle.

So normal service will resume with my blog next week but today I’m chasing my tail to get my book out there and talked about.

Thank you to all of those who have been eagerly awaiting “The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit”.  I really hope you enjoy - and if you do, please leave me a review.  Your words help to sell mine.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at Lulu.
The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit is available on Kindle at Amazon and in paperback at Lulu

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Open House Continues

Last week’s ‘Open House’ blog was so popular I thought I’d continue with the daft theme this week and invite more questions from Twitter friends.

Here goes - a mixed bag again.

If you could go back in time to the day you were born, what would you tell your parents?
Firstly I’d apologise to my mum for the pain of childbirth and then I’d tell them both not to worry about me - I’ll be a sensible girl and do OK with my life.  And I might add (for my own safety) “Try to stop my older sisters dropping (or chucking) me downstairs”.  It makes a sibling feel unloved!

What would you change about yourself?
I’d love to stop being a worrier, give up smoking and have a new bladder.  One glass of wine and I need to pee - two and I’m in agony.
What’s the most stupid thing you did in the name of love.
I wasted ten years on the wrong man because I was too much of a coward to go solo.  It wasn’t until I met my husband that I saw the light.

If you could pull a Christmas cracker with anyone dead or alive (but not husband or son) who would it be?
That’s an easy one!  It would be my lovely dad.  He died when I was eighteen and I didn’t get to pull enough crackers with him.  He always made Christmas so special and I miss him every day.
Also, how brilliant are penguins??!!
They are so brilliant my son has a collection of approximately 150 stuffed ones, plus badges, buttons, and ornaments.  He developed an obsession with Pingu and it grew from there.  Thankfully, he has now stopped.  I’m often told I’m too black and white in my thinking but as, @mark747eagle pointed out to me last week, nothing is so clear cut - even penguins have yellow feet!

How many times do you swear in a day?
Now this is a tricky one because my in-laws read this!  If I’m totally honest - a lot at the moment as things are a bit stressful in the Misfit household.  Hubbie and I like to shock one another with a stream of the worst just for a laugh.  I also make up swear-words, usually when driving.  If someone doesn’t give way to me, they’re a ‘stinking great snot bubble’.  My son is sixteen and has never sworn (apart from an accidental ‘shit’ at about two) - he thinks it’s unnecessary and, deep down, I agree with him.

What would you like Santa to leave in your stocking this year?
Well I know he’s leaving me a gorgeous pair of knee high leather boots because I’ve bought them myself (from my mum) but I’d love a Kindle, a complete new wardrobe of clothes and more boots - I love boots.  I might get a satsuma!

If you couldn’t write, what would you do for a creative outlet?
I dabble in most crafts - knitting, card making, ceramic painting but I also love to host themed dinner parties for my mad friends - I take lots of care in co-ordinating my table and I plan mad games and tasks.  I also play Guitar Hero with son and hubbie - I’m always the singer and, at the time, I reckon I’m pretty hot.  I’m probably not!

Is there anything in life you couldn’t forgive or do you continue to hate?
I believe I’m a forgiving person but, if somebody seriously harmed a loved-one, I would be unable to find forgiveness in my heart and I would do everything in my power to hunt them down.
And can you name all the flowers that are out in your garden at the moment?
I live in a London townhouse so I have the typical tiny courtyard garden.  It’s very secluded as it’s surrounded in Pyracantha - lovely white flowers for the bees in the summer and red berries for the birds in winter.  The rest of my garden is in tubs so I have the remainder of my summer blooms - Hydrangea, Busy Lizzies etc.  Phew, that felt like a botany lesson.

And now for the humdinger!

Given the state of the global economy is it acceptable to have a tortoise as a pet?
I have serious concerns for this twitterer’s mental health but will answer anyway!  I think a tortoise is an excellent choice of pet during these hard times.  They are cheap to keep and cost nothing whilst in hibernation.  Handy hint - NEVER drill a hole through their shell and thread elastic through them.  My dad did it to mine because he kept ‘running’ away!  (A) it hurts them and (B) if they do go too far, they ping back!

So there you go.  I never said it would be sane or normal but it’s nearly Christmas and we all need a bit of a laugh.  Hope you enjoyed.

‘Diary of a Mummy Misfit’ is on Amazon for Kindle and on Lulu in paperback.  ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ will be released the week of 12th December.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

When Mummy Misfit Met Michelle Betham

Today I'm welcoming to my blog, fellow Indie writer and friend, Michelle Betham.  She has three novels on Amazon for Kindle, 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise', 'See You at the Show' and 'No Matter What'.  She is currently working on Illusions of Love, the sequel to No Matter What , which she hopes to release early next year.

So, Michelle, those that know you will already be aware that you love to write while listening to music - often rock and often loud(!) - is there ever a time when you have to have complete silence to work?
During the editing process I sometimes have to have complete silence, because I like to make sure that I have total concentration when I'm editing my books.  I wouldn't say it's silence all the time during the editing process, but there are certainly instances when I have to turn everything off and let the silence take over.

What works best for you when you are having a bad bout of writer's block?
I get the iPod out and listen to certain songs, songs that I just know will give me a kick start and get me back on track.  Music is very important to me and it's a huge influence when it comes to my writing.  But, if that doesn't work, I'll take the dog out for a nice long walk, just to clear my head.  That usually does the trick.

Coming from a theatrical background, do you think that helps with your dialogue?  I read Too Much Trouble and it really is the strong point of the novel.

Thank you. :)  Yes, I think it probably does help with the dialogue, to some extent.  Being in a theatre environment you are constantly aware of having dialogue all around you, and I think I've subconciously become more aware of how important conversations and the way they're structured can be to not only a good theatrical production, but also to books.  I love writing dialogue, and it's so easy for me because I just think of everything as if it were a play or a movie and write it from that angle.  That's definitely my performing arts background coming out there!

I know you love the writing and style of Jackie Collins but if you had to pick one either writer you admire, who would it be?
I just love horror writer James Herbert!  I'm a bit of a horror fan and his books have been the only horror books I've read that have managed to keep me awake at night because I've been so scared!  He has the ability to create such a sense of fear and anticipation in his writing, and I really admire that.
I also love Stephen King, and Lisa Jewell is one of my favourite chick lit authors. I love her books!  Sorry, was I just supposed to pick one!!

What's your typical working day?
Well, once I've done the usual rounds of vacuuming, tidying the kitchen up after breakfast, making the bed (you know how it is!) I make a cup of tea, settle myself down at my desk and begin by going over any emails or messages I need to answer.  Then, when all of that's finished, I like to try and get some work done on whatever book I'm writing at the time.  I much prefer to write in the morning, for some reason, usually giving the afternoon over to preparing and writing blog posts and doing a little bit of book promotion. 

As Indies, we're denied the traditional book launch - what would your dream launch be?
Oh, now, that's a good question!  I think my ideal book launch would be a small but select party for those that have helped and supported me.  It would involve a nice meal with lots of champagne, chocolate souffle for dessert, and Bradley Cooper handing out Ferrero Rochers... sorry, that's my vivid imagination working over time again!  But it would be a lovely little low key affair, I think, because I am quite a shy person.  Dinner, drinks and dancing. That would be my perfect book launch.  Oh, and a nice new dress and some fabulous shoes... and I'd have Lee Stafford do me hair... I'm on a roll now...

Roughly, what's your time frame for a book from start to uploading to Kindle.

Let me think... usually, on average, I'd say around 6 - 8 months, but it usually depends on the particular book I'm writing and how picky I'm being over the editing.  But it's around 6 - 8 months, give or take.

If one of your books was made into a film but the director insisted you played a female role, who would you like to play and why?
Ooh, that's quite easy that one. I'd love to play India Steven, the character from my epic contemporary romance No Matter What!  She goes from legal secretary to movie star, almost overnight, living in L.A. and hanging around with gorgeous movie stars, so I would absolutely love to play that role!  Especially if Keanu Reeves was starring alongside me!!

Do you have any ideas to work on when your current project is finished?
I have a few more ideas that I'd love to work on once I've finished Illusions of Love, including another chick lit novel, and a couple more edgy romances.  I'm also thinking of writing a follow up to Too Much Trouble in Paradise because I think there was a lot of life left in those characters, and I've got a great idea for a sequel!

Thanks Michelle, it was great chatting to you.

Michelle's books can be bought at Amazon for Kindle, PC or Smartphone (using the free app).
Here is the link to her blog.
And she's a great Twitterer @michellebetham