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Did I mention that it took me four years to write “Fatal Forgery”?  Not full-time, of course, but it did occupy my thoughts for that long.  And for three years and ten months of that time, only my husband knew that I was writing it.  I didn’t tell anyone else because (a) it would be too embarrassing not to finish it, and (b) I didn’t want every conversation with everyone to begin, “So, how’s the book coming along?”.  Now it is finished, but strangely the habit of secrecy seems to have stuck.

Over the weekend I met a couple of friends I hadn’t seen for ages, yet when they asked what I had been up to, did I say (as suggested by all self-publishing guides and gurus), “I’ve written a marvellous book, here it is, and I think it would make an ideal Christmas present for all of your family and friends”?  I did not.  I mumbled, “Oh, nothing much, same as usual,” and it took my lovely, loyal and proud husband to tell them.

But it’s so un-English, isn’t it, to boast about your own achievements?  And when it’s an achievement that sort of requires people to spend their time and money on you, it’s almost paralysing.  Frankly, I’d rather spend a week in the library researching suicide methods in the early 1830s than five minutes soft-selling my book to people.  Any hints on how to elegantly tell people that you have written a book that is now for sale?