Passing Affirmations…

Around three years ago in 2019, which was another age, I was convinced by a force of nature known as C.G Hatton to take my books, stand behind a stall in Scarborough at a Sci-fi convention and pretend that I knew what I was doing with all this writing nonsense… It was also my first big convention, well, convention full stop, as a writer. So for much of it I was a little wide-eyed and confused.

This was a simpler time, a happier time, a time before the great extinction event of 2020 killed off the convention circuit and caused us to spend two years shrugging our shoulders every time the possibility of a gathering of geeks cropped up anywhere…

Due to the inconvenient plague, it took me, and geekdom in general, three years to get back to Scarborough. Three long years for many of us, too long for some… Indeed only in the last six months or so have conventions started stumbling back to some kind of normality, though that ‘normality’ is the new and not quite normal, normality… It has in short been a journey, and we have lost too many along the way…

Strangely, or perhaps not all considered, Scarborough became the first event I’ve done twice last weekend. It just took a few more years than expected to get back there. But given the interluding years have been far from easy, and the water that has passed under the troll bridge I more or less expected no one to remember me.

I was wrong.

A number of readers, who bought books from me the first time did remembered me and surprisingly my books as well.

Now let me bring you in on a secret. A dark and scary secret. The kind of secret that should never be told… The kind of secret that is never told, because the only people who could tell it are all too scared to admit it to anyone… even, if they are completely honest, our selves…

The thing is, you see, every author thinks they are rubbish… Honestly, we are all convinced we are just winging it, and live in fear of the day they’ll come and tell us to stop… Every good review we get is just someone being kind, the words of friends willing to lie to protect our fragile egos. Meanwhile, every bad review is unvarnished honesty from strangers. They cut us to the quick, because inside, we all know the bad reviews speak the truth… Of course, that could just be me. Other authors may all be perfectly well rounded individuals with no great ravaging insecurities, who just brush off the negative shite for the merely mouthed bullshit that it is and know all words of praise are honest of intent and truly spoken…

One can hope…

But Lets get back to the point. This years Scarborough, as I said, was the first time I have returned to an event. Which also meant it was the first time I’d ever had a reader who had bought a book 3 years before come up to me table and tell me how much they enjoyed it and asks if I’d written a sequel yet… Which is an experience that is hard to fit into my internal narrative of self doubt…

So many books but never enough to hide behind

And then a luverly couple did the same… Then a timelord in full regalia turned up and smiled in my direction. Then a brown coat in a cunning hat… All of them with the same story, all people I sold a book 3 years ago . All of them effused for a sequel to my novel Passing Place, which is both my favourite of my novels and and to be frank the least successful novel I have so far written…

Passing Place is a difficult book to sell. Unlike the steampunk Hannibal and Maybe novels which are easy to pigeon hole and even Cider Lane a contempory romance come thriller with a little ‘t’… Passing Place doesn’t really have a genre as such beyond urban fantasy/Scifi. Its an odd book… It is also the kind of book I always wanted to write. I love all my novels with the equal love of a parent… But I love Passing Place more… But as I said its never sold well, because frankly its imposable to market…

Here through is a thing. The thing in fact… Back in 2019 at Scarborough I only sold about four copy’s of Passing Place. I sold a few of Hannibal’s first outing ‘A Spider in the Eye’. Sold a few copies of my novella ‘A Scar of Avarice’. I even sold a couple of Cider Lanes which I just happened to have copies of with me despite it being a sci-fi convention. But only about 4 copies of Passing Place

Last weekend the readers who bought all four of them came back to my stall and told me how much they enjoyed my own favourite among my literary children… They all asked after a sequel (long planned by far from written), bought other books of mine and wanted more from me as a writer…

Strangers who appreciated, valued, hell, just plain enjoyed my work, and told me so. It’s quite a thing… And sure, in a few days I’ll have forgotten this, I’ll be hiding that dark scary secret again and hoping no one comes and makes me stop writing… Because that’s how my brain works…

But for now I’ll bask a little in the passing affirmation… And smile a happy smile…

As did this pair of time-traveling gentleman who bought a copy this time round…

This entry was posted in amreading, amwriting, book reviews, books, booksale, depression, fantasy, Hannibal Smyth, indie, indie novels, indie writers, indiewriter, novels, Passing Place, reads, sci-fi, steampunk, writes, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Passing Affirmations…

  1. andy h says:

    A bit of self doubt is no bad thing. It’s when you doubt your doubt, things get doubtful. You had a good range of work out there, appealing to many different reader tastes and it worked.

    Like

  2. Phyllis says:

    I will be expecting at least one more next year when I come back for the third round!

    Liked by 1 person

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