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What Makes An Author?

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When does an author feel they can really call themselves an author? Is it the moment they set pen to paper or is it when they have sold a million? Our latest blog features Nicky Gregory, author of our forthcoming title, Georgie Jones ... and you thought your family was weird! Read on to find out what she thinks about being an author. 

What makes me an Author? By Nicky Gregory.

What makes an Author?  When do you ‘become’ an Author? Is it when you have your work accepted for publication or when you finally hold a copy of your shiny new book in your hands? Is it when you have sold a certain amount of copies or when you receive industry accolades for your work?

Before I was published, I would dream of the day when a copy of my book would be displayed in my local bookshop. Then, I felt, I would have reached the pinnacle of my dreams. That was my one ambition the one thing I worked towards. When that day came and my book was proudly sitting, face forward, amongst the other literary heavy weights; gleaming at me, I was thrilled. I kept popping into the store to make sure it was still there!  When the bookstore made a prominent display of my books, I was overwhelmed and when I was number one in the local bookseller’s chart, I was beaming with pride. As the success of the first book grew, and sales figures were buoyant, I was optimistic. Is this it? Have I made it as an Author?

But the times during my many book signing engagements , where I would sit at a table of neatly stacked books and watch the world go by, trying to catch the eye of busy shoppers or attempting to seem casual and laid back about being there, bang in the middle of a bookstore , promoting my wares, my confidence would fail me . It is a myth that as a writer at a book signing, the public will be queuing out of the door and around the corner, just to get a glimpse of you. Of course, there are the blessed few that invoke such a reaction and their celebrity status is nothing short of breath taking but for most writers, successful or otherwise, the reality is that a book signing event is a somewhat more quiet affair. I would find myself, sitting at my table, feeling very self- conscious and questioning my right to be there. Who am I to think that anyone would be interested in what I have to write? I’m just a mum, a wife and someone who likes writing stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of how fortunate I am to be a published writer and I am grateful and delighted every time a bookstore requests an appearance and a signing event from me – that does wonders for a girl’s ego! But, when the store is busy and nobody is paying any attention to the great big stand in the centre of the floor with the writer poised, pen at the ready, well … that’s not so great. And then something magical happens. A child will step up and stare at the large cover display with my main characters adorned all over it and their eyes light up with interest. A teenager looking unamused will sidle over, pick up a copy from the table and stand engrossed, working their way through the first chapter and they are hooked. They have suspended their everyday lives, just briefly, and have stepped into my world.

They are walking side by side with my characters. They are experiencing the emotions, the highs and lows of the people that I created. And suddenly, the quiet moments don’t matter. I have sold a significant number of books now and to know that my book is nestled on peoples bookshelves, In school book bags, on bedside tables is the biggest sense of achievement I can imagine necessary to call myself an Author.

Being an Author is not about how many prizes you can win or even about how many copies of your book you can sell. To me, being an Author is simply about loving writing.   

Find out more about Nicky Gregory here.

 

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