Tag Archives: books

Lady Lewis Is Incredible!

We all knew that anyway…but my lovely friend Annette has been so generous with her time and creativity lately, employing her new video production skills (thanks to her nephew) to produce video content to sort of advertise or market my Annabelle Riley books. (See her Instagram video below!) I think I am going to nominate her as my Creative Director.

Photo by Martin Lopez on Pexels.com

I love my books. I love my characters. I love the story-line. Writing this story was massively fulfilling for me. The story is an epic journey. I am a little shy about they whole marketing side of self-publishing / independent publishing. It does not come naturally. I have been working unpaid for charities and working part time for money – so I don’t do anything to make money. My printed books are priced at the minimum allowable price – which means whenever anyone buys a printed copy – I don’t make any money. My kindle versions are around the $/£2.99 mark after everyone told me if I put them up at less, people might think they are buying a meager offering. I do realize there is nothing meager about these books.

Jack (who has been a great Marketing and Promotions Manager – he wants to know why I wrote Manager and not Director!) has been the driving force behind most of my book sales, because he is not shy of mentioning them. But I have asked him not to put them on his social media platforms because of the way some of his fans have treated me in the past. I don’t want them to ruin this for me. As I imagine many writers feel, the books, the characters, the story I penned are quite sacred to me in some ways and although I do realize that any book, or any foodie dish, music, art, film will have people who enjoy it, people who will not enjoy it…I am scared that some of his fans could lash out at me through something so close to my heart.

So, I am grateful that Jack has spread his enthusiasm by word-of-mouth to people he knows and trusts. I am also touched and deeply grateful to the support of Robert and Annette who have shared their enthusiasm for my writing in their circle. Their support is overwhelming. Annette – Lady Lewis – has been learning the craft of video production lately. She has now produced a trailer or teaser, to set the scene for the story that begins in Blackwood, Wisconsin…and becomes an epic journey of friendships, life lessons, romance, regrets, challenges, weaknesses, recovery, and so much more!

Here is the new trailer! It is up on my Amazon Author Page – but as we have learnt, you cannot see it on the US Amazon. If you are curious, you can see it on Amazon.co.uk though.

In Case You It Didn’t Work For You

My body is telling me to rest. I am sorry for the technical issues yesterday. I am hoping this might work. Annette has published the video she made on her Instagram…so hopefully it will be possible to see it below.

Thank you for all your lovely comments.

…ok, I am going to sleep.

Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

Why I Am Simply Amazed

Thank you for all of the kind comments yesterday. I am feeling a little better. I think I know what was behind my few days of fever (years ago I had an eighteen month period of illness, four surgical operations, gallons of anti-biotics pumped into me after numerous post-op infections) and I am hoping that the rest I had is enough for my body to get over these unwelcome symptoms.

Jack felt he could not go up to spend this week with his mother in case there was a risk that my illness could be passed on to her (she is very vulnerable currently) and so he has decided to stay with me for the rest of the week – happiness.

He has been making a huge fuss of me – preparing little nibbles for me to eat as I have had a poor appetite, keeping me well supplied with water, doing extra laundry for me as I have been sweating with the fever, and he has generally keeping everything in this nest tidy and clean. I am so grateful to him.

But that is not why I am amazed. I am amazed because of what my lovely friend Annette has done for me. I am blown away actually. She has put together a little promotional video for my three part novel series. She sent it over in an email and she has allowed me to add it to my Amazon Author page. I just love her video!!! Love love love it!!! Thank you LADY LEWIS – you are amazing!!!

I am having problems sharing a link to my Amazon Author page (oh I just noticed the US Amazon will not allow you to see videos and photos – your loss USA!) – but if you want to see what is making me so super duper happy – type into Amazon.co.uk “Melody Finch” to find my author page – and look at the video that Annette has allowed me to use.

The Star Of The Story

I have been loving this chance to introduce you to my characters. But there is someone very important who you may have noticed I have left until last to share with you:

Annabelle Riley

(imagine a blonde – young Blake Lively / Margo Robbie / Pamela Anderson – who has no idea how how pretty she is and thinks that she is just a failure at everything and has herself to blame for many of the challenges she has faced)

My protagonist – the central character whose story takes twists and turns, highs and lows along with loop the loops. The three part series revolves around Annabelle’s epic journey of learning about herself, love, challenges, friendships, romance, failure, regret, guilt and forgiveness. But along her journey and very much making the journey next to her are some wonderful characters who as well as helping her, reveal some of their own challenges and life lessons.

You may realize from my posts of the past week, that there are other characters who have made a big impression on Annabelle (and likewise she has on them). Her relationships with these other characters are a fundamental part of her journey. I have to admit that I love dwelling on those relationships and the contrasts between characters and the way they impact each other.

The story is one of love and life, relationships, growth and recovery. It is fair to say that mental health has become a strong undercurrent of these three books. That is not what I set out to write about, but as I sought to make my characters more real, more human – I realized that I could not just dabble lightly or make a trifle of complex issues, I was going have to dive right into the stories of my characters and reveal behaviours that made me slightly uncomfortable, but were so much more authentic than risking my character having a Disney princess outcome.

So…here is a synopsis of Annabelle as you meet her in Book One (avoiding spoilers):

  • she is a beauty and unwittingly attracts the attention of men, most of whom realize quickly she shows no signs of responding to their interest in her (Chris Ward does not give up though)
  • we first meet Annabelle in the fictional sleepy town of “Blackwood” in Wisconsin
  • Annabelle is lodging with a very kind couple – Bert and Pearl Jennings
  • the older residents of Blackwood have grown very fond of Annabelle
  • the gossip queens of Blackwood (Jenna, Margo and Amber and other members of the Blackwood Zumba Group) have started false rumours about Annabelle
  • she loves walking and eating – she has joined the Blackwood Rambling Group and appreciates all the kind hospitality extended to her by Blackwood folk
  • she works for numerous clients in the town doing their laundry and ironing, which pays for her lodgings and leaves her with some extra cash
  • she has experienced challenges – some more recent and quite horrific, but others long-term and insidious – which have had the biggest impact on Annabelle and her relationships and life course?….well you will have to read her story to find out!
  • there is a ten year period of Annabelle’s life she does not mention to anybody in Blackwood because she knows it would be viewed favourably by her new friends in Blackwood
  • she does not speak her family
  • although she is friendly and vivacious with her older friends (polite and cautious with the members of the Zumba group), Bert and Pearl sometimes notice Annabelle in a very tearful state, which she brushes off as soon as she realizes she is not alone

Definitely Not Blackwood Residents

The main characters who feature in the three part novel series I published all have stories that I could write many many pages and books about. I think this is what must happen to many writers as they breathe life into their characters. Just as in real life, it is sometimes hard to understand a main character without knowing their family or close friends.

Today, I am featuring some of the minor characters in the books who are not residents of Blackwood (the fictional Wisconsin town where most of the storyline in Book One takes place). These characters have had a big impact on Annabelle Riley and on other main characters – Chris Ward and Robin Grainger.

Some of these characters I am still getting to know as I work on the prequel/sequel to the original series – which is taking shape nicely. But I do not want to drop spoilers, so I am going to share just enough of their backstory not to give anything away!

George And Carol Riley

(you may have guessed that George and Carol are Annabelle’s parents)

George and Carol Riley have raised their family in the Bronx. George has worked in administrative roles throughout his life – and for over thirty years he has remained as a Clerk within a shipping firm. He is as reliable as clockwork, rising early to commute into his office and leaving punctually to return home where he expects dinner to be ready. He is a man of routine. Part of his routine is his Saturday of relaxation, watching sports and his favourite talk shows. George is not keen on too much chatter, especially if it interrupts the television. He can be quite fastidious about his personal preferences – including the exact way to make a cup of tea. He likes everything to be well organized and in control.

Carol was able to stay at home raising her children until her youngest son started at school. She then took on some part-time work at a local dry-cleaners, making sure the shifts did not interfere with the daily school run and her housekeeping tasks. Carol likes to keep her home clean and tidy, she is a little bit fussy when it comes to neatness (which can be a challenge with children) and feels as if she is constantly working and unappreciated. Carol is prone to stress and some anxiety – especially when she cannot keep on top of everything. Her daughter Alicia is adoring of her mother and boosts her confidence. Carol feels a great sense of pride in her oldest daughter Alicia and her sons Adam and Andrew.

Around six months before the wedding of their oldest daughter Alicia, Carol Riley was shocked to find she was pregnant. Their youngest daughter is Annabelle Riley – who is central character to the story in the three books.

Gina Ward

(imagine a younger Catherine Zeta Jones / Monica Belluci / Angelina Jolie)

Confident, ambitious, competitive go-getter Gina Ward grew up trying to keep up with or do better than her three older brothers and often succeeding. If Gina sets her mind to do something, nothing will stand in her way. After graduating with honours, she was keen to get stuck into her career. Although she was presented with many opportunities, she decided to base herself in Chicago to be near to her family.

Rational and perceptive, Gina was not as shocked by the news her parents were divorcing as her younger brother Chris was. Gina has always very protective of her younger brother, and perhaps a little bossy at times. Chris had just begun college when his parents broke the news, and he took it very badly. Gina has become the rock in Chris’ life. She adores her brother and is determined to support him, even when that involves some tough love. At times Gina feels frustrated with Chris for being so hesitant and self-doubting. She seeks to talk straight to him about how he needs to “man-up” and seize opportunities to be happy.

Dean Mathers

(imagine a younger Johnny Depp / Tim Wheeler (Ash) / Brad Pitt)

Dean Mathers was never meant to feature prominently in the story. When I first started writing Annabelle’s journey, the character Dean Mathers was just supposed to be a figure in her past. Yet, he became so much more interesting as Annabelle started to talk and reveal more about herself. I am not going to share too much with you here, because I really really do not want to drop spoilers, but I will share a little with you about his backstory. I was amazed at how many readers loved Dean Mathers, and the more I get to know him, the more I also grow fonder of him. The prequel/sequel has been a wonderful opportunity to study Dean’s character and history.

Dean is a bit of a bad boy – perhaps I should rephrase that – there is a lot to explain about him. He has grown up in the Bronx, and through relatives, friends and his own state of mind he has ended up smoking, drinking heavily and using drugs. He has a backstory that is not discussed a great deal in the three books, but it may help to be aware of how his character has been shaped. His mother died when as a child, and he has since lived with his Uncle Gary. His father is someone Dean does not even want to know – for a lot of reasons that I am developing in the prequel/sequel. His Uncle Gary has a son called Mark who is a few years older than Dean. Gary provides some stability for Dean, teaching him to hold a job down and introducing him to the guitar.

When Annabelle is a teenager, she meets Dean (who is four years older than her) and becomes infatuated with him. Dean constantly reminds her she is a kid and discourages any ideas of romance from her. But a friendship between the two lingers. Overtime, Annabelle is exposed to Dean’s harmful habits and unwholesome friends, and the mark Dean makes on Annabelle is profound. When we first meet Annabelle in Book One, it is clear that the effect Dean had on her life is still a huge deal to her.


For many years, Gary has led almost a nomadic life. He has been a bit of a cynic and rebel for most of his life. His father was Irish and mother Colombian, and both worked hard and earned very little. Gary’s father ended up managing a bar, and by spending time around his father’s workplace, Gary became accustomed to beer and spirits. As a younger man he worked in warehouse and in his spare time went out busking. Making friends with other musicians brought him opportunities to play in recording sessions and sometimes live with well known musical artists. For much of his life, Gary has avoided commitment and responsibility – spending his cash on liquor and marijuana, casually hooking up with women he met. One of those women became mother to his child Mark, before she left Gary and her son to move in with another man.

The responsibility of caring for his son Mark causes Gary to grow up a little more. He is able to earn enough through his music to buy a house in the Bronx. When his younger sister passes away, Gary takes his nephew Dean into his home. As they grow older, his son and nephew take after their Uncle in many respects, and Gary does his best to instill a hard work ethic in them and tell them how to keep themselves out of trouble with the police.


Ron works in security and is reliable and discreet. He has grown up in Louisiana and loved his family. Since leaving home, Ron has had opportunities to travel extensively through his career. He is quick-thinking and loyal to his clients. If you share a secret with him – Ron will take it to his grave.


Jim grew up in Nashville and was immersed in the Country Music world until he developed a passion for Garage and Independent Rock music. Although as a youth he dreamed of becoming a famous musician himself, he has made his career working within the industry. He has worked pulling pints at music venues, running errands for local radio stations, and promoting gigs and bands, before finding a role in A&R (Artist and Repertoire) that propelled him into music management.

After many years in the industry, Jim has a huge circle of contacts and has years of experience working with music acts. He knows talent when he sees it. While he is aware of the lifestyle the music world involves, and dabbles in it himself, he is no-nonsense about commitments, contracts, and tour schedules.

I have become fascinated with these characters, and I love how they keep growing in the Prequel/Sequel. But all of them feature in the original three part series. You know where to find them:

Who Is Robin Grainger?

I am absolutely loving the chance to explain a little more about some of the key characters and the numerous interesting minor characters that share Annabelle Riley’s journey with her.

Today I want to feature one of the most important characters in the three books – yet someone who many of my friends who read the books had a bit of a Marmite reaction to. To me personally, Robin encompasses some of the qualities, characteristics and idiosyncrasies of men I have known and count among my closest friends – men who had the very best start in life as children and were on the road to success but encountered pitfalls and disappointments and have struggled to find themselves after a humiliation which caused a harder edge in them.

The reaction surprised me a little, but all the more need to enlighten others as to the Robin I see in my mind. He is a complex character, he has a personal story that is an important part of the series. I am going to try to avoid spoilers again…so much of this will be about Robin’s backstory, rather than developments that occur during the storyline.

But first of all, I just want to share a paragraph about Robin’s parents. because I find it hard to share Robin without the context of his family:

Stephen and Fiona Grainger

Robin’s father Stephen is featured later on in the series, but I don’t think it is dropping any spoilers to tell you he has worked hard in business his whole life, and has a very disciplined and traditional outlook. He was the director of a major retail chain, before he became more involved in politics and advisory roles. Even after retirement, he continues to actively support charities and the arts. He owns a large estate out in Berkshire, an impressive town house in Chelsea, and holiday homes in Portugal and in Wales. He loves the countryside, but his commitments have meant he has had to frequently travel back and forth between London and Inkpen.

His wife Fiona has been his loyal support for decades, and is an impressive socialite. Due to her interest in both home cooking and fine dining restaurants, she dabbled at one stage in her own exclusive catering company, but as it expanded she sold her business as she realized she did not have the time to devote while supporting her husband’s aspirations and projects. The apple of their eye – their golden haired son Robin:

Robin Grainger

(imagine a gorgeous, charming, quick-witted, tall, fair-haired nearly 40 year old very English and well spoken Ryan Reynolds / Val Kilmer / Robert Redford with that slight air of James Bond)

Robin is the only child of a wealthy English couple (the extended family made up of his uncles, aunts and cousins are close-knit), and we are talking uber-posh, rural Southern England – grown up on a country estate, sent to boarding school (in England and then in Switzerland), annual skiing holidays, loved Safaris with his parents in Africa, excelled at everything he ever did – always top of his class, winning prizes in school debates, a natural linguist, and climbing the career ladder within the Finance world steadily.

As the only child, Robin is aware that at some stage he will lose his beloved parents and shoulder the responsibility of his father’s well-managed estate and modest fortune. Until that time, he has ambitions of his own. He wants to make a name for himself rather than always being in the shadow of his father. His father cannot help but direct advice to his son and use his contacts to try to speed up the progress of Robin’s chosen career.

Robin was married at a young age. When Robin was a teenager, his parents became chummy with the wealthy Renard and Odette Maréchal (Renard owns a chain of hotels and restaurants, several in Alpine ski resorts) and all four parents were willing to encourage an interest between Robin Grainger and Claudia Maréchal.

By his mid-thirties, Robin is divorced and excelling in his career in Finance. More than ever he wants to be his own man, and not under the thumb of his father. He has the opportunity to spend a year working with a major investments firm in New York to become more familiar with the workings of the New York Stock Exchange and to build his circle of contacts. A friend of his father’s has promised him an extraordinary role back in the City of London at the end of his year in New York. Everything is on course for Robin to be at the top of his field before he turns forty.

At this stage of his life, he considers himself a charming and wholesome rogue, and is not looking for any serious relationship, but enjoys the thrill of the chase with beautiful women. After nine months of hard work in New York and attending lots of professional and social events, meeting and greeting, sometimes with the guy he is sharing a flat with (who works for a media company) Robin attends a glitzy PR event. Robin is just about the hottest creature ever to wear a tuxedo – his Englishness making giving him the ultimate air of James Bond. But there is someone else at that event who turns heads and captures Robin’s attention – the stunning Annabelle Riley.

I don’t want to drop any spoilers, but Robin’s meeting with wild-hearted Annabelle brings along with it a complete contrast to everyone and everything he has known. By the time Book One begins, a complex connection between Robin and Annabelle is hanging in the air and leaves particularly Annabelle in a fog of confusion and uncertainty.

If you are intrigued about the part Robin Grainger plays in the story, you know where to find him:

Meet The Residents Of Blackwood

Yesterday, I began sharing with you my guide to the characters that feature in the three part novel series I published. I started with one of the first characters to appear in the book, and now I am going to share with you other residents of Blackwood.

The fictional town of Blackwood (Wisconsin) is a sleepy and friendly community. Everybody knows everybody else. Most of the townsfolk are married and retired. Many of the younger folk who grew up in the town left to go to college or to work in Milwaukee or Chicago and only ever return to visit their family.

You may wonder how Annabelle has ended up in Blackwood? All is revealed in her story. I hope you love the residents of Blackwood as much as she does.


Bert And Pearl Jennings

(imagine the most lovable, generous, warm-hearted grandparents – only Bert and Pearl were never able to have children)

Bert and Pearl Jennings are a kind, generous, hospital couple – which is typical of Blackwood folk. They visit Pearl’s sister Gloria every other weekend. Gloria lives in Mapleton (another fictional town in Wisconsin) and has children and grandchildren who Bert and Pearl adore.

When Annabelle Riley’s live-in employment comes to an end, Bert and Pearl Jennings offer her lodgings. As Annabelle is very thin and rather quiet when she first moves in with them, Pearl makes it her mission to feed Annabelle and nourish her to better health. Annabelle finds a true haven under their roof, and she comes to trust Bert and Pearl with more of her personal history. She holds back from telling them everything as she is concerned she may lose their favour.

Bert and Pearl encourage Annabelle to engage more in the community. As Annabelle thrives under their roof, Bert and Pearl soon notice that she is attracting the attention of every single man in the town.

Jenna, Margo And Amber

(imagine flirty, fashion-conscious, gossiping girls who are bored of living in a sleepy town – no prospects on the scene – but cannot yet afford their dreams of big city life)

Jenna works at a local hospital. She is the ultimate flirt and has been out with every available man in Blackwood and surrounding areas. Ready to pounce on anybody new in town, Jenna has tried to entice Chris Ward, and later in the story she tries to attract another handsome visitor to the town.

She is very close to Margo and Amber, two sisters who have a lot in common with Jenna. All three young women feel bored with the sleep town of Blackwood, and would love to be able to afford to move to a large city and expand their social circle. Regulars at McCaffery’s Bar, the girls keep their eyes on all the goings on in town.

The three women are the core of the Blackwood Zumba Group. They love to gossip. When Annabelle first moved to Annabelle, they made made a front of friendliness with her, and were intrigued by her reserve when it came to sharing personal details about her life. So these three have used their imagination and filled in the gaps.

Ralph And Barbara Crabbe

(imagine an older couple in failing health who have been in love with each other since their youth and are utterly devoted to one another)

Ralph Crabbe is one of Annabelle’s closest friends. Not long after she moved to Blackwood, she moved in with Ralph and Barbara to assist them as Barbara’s health was failing. Ralph knows more about how Annabelle has come to live in Blackwood than anyone else in town, but he remains discreet and keeps her story secret.

Ralph is full of words of wisdom. His conversations with Annabelle have always given her plenty to think about. Annabelle becomes quite devoted to her dear friends.

Tim And Amy Nyamake

(imagine hard working newlyweds)

Tim left Blackwood as a teenager to go to college. He returned to the town over a decade after graduating as housing is more affordable than the city, and he has become engaged to Amy (who is from Milwaukee).

Before the wedding, Tim Nyamake and Chris Ward become good friends and spend a lot of time together watching sports and hanging out together. As the story starts, Tim is now married, and Chris rarely sees his pal.

Both Tim and Amy are aware of the flame Chris holds for Annabelle, and they would love to see them get together.

Len And Philippa Booth

(imagine another retired couple, but very much the heart of the Blackwood community)

It’s impossible to live in Blackwood without knowing Len and Philippa Booth. Another retired couple, they are at the heart of the community, socially active and energetic.


Key aspects of Blackwood life revolve around Penny’s Pantry and also the Blackwood Rambling Group.

If you would like to learn more about the folk of Blackwood, you know where to find them!

Who Is Christopher Ward?

You may remember (or you might not – which is fine) that a few months ago Jack came up with the idea of writing up a guide to the characters in my three part novel series (which is supposed to be the LEARNERS AT LOVE series):


I have been working away on this project – which I thought was quite brilliant. Over the next few weeks, I am going to try to introduce some of my characters to you. I am concentrating for now on the first book in the series, where you meet these characters (later on you learn more about the family of Chris Ward, Robin Grainger, Dean Mathers, Bert & Pearl Jennings, and of course Annabelle Riley – some of whom become very significant characters).

I have decided that as the story starts with Annabelle in Blackwood – a town full of married couples, most of whom are retired – I ought to introduce to you Blackwood residents first…followed by non-Blackwood residents, who you meet at various stages. I think I am going to do a separate guide to the relatives you encounter in the second and third books at a much later date (as it may confuse you or drop spoilers!)


Chris Ward

(imagine a 30-year old gorgeous, dark haired, bronzed and very well toned Tom Cruise / Dean Cain / Ioan Grufford)

Chris Ward is one of the very first characters you meet in the first book of the series. I am going to try to avoid spoilers, but I will share a little of Chris’ background and personality with you.

Christopher Ward is the youngest of five siblings (he has three older brothers and one sister, but is closest to his sister Gina). He grew up in Rockford (Illinois). He left home to go to college near to Chicago. It was while he was at college that his parents shared with their children that they were divorcing. Chris was the only member of the family who was caught out by surprise at their announcement. He took the news very badly. It effected his studies and led to him engaging in some reckless habits and self-inflicted challenges. I will share more about Chris’ family at a later stage.

Although Chris is rather gorgeous, he lacks self-confidence, and self-doubt and hesitancy have become frustrating aspects of his character. Anxiety sometimes holds him back. He is heavily reliant on his older sister for advice and encouragement.

Chris has just turned thirty when we are introduced to him. He had moved to Blackwood a year earlier, due to financial reasons and because his sister thinks he needs a change that will be good for his health. He finds plenty of work as a joiner / handyman in the town and surrounding areas, which he enjoys and is soon in a much better financial position. Blackwood is a stark contrast to his life in Chicago – the peace and quiet are good for him. There are not many residents in Blackwood around his age, and hardly any of them are single. He made friends with Tim Nyamake, but as the story in Book One starts Tim has just had his wedding. Soon after moving to Blackwood, Chris encountered the very flirty young women in town (including Jenna), but has preferred since to try to politely avoid them.

Around nine months before the story starts, Chris was fixing the garage door at the home of Bert and Pearl Jennings when for the first time he sees their new lodger – the beautiful Annabelle Riley …and from then on, he only has eyes for one woman! Will it be easy to win Annabelle’s attention?

Books I Closed Long Before The Closing Chapter

I am not going to list any particular book here. My main intention is to pre-empt another post I have been working on in my drafts folder about what I said when publishers read my submission for a manuscript and about why I very very firmly disagree with something they asked of me.


Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

I try to finish a book right to the very end. However, there have been occasions when I just could not go on. There are some huge turn offs for me in writing:

  • TOO MUCH BAD LANGUAGE – if a character is under extreme stress, or if they are being deliberately portrayed by the writer as aggressive, I can excuse the very occasional use of bad language. But if the story is littered with bad language prolifically…I close the book in protest.
  • UNDERLYING MESSAGES I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH – I accept that a main character may start out with their thinking warped and it may be that the story to follow shows the growth and learning of the character. There may be “baddies” in the story, but is the story glorifying or promoting thinking or actions that are wrong? If I sense that the main character is growing in a very disturbing direction, one that suggests the writer is trying to voice messages that are really not ok – well, I will very likely close the book in objection.

There were a small number of publishers who offered me a form of contract – you know where you pay for their editing and marketing services – but they mentioned something that I resolutely said “OH NO – NOT ON YOUR NELLY” to. My concern is…I can see how many modern writers received the same feedback and decided they would give the publishers what they were asking for.

I am not unhappy…I know I made the right choice. No doubt. Yes, I am disappointed in other writers who clearly took no issue at the request made to them.

Most of us I believe, come to a point in life when we realize the vital import of conscience. Writers come to be associated with the messages they include in their writing. Nobody is going to bribe me for a chance to compromise on what I know is right and wrong.

Pricing My Own Books

There is one part of self-publishing that I don’t think I am qualified for at all – pricing. Like many other writers, I sort of wish that someone else would take care of all the marketing and decisions over pricing etc.

I am just not very good at the business side of…well, anything actually. I have spent most of my life volunteering for charities – AKA doing things without being paid a single penny. That has been just fine.

So, when it came to pricing my books….well, I really could not get my head around the idea of asking other people to pay money to read my work.

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

When it came to the price to charge for a paperback copy of my books – well, that was easy. I just chose the minimum allowable price. That means if someone buys a paperback copy, they are only paying for the cost of printing (and delivery) and I won’t make any money (royalties). That is a decision I made because I want to make it possible for books to be in the hands of people. I grew up reading books from libraries and charity shops – and I read and read and read. I would not anyone to not read because they cannot afford it.

But pricing the Kindle version was much much much more of a headache. Friends advised me that if I set the price too low…and that was my first inclination – to set the price at sort of almost giveaway rates – people would think that my writing was worth nothing, that it was not worth reading. Eventually I settled for around $2.99 (I think those who are signed up for Kindle unlimited can download it for free). I just do not want to set the price any higher.

What price should I put on my own writing? Look…I don’t need to make a penny out of my writing. I have reaped incredible reward just from being able to see a tiny seed of an idea grow, a short story develop into a three part novel series. The immense satisfaction of weaving the storyline of complex characters, taking my character on an incredible journey of growth and learning – exploring love and life lessons – there is no price that can be put on the process of writing.

It’s a sort of Catch 22 – of course I love it when people to read the story of Annabelle and those who have had an impact on her, and I want to make her story freely available. But if I did set my books at a ridiculously low rate, people might not understand the amount of time and work that went into those books. They might not understand that far from being fantasy fiction, these books contain real life events framed within the stories of fictional characters. They might not realize the research and many many discussions with mental health professionals that shaped Book Three in particular.

Most of my book sales come through Jack – who tells everyone about my books. I know he is the reason so many have read my work. I am really not very good at the marketing and promoting side of writing…and I don’t think I ever will be. But that is not too much of an issue. The reward, immense reward, was being privileged to pen such a story – from a woman who has been hiding things she hates about herself, to helping her find a home, to really grasping what an epic voyage life really is. It’s been an inspirational process – one that I am so grateful for.

I am rich – rich beyond any monetary value – because I had the opportunity to write like this. I do not need a penny from anyone. I am blessed beyond all words.