Once upon a time in NW3 . . .

At the Christmas party last week, the marketing director said children’s authors ought to blog.

   Why? I asked.

    I mean, who'd want to read about a children’s author's life?

   We don't, in general, spend much time rollicking about the world having adventures and meeting dragons. More’s the pity.

   Who, in particular, would want to read about my life? Not that it’s not fun, you understand. Like most lives (I’m happier thinking about other people's) it has its high points. Take yesterday, for instance. I pressed the snooze button on my alarm three times and lay in bed reading Elizabeth Hardwick on the women in Rosmersholm in Seduction and Betrayal. (Buy it. Read it. It’s good. Also more fun than reading Ibsen himself by the sound of it.)   Anyway, the bliss: outside, Sunday snow; beside the bed a mug of ginger and hot lemon on a pile of books so finely balanced a butterfly stamping its foot in Mesopotamia would cause an avalanche; and me, eating an apple, snuggled under my goose-feather Ikea duvet in 13.5 tog heaven. With this wonderful book. Points don’t come much higher than that,  I can tell you, not on the last weekend before Christmas.

   “It sells books,” the marketing director said.

   What? Ah, we're back to children’s authors’ blogs. 

   Well, I’m sceptical. To put it mildly. If my blog moves anyone to buy a single copy of any book I’ve written (and there’ve been a few), I’d like them to let me know. And attach the receipt. Otherwise the most I can manage is  suspension of disbelief.

   Anyway, yesterday’s high point is 30 hours gone. No lying in bed to read today for me. It's downstairs to have breakfast and de-frost the cat. The fridge, I mean. I don’t even have a cat, in need of defrosting or not. I was so bored by my own blog I made him up.

   You would have to be desperate to want to read about my life.

   Do desperate people buy children’s books?

   If they do, I bet they’re not mine.

   “Well, try,” the marketing director said, without much hope.  “Have a go. Can’t do any harm, can it?”

   Can it?

   I’ve just written a new story and I want ppeople to think I’m a good bet. The editor likes it and he’s like Elizabeth Hardwick, good. But that’s not enough. Nowadays everyone has to like your book, and not say things like, “She writes books? Who is she? How many copies did her last one sell? Oh dear.”

   That does an author no good at all.

   So I will give it a go.

   Next time: more about my everyday life! And the cat.

21 -12- 09


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Any comments or questions?

(If you have any good ideas on how to market a children's book,

don't hold back: let me know and I'll pass them along.)