I am delighted to be the next stop on the That One May Smile blog tour today. That One May Smile by Valerie Keogh is the first book in the Gardia West Crime novels series. It is also out now and available to purchase from Amazon. For my stop, the author has very kindly written a wonderful guest post to share with you. Enjoy!
When Kelly Johnson’s husband disappears, her perfect world in the Foxrock suburb of Dublin falls apart. Then she stumbles on a dead body in the graveyard behind her house.
A coincidence? Garda Sergeant Mike West thinks so until he finds a link between the dead body and Kelly’s missing husband.
And then to add to the problem, Kelly disappears.
The investigation takes West first to Cornwall and then to Cork, on the trail of a tangled case involving identity theft, blackmail and illegal drugs. And as if the complications of the case weren’t enough there is the constant, irritating – and definitely unsuitable – attraction, to the beautiful Kelly, who will keep disappearing!.
When I wrote my first novel, I did what most writers do, I sent it off to several agents, and then to several more. And then I sat back and thought about giving up.
Fortunately for me, one of my sisters read an article about self-publishing and sent it to me. It couldn’t be that simple, could it? To my surprise, it was and there I was, published on Amazon. Looking back, I realise what an innocent I was then, I really thought that was it, it was out there and readers would read it. That’s when I learned that being an indie writer is so much more than that. It’s about getting your name known, making contacts, seeing what works, and learning that it never, ever ends.
I’ve wasted money on promotions that promised to rocket me to the top of the best-seller list and more money on marketing specialists who promised the sun moon and stars. But all the time I have been learning the craft, not just of being a writer, but of being an author – and an Independent one at that.
One of the first things I learned was the importance of having a good editor – I was lucky to have found one who I immediately felt at ease with. She is invaluable and makes my novels the best they can be.
I listened to my readers and responded by making some changes.
I learned not to cry at bad reviews.
I learned to keep writing even when I wasn’t sure if the story was working.
I learned how wonderfully supportive the writing community is and have made good friends and contacts who are happy to share the secrets of their success – such generosity of spirit means such a lot, writing can be a lonely job.
I’ve learned that I want this – I want the life of a writer, the getting down in print of all the stories in my head. And if people enjoy them, which they seem to, well that’s the icing on the cake.
More than anything, I’ve learned never to give up.