Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Path to Publication Festive Round Up - Kerry Fisher

Hello Kerry. Welcome back to Writer's Blog. You've had a phenomenal year and I'm sure we're all looking forwarding to reading your Round Up!

Hello Heidi

Thank you so much for having me on the blog. I fear I may have overkilled the whole ‘I’ve been published this year’ thing for your followers because you have been so supportive of me. You probably know nearly as much about me as the dog. Soon, you too, will recognise that when I come down the stairs with an orange whistle round my neck and socks in my hand, you’ve come to the top of the priority volcano! So...I thought I’d give you my top ten things that have surprised me this year about the whole mad publishing process that saw The School Gate Survival Guide ( finally make it out into the world. And whilst I’m here, I’d also like to say a big thank you to the Write Romantics for inviting me to take part in the Winter Tales anthology ( I felt very honoured.

1.      It’s terrifying to deliver the final edits of a manuscript that is going to be printed in paperback. Although the e-book had been out under the title, The Class Ceiling for nearly 18 months, psychologically I knew that I could nip into KDP and tweak any mistakes at any time. For last round of edits, I had been instructed to alter ‘only the things I couldn’t live without’. I was astonished to find that I still had four A4 pages of changes. My editor was very kind about it but I felt a bit of a twit.

2.      Even though I consider myself a realistic and sensible person, I still allowed myself to hope I would make it onto The Sunday Times bestseller list. Deluded.

3.      I can still quake with fear. I did a few radio interviews around e-book publication and found a reserve of body-shaking adrenaline I hadn’t needed for a while.

4.      I learnt that it’s very important not to list things when you’re nervous. After saying on TV there were two things I’d thought about when writing the novel, I forgot the second one. Then I started to sweat so hideously that I could feel it running down my hairline.

5.      If there’s any chance of getting a bit artiste litt√©raire about the whole writing process, a workshop with kids should sort you out. I bounced into a Y4 English class with lofty ideas about changing the way they thought about writing forever. I said, ‘So, what would you like to know?’ One little lad almost shot out of his chair with enthusiasm. ‘How much do you earn?’

6.      If I was ever in any doubt, the dog is in charge at home. She refused to be shut out of filming by barking outside the window as soon as the camera rolled. I ended up doing an entire interview in my kitchen with the dog sneezing, twirling about wagging her tail and every so often, nudging the interviewer’s elbow off the table. I looked like the madwoman in the attic – see for yourself here (about halfway through):

7.      Book signings make you feel like a human stink bomb – everyone gives you a wide berth while you sit grinning inanely trying to strike the right balance between ‘friendly but not desperate’. Offering chocolates helps.

8.      Taking my dad to see The School Gate Survival Guide come off the presses was right up there with the best days of my life. My dad used to be a printer and the guy who showed us round at Clays went to great lengths to include him. He was just so proud. I still get choked up thinking about it.

9.      Some close friends won’t be the slightest bit interested in your book. Don’t take it personally, it’s just not their thing. Some people you barely know – or don’t know at all - will champion it in a way that’s quite humbling. There are more generous-spirited people out there than you think.

10.  I can still cartwheel with joy. And there’s no better day that publication day to confirm that:

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