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Earlier in the year I was delighted to welcome Anne Stormont to join me to chat about being an author, and share a little about her upcoming novel Settlement. Well the publication date has rolled around and I am thrilled to welcome Anne back again with a guest post titled “Proud to be Indie”.

Proud to be Indie

Settlement – the new novel by indie author Anne Stormont was published in September. In this guest post she talks not only about the book, but also about being an independent author.

“First of all I’d like to thank Kate for having me back here as a guest on her blog. I not only appreciate the opportunity to be here, but I’m also very grateful for all that she does to support independent publishing in general.

I’ve just published a new novel. It’s called Settlement. It’s the sequel to my previous book, Displacement, but it can be read as a standalone. So, of course, I’m here to give the new book a bit of a shoutout – and I will be doing that below. But I thought readers of this blog might be interested to know a bit more about independent authors and publishers and why I chose this particular route to publication. And so I thought I’d start with that.

Like my previous novels, Settlement is published by Rowan Russell Books (or RRB for short). RRB is my own imprint, my own tiny patch in the world of publishing. And I’m proud to be an indie author. In fact I love it.

My main reason for going the indie route was time. Real life and procrastination had both contributed to me not taking my writing seriously until I was in my forties – and I was in my fifties before I produced anything that was remotely ready for publication. To begin with, I did pursue the traditional route to publication for my first novel, Change of Life. I tried to get an agent. I tried to get a publisher. I got lots of ‘nice’ rejections telling me my writing was good, my story was good, but…

But, in short, what they all said was – readers of contemporary women’s fiction didn’t like books where the main characters were older than 30 – never mind 40 – and neither did they want to read about married characters or about ‘difficult issues’ such as cancer or bereavement. They also said the book would be hard to categorise as there was more than a simple romance going on in the story and would therefore be difficult to sell.

This was in 2009 and it was just as indie-publishing was beginning to become more possible and more popular. Small independent publishers were beginning to flourish. And so, too, were independent authors – that is authors who acted as their own publishers – authors who took a completely professional attitude to getting their work out there and in front of readers – authors who wanted to be in control of their work.

I was 53 and felt I couldn’t hang about any longer. If I was serious about being published, I was going to have to do it myself. And so, having hired a freelance editor, a proof-reader, and a cover designer I rewrote, polished and perfected my first book. Then in 2010 I published Change of Life. It got some great reviews and my career as a writer had begun.

Since then my learning curve has been more vertical than steep. In 2014, I took early retirement from my teaching job in order to be a full-time writer. And, supported by the same freelance team, I have now published four books – three for adults and one for children – (the children’s one was written by my alter-ego Anne McAlpine). I have a website, a Facebook author page and a loyal readership with whom I love to engage. I’m the author, the publisher, the finance controller and the publicist at RRB and I (mostly) enjoy the challenge of wearing all these hats.

Being, independent means I can write the sort of books I would want to read. But more than that, I can write the sort of books my readers want to read, and ensure those books are available to them.”

 

The New NovelSettlement Cover MEDIUM WEB (3)

So, what’s the new one all about? Here’s what the back cover says:

Settlement

Can the past ever be put peacefully to rest?  Can love truly heal old wounds?

Settlement is the sequel to literary romance novel, Displacement, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Falling in love is the easy bit. Happy ever after requires work, commitment and honesty.

She wants him to be her friend and lover. He wants her as his wife. Can a compromise be reached? Or are things truly over between them?

When former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter met crofter and author Rachel Campbell at her home on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for them both.

But after Jack proposes marriage, it becomes clear they want different things.

Then, as Rachel prepares to return to the Middle East to work on a peacemaking project that’s close to her heart, and as Jack’s past catches up with him, it seems their relationship is doomed.

Can Rachel compromise on her need to maintain her hard-won independence?

Can Jack survive the life-threatening situation in which he finds himself?

Will they get the chance to put things right between them?

If you like a complex, contemporary, grown-up romance with lots of raw emotion, dramatic and exotic settings, all mixed in with some international politics and laced with elements of a crime thriller, then this is the book for you.

A huge thank you to Anne for joining me today and sharing a little about indie publishing, I always enjoy hearing about the road to publication from authors and how it all worked out for them.
It’s also lovely to see that Settlement is now available to buy, I’ve already bought my copy and cannot wait to get reading!

Settlement is available as a paperback and as an ebook and you can buy it in bookshops or online here.

 

About the Author:

Anne Stormont writes contemporary, women’s fiction that is probably best described as literary romance. Her writing is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Her stories are for readers who enjoy a good romantic story, but who also like romance that is laced with realism and real world issues – and where the main characters may be older but not necessarily wiser.

Anne was born and grew up in Scotland where she still lives. She has travelled extensively having visited every continent except Antarctica – where she really must go considering her fondness for penguins.

Anne was a primary school teacher for over thirty years before taking early retirement in order to concentrate on her writing.

She describes herself as a subversive old bat – but she also tries to maintain a kind heart. She hopes this comes through in her writing.

Anne loves to hear from and keep in touch with her readers.

She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and you can also find out more about her, her writing, and her latest book news on her blog and on her website.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annestormontauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/writeanne

Blog at https://putitinwriting.me

Website at https://anne-stormont.com

 

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It’s always lovely to have an author stop by to help celebrate indie publishing, and I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome along the lovely Anne Stormont today.  Anne has published two adult novels under her own name and one children’s novel under the name of Anne McAlpine.


Author Feature:

Portrait websites

Anne Stormont writes contemporary women’s fiction. So far she has published two novels Change of Life and Displacement. She is currently working on a sequel to Displacement which will be out in 2018. She has also written a children’s novel called The Silver Locket published under the name of Anne McAlpine.

Anne is a Scot and she has recently moved from the Isle of Skye to the Scottish Borders. She has travelled the world and has visited every continent except Antarctica –where considering her penchant for penguins she really must go. Anne was a primary school teacher for 36 years and is also a wife, mum and grandma.

She is a subversive old bat but maintains a kind heart.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

There’s a lot that I like about being an author, but probably my favourite thing is getting to spend time with my characters and discovering where they’re going to take me.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

I find writing the synopsis, which is a one page summary of the entire book, quite a challenge. And writing the backcover blurb is even harder. Trying to reduce ninety thousand words down to about 150 with no spoilers and plenty of hooks is definitely my least favourite thing.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Coming up with just one is making my brain hurt, but I think I would have to go with Unless by Carol Shields. To me it was the perfect novel – so beautifully written in a calm understated style and with brilliantly drawn characters and a poignant storyline. It was published in 2002 and sadly it was the author’s final novel as she died shortly afterwards. It is written in the first person – something I like to do in my own novels and its themes are still relevant today – not least the often hidden role of women in society.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I go walking a lot – I aim for a daily 2 to 3 miles and regularly do longer walks. I like how walking frees my mind to go rambling too. I also do yoga – great for mind and body. I also like gardening in my spare time and of course reading. I LOVE reading.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

In many respects, I’m a creature of routine, but for many years I had to combine my writing with a full time teaching job so I learned to write whenever the opportunity arose. And even now I’m no longer teaching, I don’t have a rigid routine. But I have fallen into a bit of a pattern which is to attend to blog posts, marketing and the general business side of the writing job in the mornings, and to work on the actual writing in the afternoon and early evening.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

My next novel is due out in the summer. It’s called Settlement and although it’s a sequel to my previous novel Displacement, it can be read as a standalone. It’s currently with my editor and I’m bracing myself for the inevitable rewrites. Meanwhile I’m sketching out the third and final book of the series, and flirting with ideas for a second children’s novel. The children’s novel will feature the same three friends as the first one which is called The Silver Locket and which I wrote using my alter-ego name of Anne McAlpine.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

It would have to be ‘seize the day’. I’m a cancer survivor and it took my brush with mortality to waken me up to the fact that life is finite. It was the deal I did with fate – if I survive this illness, I will stop procrastinating and take my writing seriously – and I kept my side of the deal. So, if you have a dream, go for it now, because now is all any of us have.

 

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it?

My latest book is the above-mentioned Displacement. It’s contemporary fiction and is available as a paperback and as an ebook. And here’s a little bit about what to expect if you read it:

A story of love, courage and hope

Divorce, the death of her soldier son and estrangement from her daughter, leave Hebridean crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief stricken, lonely and lost. 

Forced retirement due to a heart condition leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to take stock and find a new direction for his life.

When the two of them meet in dramatic circumstances on a wild winter’s night on the island of Skye, a mutually supportive friendship develops between them, despite their very different personalities.

But with Rachel due to be in the Middle East for several months and Jack already in a relationship, it seems unlikely they’ll get the chance to take their relationship any further – much as they might want to.

Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, this book tells a story of love, home and heritage and what happens when these are threatened at a political and a personal level.

Amazon Links for Displacement:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Social Media Links:

Author websites: Anne Stormont and Anne McAlpine

Facebook Author pages: Anne Stormont and Anne McAlpine

Twitter

 

 

Displacement Cover MEDIUM WEB(1)

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