|(Photo courtesy of iMDb.com)|
Can you tell I’m still just slightly obsessed with musketeers at the moment? The Musketeers to be exact, which for those of you who don’t live in the UK is a BBC TV series loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’s original story. It’s absolutely brilliant and I love the way they’ve taken the basic story and just run away with it! Having the four musketeers clad in leather (albeit still looking more or less true to the fashions of that era) is also genius, as is the way they’re allowing the women in the series to be very much part of the action and not just decorative. Okay, I’ll admit I just like everything about it.
I’ve loved the concept of “one for all, all for one” ever since I first read The Three Musketeers – the fact that if you do things together, always standing by your friends, life can be so much easier. I have found that to be true in every way – here with my fellow Heroine Addicts; when working with the other authors published by the same publisher as myself; in various organisations and recently with a group of friends who all wanted to do the same thing: to self-publish a Young Adult novel.
I’m supremely un-techie so although everyone kept saying self-publishing was 'a doddle' and ‘anyone can do it’, I didn’t quite believe them. I could have paid for someone to help me with it, of course, but that would have felt like giving in, being feeble, and I didn’t want to be so easily defeated. Still, it was very daunting and I kept putting it off until I found out that some of my friends had been thinking along the same lines.
|Claire Watts, Gill-Marie Stewart and me|
Four of us – myself, Katy Haye, Gill-Marie Stewart and Claire Watts – decided to get together and do it as a group. Not just holding each others’ hands while going through the publishing process and doing the techie bits, but promoting the books together, doing events/talks as a group. Suddenly, it all seemed doable and it was the kick up the backside I’d needed. Funny how things are so much easier when you’re not alone!
We’ve each self-published a book now and are working on number two. It’s been a steep learning curve, but also great fun. Thinking up a collective name – Paisley Piranha (yes, I know it’s weird, but we liked it :-D) – setting up a website, blog and Twitter account etc. And just knowing there’s someone you can bounce ideas off is brilliant.
I’ve just come back from Scotland where we held a launch party for our first novels. One of them was based on movie themes, so we rented a bijou cinema – the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries – and had a special showing of The Princess Bride, surely one of the best movies of all time! And there were snacks and books of course. All in all, a lovely afternoon. So if anyone else is thinking of self-publishing (or doing anything else for that matter) but you don’t quite dare, I’d definitely recommend the “all for one” approach! If it worked for the musketeers …