Walk the Walk



Today is the first Wednesday of the month and IWSG day! The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers.

Insecurities this month

I was hoping that my stress level would decrease once my book was published. How wrong was I? Now, I’m constantly fretting about sales, promotion and marketing. An author’s job is never done. I’m particularly anxious because I’ve entered my novel, Ultimate Principle – A DCI Lane Rivers Novel – in the Storyteller2017 competition with Amazon UK. Firstly, it hasn’t even appeared yet on the entries list – maybe I’m just being impatient, but I’ll keep checking, and secondly, the selection process depends on customer reviews and comments, which is difficult to control. I would appreciate any and all support! A special thank you to those people who have already bought my book and reviewed it. I am so pleased with the feedback.

Reflective Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

The most exhausting research trip I did for my new novel, Ultimate Principle, was to traipse round London, timing how long it took on foot and the underground to get from place to place. After half a day, my husband had to buy me a more comfortable pair of shoes. I obviously hadn’t anticipated how tough geographical research would be.
Nowadays, we don’t have to travel to research places, we can just click a button on the computer and there we are. But there’s nothing more exciting than physically doing the journey. What do you think? Would you rather do all your research online or get out and about?

Even though I didn’t jog through the streets of London, here’s a snippet of my super fit detective chief inspector – Lane Rivers – who often did.

Lane slammed the front door and stepped into the early Sunday morning air. She lifted her arms above her head and stretched over to touch her toes. Her muscles responded. The heart monitor on her wristwatch beeped into action, and she hit the streets.
This was her favourite time of day to run. At five a.m., the streets of London were clear of its vast work force, inhabitants and the excessive amount of tourists. It was peaceful, and the solitude gave Lane space to declutter her mind. The sun was already making an appearance. It was going to be another scorcher of a day.
Her feet hit the tarmac in a regular, speedy rhythm as she ran along Bankside, passing the overpowering glass structure of the Shard. The Thames was docile at this time of year, its presence made known by the soft splashing of the current against the hooked-up cruise liners, which would later transport thousands of tourists.
Lane concentrated fully on her exercise and the beating of her heart. She was determined not to allow her body to succumb to the ageing process, and since the dreaded four-oh was creeping up on her, she’d increased her exercise regime. She swept a hand across her brow, removing a small layer of perspiration, and pushed towards Tower Bridge. On her approach, she navigated the concrete steps two at a time, and fell back into her high cadence of 180 steps per minute across the bridge – important to protect her knees and have the most efficient stride. She continued, turning left onto Lower Thames Street, heading for Blackfriars Bridge, then back over the river towards her Bermondsey home…
Her concentration was interrupted by the vibration of her phone in the back pocket of her running shorts. She cursed at the number and swiped the screen. ‘What the hell, Ric? Don’t you ever sleep?’
‘Something’s come up I think you need to hear.’

This was an IWSG post


Comments

  1. There really is nothing quite like physically standing in the area you're writing about. My current WIP is set in London and locally - I'm having to rely on Google for the London parts, and while it's surprising how much info is out there (with the current 3rd runway protests, I know exactly how busy the skies are above my MC's flat), I wish I was there to get the full atmosphere.

    The question is: did you walk around at 5am?

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    1. I didn't walk at 5am but I looked out of the hotel window :) Does that count?

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  2. That is so cool! I'd love to visit London!
    I think it's why I use Alaska, a place I've been - it does add so much to the story!

    Good luck with the competition. I'll pick up a copy and add to your reviews! As soon as possible! Promise!

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    1. Thank you, Yolanda. I really appreciate your support. And, Alaska is on my list of places to visit since reading Murder and Obsession. I've just got my copy of The Snowman and can't wait to get stuck in. I'll leave a review (Amazon.de) as soon as possible :)

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    2. So cool! I'm thrilled! I'll do the same with Ultimate Principle!
      Good luck to both of us!

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  3. I just checked, and your novel is there! Yay!
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_pg_4?rh=n%3A13076880031&page=4&ie=UTF8&qid=1493812383

    Best of luck!!!!

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  4. Hi,
    So, I am not the only one who has problems with patience. :-) Hang in there, your book will appear at just the right time on that list. I haven't read it yet, but I do intend to...one day. However, I have purchased it and it is sitting on my iPad.
    All the best, Lady.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. I'm continually working on 'patience' :) Thanks so much for buying my book. I really hope you enjoy it, Pat. Hopefully, I will earn enough from the English version so I can have it translated into German :) Take good care!

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  5. Yeah, that stress level doesn't decrease once the book comes out, but it does get better over time. Congrats on releasing your book! I enjoyed the excerpt, and I think it is better to walk where your characters walk, if you can. The internet can only do so much.

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  6. Oh dear, I wonder if lack of patience is a character trait of all writers. I'm guilty as well. And how the heck did I miss that your book came out. Heading off to get it right now. Best of luck, Nic. So happy for you.

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    1. Thanks so much for your support, Karen. I meant what I said in my message on your blog - you are truly lovely!

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  7. Congratulations on your book release!

    Getting to visit where your story takes place must have been most enjoyable, even if it was hard on your feet. I'd love to visit Tibet, but not as it is now. I'd want to travel back in time to the 1920s-30s maybe even as late as the 1940s...

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    1. Thank you, Bish. Travelling back in time - hmmm - no thank you. I'll give that a miss and wait for your report :) Take good care.

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  8. You really went deep into that physical research. I can see it in the excerpt as the character travels on her run. Nice work Nicola.

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  9. Good luck with the competition!
    I think it would be a lot more fun to roam around London than research it online.

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    1. Thank you, Alex and thank you very much for including me in your blog post. Much appreciated.

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  10. I wish I could walk the streets of London for the sake of research, but the best I'll every do is a virtual stroll. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. It's a lot easier on the feet, Anna :) Thanks for popping over.

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  11. Congrats on the release of your book. You're right, the worry and work only gets worse. Good luck with it all. I sometimes have to remind myself to keep writing for the enjoyment and stop looking at the sales. But it's a hard habit to break.

    Google maps, you can put in two addresses and check the time for walking, driving, and biking...though I agree with you, actually doing it is more inspirational.

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    1. Well, I'll try anything once :) Maybe next time, I should send my character to a more luxurious and relaxing setting. She definitely needs a daily massage :)

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    2. Thanks for popping by, Elizabeth and for the words of encouragement. I hope all is well with you.

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  12. I can't imagine how much fun it would be to wander around London for the day. Makes me jealous! I'll just have to move my story's setting to London and convince my wife that the trip is necessary for the story.

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    1. Do that, Ken. You'll both have a great time - if you like the noise and hubbub of a big city. I actually prefer peace and quiet but one has to do what one has to do :)

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  13. Getting out there helps you "write what you know." Good luck with all of the promotion work!

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  14. How fantastic you could wander around for your research. I use Google maps a lot for places I've never been. Congratulations, and I liked your little snippet. :)

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    1. Thank you, Christine. Glad you enjoyed the small extract. Take good care.

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  15. Insecurities do soar once a book is published. For me, they continued to soar while publishing 5 short ebooks and one novel paperback. But finally, after my second paperback (my 7th publication), my insecurities have gone away. I do what I can and don't to look at sales or reviews., anymore. It wasn't even anything I had to work on. It was a subconscious shift. And a welcome one. But I imagine if I ever got a BIG deal, landed an agent, or published something different, those insecurities would roar back to life.

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    1. So, I need to keep doing it and the insecurities will dissipate. Something to look forward to :) Thanks for sharing, Chrys.

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  16. You'll burn some calories walking all over London. I bet you saw things you'd never noticed before.

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    1. Too many eateries along the way, Diane LOL! Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Oh how I understand. When you think you're reached the end of one piece of the author journey, a new activity begins.

    Running around London must have been fun, though a bit taxing on the toes.

    And the snippet is definitely a grabber. All the best with your novel and sales!

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    1. Thank you, Angela. A bit taxing, Angela?! I ached for weeks after :)

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  18. I think it's awesome you had the opportunity to do the research in person! It certainly adds real life perspective to what it's like.

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    1. It's the feeling more than anything. Soaking up the vibes. It really brings the 5 senses to life.

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  19. Best of luck with the competition. I'll bet that having actually walked/jogged through London gives your descriptions extra intensity.

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    1. I hope so, Rhonda. That was the plan.

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  20. Hey Nicola, congrats on entering the Storyteller2017 competition. Those sort of competitions make me nervous, but I hope you do well. I'll check it out. And if you can physically research a place it's better. Gives me the excuse to keep returning to Paris where my WIPs are set. Yummy.

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    1. Go to Paris, Denise :) Thank you for your kind words.

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  21. Congrats on your release! Yeah, publishing tends to cause a whole new set of anxieties.

    Good for you getting a new pair of shoes out of that research deal. I'd love to be able to go to all the places I send my characters to - it's actually sort of a goal to get to them. In the meantime, THANK YOU, Internet.

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    1. Hmm, Nicki, I didn't think about what I was getting out of the research deal - shoes - which has set my mind on fire. Where on Earth, can I drag my husband to next, and what do I need... the things I can think up - more research trips are formulating at speed. Beware, poor, unsuspecting husband LOL!!

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  22. LOL. You know, I always tell discouraged writers to enjoy the early stages because after publication, the pressure is constant and so much worse.

    Awesome snippet!

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    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Crystal.

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  23. That's a great thing to research. I would love to do that. Alas, I write fantasy, so my worlds don't actually exist any place I can go.

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    1. Thanks for popping over, Liz.

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  24. Best wishes! I've been so obsessive about rewrites that I haven't taken time to read anything new but I do intend to buy your book. It sounds good! As for my stories, I tend to research online because I'm limited in resources and live in a dull region. I like to imagine pretending I've visited the places I research, though.

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    1. I appreciate your support, Darla. Thank you.

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  25. Nice cliffhanger you took us too. First, congratulations on your publication! Second, yeah, it's so hard to not fret about reviews and sales rankings, and etc. etc. But you published, and you're already getting positive feedback. So I hope you're feeling proud. It's well deserved.

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    1. Thank you, Robyn. You've touched my heart with your words. :)

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  26. The journey has just begun when it comes to finally getting a book published.

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    1. Very true. It's like passing your driving test - then you learn to drive for real and it takes years :) Thanks for popping by, Lynda.

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  27. Online research is great. I use it a lot, but I don't feel it's enough on its own. I like to visit the locations of my novel and experience as many of the things my characters do as possible.

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    1. That's what a campervan is for, Patsy. I do envy your travels but feel part of your journeys when you share them on your blog. Wishing you a lovely summer of travel.

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  28. I'm cheering for you, Nicola. Yep, we sure do want to see results in marketing and awards. I have to keep reminding myself that I have two novels at Amazon. How many people can say that? Wishing you great success and joy in your writing career.

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    1. Thank you, Feather. And, congratulations on your two novels. YAY!

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  29. I do love the convenience of internet research, but going out and doing something or seeing something in the real world is usually a lot more fun. Good luck with your contest.

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  30. I think that physically being there is the best, if we can get to where we are writing about. Even in fantasy settings, it's a good idea to get to some place "similar" and use that as a guide for the fantasy world. Just today, as a storm came in while I was sitting outside writing, I waited until the first few drops fell before I went inside. I was trying to get a handle on the smell on the way the air temperature changed.
    Happy May Writing!

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    1. It's the sense of smell that evokes most of my emotion and I love storms!! That fresh earthy smell with a waft of electricity thrown in - divine. Thank you for popping by, Tyrean.

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  31. There is so much to do after the book is published. Good for you for doing all that 'foot' research.

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  32. Hi Nicola - well done - and I loved the snippets - the thought of being on the streets at 5.00 am doesn't thrill me - but I quite understand her motivation, as too her gratitude at being wanted and needed at work. Good luck with the book and all it entails in the marketing process ...

    Walking the streets of London is another matter - pavements aren't half hard!!! But bet the research proved of value .... Cheers Hilary

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    1. I had used to be up every morning at 5:00, driving to work. I'd don't think I'd ever consider running at that time in the morning though - but who knows? :) Thank you for popping in, Hilary.

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  33. Good luck in the competition! Love the idea of traipsing around London. I'd like to do that -- for research! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Deniz. I hope you experience London at some point.

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  34. You can pick up the atmosphere of a place from being there in person in a way that you just can't from online sources. Good for you for putting effort into your research, and best of luck with the competition!

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    1. Thanks, Nick. Keep your fingers crossed - and everything else. I'm gonna need it :)

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  35. I love the extract. Wishing you all the best for Ultimate Principle, Nicola.

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    1. Thank you very much, Wendy. Hope all is well with you.

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  36. Isn't it fun to create characters that do things you'd like to do? I'm always imagining ones that have no fear of heights or snakes and charge forth into dark jungles. Good look with your book. I hope you win.

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    1. I ached after Lane's workouts, Lee :) I'd prefer to write her doing those kind of things. Mind you, I'd love to be her chef and make sure she eats more healthily. Thank you for your words of encouragment.

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  37. I like hitting the pavement or the roadways to actually experience places, but the online research is more expedient, less expensive, and usually faster than being up close and personal. I hear from many writers that the writing of a book is easier than the work that it takes to sell it. It does seem like the marketing part could be stressful especially if you didn't have someone setting up the schedule ahead of time.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  38. Good luck in the competition. I'm off to London after 15 days and hoping to write lots about my travel!

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    1. Have a lovely time! Thank you for popping by to comment.

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  39. Yes, research is so important. All the best in the competition!

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