Relatively Speaking…

Relatively Speaking…

Front cover final 2 

I loathe promoting myself and always have done. I was brought up not to boast, not to push myself forward and never to ask for things for myself. Not a good training for an author these days, eh? With gritted teeth, I have launched myself on social media and, while I do enjoy blogging, I find Twitter and Facebook difficult to get to grips with, although strangely addictive. But I have a secret weapon…

…my husband. He is probably my biggest fan (well, I have to have one, surely?). I was reminded of this when reading a piece in a recent issue of Writing Magazine by fellow Crooked Cat Publishing author, Lorraine Mace, aka Frances di Plino. She sadly lost her husband a few months ago. She explains in her article how he always had faith in her even when she didn’t and promoted her unceasingly.

I am lucky to have one like that, too. I don’t often ask his opinion of my writing while I am doing it. This is mainly because involving your relatives or close friends at that point is tantamount to divorce or estrangement. I prefer to ask people at a certain remove to critique my writing. It’s easier for everybody that way.

So it was with some trepidation that I formatted a version of The House at Zaronza for his Kindle. This was before I had submitted it anywhere, except parts of it for critiquing by my peers on Writers Abroad. Happily, he loved it and even had a little tear in his eye when he had finished reading it.

Since then, and the novel’s subsequent publication by Crooked Cat, he has been its indefatigable promoter. When I gave a talk at the Parisot Literary Festival last October, he stood up at the end and told everybody how I had written it while he sat on the other side of our partners’ desk informing me of the weather forecast and other sundry items.

He takes every opportunity to tell people about The House at Zaronza and to encourage (coerce, more like) them to buy a copy. This can be a double-edged sword. Recently, he met some friends at our local market when I was elsewhere. When I got home, he proudly announced that he had told them about the book and where to buy it. By chance, we bumped into them again a few days ago.

“Have you bought it yet?” he said.

I squirmed. But, then, I would probably do the same for him if our roles were reversed. It’s just that I would rather walk over hot coals than do it for myself.

You might also like:

10 Things Not to Say to an Author
Milestones or Millstones? Or how to stop beating yourself up when your writing goals elude you
Whatever Happened to the Art of Letter Writing?

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2015. All rights reserved.


Published by Vanessa in France

We moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I'm fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs. I also write historical novels and short stories.

5 thoughts on “Relatively Speaking…

  1. Hahaha…my OH is proud of me, but NOT a promoter. That’s why I do it myself. Yup, it can sit uneasily, but the trick is to promote YOU as a lovely person, promote OTHERS as lovely creative people, then THEY do your work for you. I have several US writers who have regularly scheduled tweets of my books. SO kind. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel far more comfortable promoting others, so I’m always glad to host other authors on my blog. And they kindly return the favour, which doesn’t seem so much like self-promotion!


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