What? Three months since I last blogged? No way… that’s appalling! Well, what can I say in my defense other than the last few months have whizzed by so quickly, what with Christmas and all, and I’ve lots going on, and… and… actually, that’s not even an excuse, is it? We’re all very busy. Sigh. I’m very, very sorry… It’s nearly February already, how did this happen?
Let me tell you about what’s happened since the Autumn. Well, I’ve been writing (of course) but not a novel… it’s non-fiction. I know, who’d have thought it??? Actually, it’s not that unusual for me, I guess, as I’ve been writing non-fiction for years as a Training Consultant but had not thought of publishing anything before. And it suddenly dawned on me that I could. So, I had an idea for a non-fiction book which I’d based on a course that I’d written many years ago, and that I’ve delivered numerous times. The feedback from those attending the training and coaching sessions had always been good – they loved how it helped them to get more organised and I decided a book was another way to get the message out there.
So, I wrote the book in my actual name, (or, what I call, my grown-up name…) Penny Mayhew. It was a difficult decision. Penny Canvin is the name I had when I first ever put pen (or pencil) to paper, probably aged 5 or 6, and I’d decided years back to always publish as Canvin. But, I felt I should differentiate between non-fiction and fiction so as not to cause any confusion.
Although I’m still 99% sure this was the right decision, the drawback of writing in two different names is that the writer also needs a separate brand – website, author profile, blog etc, and ultimately this doubles up the time and commitment it takes to maintain everything. The separate brand is required to be able to reach out to the different readers. I can’t presume that my rom-com readers might be interested in ‘Managing your Time with the Help of Microsoft® Outlook’ and vice versa (although many hopefully will). So, it’s necessary but has meant I could not concentrate on my fiction writing or readers whilst sorting it all out.
Any hoo… the book was released early January and has sold well so far. If you think it’s a book that you’d be interested in, please look at my other website by clicking here. Any feedback is very much appreciated – my fiction readers have been so supportive and I’d value any opinion, good or bad. I’m yet to receive a review on Amazon – reviews are so helpful for authors, they mean the absolute world (again, whether good or bad). I’m lucky to have received over 90 reviews for my first fiction book and this continues to grow (thank you, thank you, thank you).
Now, for my fiction… well, even though working on the non-fiction book and website took up a lot of my time, I have still managed to do some work on the sequel to my first book, ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’. And, now that ‘Managing your Time with the Help of Microsoft® Outlook’ has been released, I can really get stuck into the novel. It’s due to be published in May this year ready for the holiday season and I lurrveeee writing it – it makes me feel I’m in the sunshine even when it’s cold, wet, grey and wintry outside. Lou is up to her old tricks, slightly paranoid (slightly?) and neurotic, and there’s occasions where I get very cross with her when writing, urging Lou to calm down… it’s hard sometimes to remember she is in my head!
Amazingly, ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’ continues to sell every single day and I appreciate my readers so much – you have paid money to read my words and have chosen to spend your valuable time doing so and, for this, I will be forever grateful. I hope that the sequel does not disappoint you… you are the main reason that I write.
‘Bringing Billie Back’ was my second novel and released just over a year ago. It has continued to sell but is nowhere near as popular as ‘Friendship’. I’m not quite sure why this is and, again, would really value your feedback. Possibly it’s because ‘Friendship’ had such a large following by people that love Turkey – the Facebook groups have been particularly awesome. ‘Bringing Billie Back’ hasn’t had that community or following, plus it is slightly more serious in tone. Maybe this is because I was quite ill for the months I was writing the book, and received a worrying diagnosis during its creation, and so it may have come through in the tone. I don’t know. Or perhaps it’s because people didn’t get Billie like they did Lou – Billie is nothing like Lou (some would say, ‘thankfully’!)
So, what’s next? Well, once the ‘Friendship’ sequel is out I shall start to work on the 3rd book in the series and I hope for that to be out next year. I’ve got to say, at the moment the plan is for the third book to be the final one of the series…so it will be goodbye to Lou. Sob. In between book 2 and 3, I shall release a short story involving the characters, probably at Christmas, which I hope you’ll enjoy. I have two other non-fiction books in the pipeline, plus online courses to go alongside them.
In other work, I continue to commit to my voice-over business – voice over work is something I’ve been involved in for a while as I’ve provided the audio for e-learning. But, a while ago, I decided to take this more seriously as I enjoy it a lot, I need to record the audio version for my fiction books and I want to build on my experience and skills. I’m currently writing a blog about my journey into Voice Over for my non-fiction page – take a look, it might be something you’re interested in too and I definitely recommend taking a course if this is the case. Check out the guys at The Showreel, they’re fantastic! (Other providers of training are obviously available…)
Finally, as for travels etc (most people know how much I love travelling!), we’re planning weekends away this year rather than longer holidays due to funds (or lack of). We’ll be off to Marmaris again in the summer for a long weekend – we love Turkey and always will, it’s a beautiful country full of lovely people, and the inspiration for ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’. We’ll also visit Spain (can’t go a year without doing this!) which is the inspiration for the sequel. And, we’ve a couple of weekends away with friends to look forward to. Travel + food + wine + friends/family = my favourite thing to do! My husband and I are off to take a cookery course with the wonderful Sabrina Ghayour! And, Puglet continues to be happy particularly as he has a wood burner to now sleep in front of for hours on end…
Will be back in touch re the release of the sequel. If you’d like to subscribe to the mailing list, and be one of the first to find out when it’s coming out, then please click here… and I’ll be blogging again soon. Might also be starting a Podcast, and some Vlogging… ooh, I sound like a young person, speaking ‘Yoof’ words!