Self-Publishing Adventure Part 1

15 weeks after publishing my first book I feel the time is right to share some of my experiences to date, and how I came to be Kathy Morgan, author.
A friend and I used to describe our lessons or rides with our horses as ‘horsey adventures’ because something unexpected always happened, for example taking an hour and a half to load the horse into the trailer, or the towing vehicle breaking down on a motorway, maybe achieving a fantastic connection with our horses, or simply enjoying a beautiful sunny day out in the countryside. Writing, editing, publishing and promoting a book definitely falls into the ‘adventure’ category of life experiences; although when I began this adventure last July I had absolutely no idea of what was to come.
I have never had any burning desire to be an Author. Sorry. I feel I need to apologise for that! I love reading, from those early days of learning to read with Beatrix Potter books (‘just one more page mummy, then you can put the light out’) through everything Enid Blyton wrote, and then my tastes seemed to jump to Dick Francis, Jane Austen, Len Deighton, Charlotte Bronte, Robert Ludlum, Tom Sharpe. I loved our local public library in Cosham, Portsmouth, and it is possibly the only time my mum has ever colluded with me to break any rules. As a Child (who remembers the brown issue tickets?) I wasn’t allowed to borrow the books I wanted to read, so she would allow me to use some of her Adult lending allocation.
Reading is leisure for me. I thoroughly enjoyed studying English Literature at school, am old enough to have taken ‘O’ levels, and I took ‘A’ levels, and my memories of those days were of exploring The Great Gatsby, The Go-Between, and Measure For Measure. It was at school I was introduced to Iris Murdoch whose books I devoured. We were always being told to Read Around The Subject in whatever part of the curriculum we were in, and her books were possibly the only time I actually did follow those instructions. But these are not the books I curl up on the sofa with or read ‘just one chapter’ in the bath.
I decided to train to be a librarian, not because I wanted to bring great literature to the masses (again, sorry,) but because I love helping people to find the information they need. I wanted to be a business librarian. Somehow I ended up working in school libraries, and I loved it. Not the red tape, or the constant need to justify my library’s existence in a world of tight budgets and results-driven decisions, but the variety, the kids, the teachers, the support staff, the technology (I am not so old that computers hadn’t been invented!), and yes, the sharing of reading recommendations. Thanks to students and staff I was introduced to different genres to the ones I comfortably chose, and read books by Terry Pratchett, Sue Grafton, Nora Roberts, Catherine Alliott, and Jill Mansell. I even read Mills & Boon and Stephen King so I could make a reasoned decision about stocking their books in the school library, but I don’t curl up with them either.
I left the world of librarianship to work with my boyfriend in the world of antiques. More specifically I happily sat in front of a computer screen cataloguing items for sale, and unhappily sat behind market stalls miserably staring at items for sale about which I knew nothing, and cared even less. Along the way my love for horses was resurrected, and somehow I ended up running a hoofcare business alongside our antiques business. Isn’t life funny the way it works out? My librarianship skills came to the fore because in order to achieve good healthy working hooves numerous people needed to be able to access quality information. Finally my original career plan at fourteen years old came to fruition twenty five years later. I also joined Facebook, after several years of making derogatory comments about it, because the horse community are fantastic at sharing information and providing support to each other on there. Funnily enough it was when I started accepting friend requests from fellow antiques dealers that I began to enjoy the markets, and now regularly go on my own, with a smile on my face. Those markets provide me with an infinite source of tales to tell. Today being able to disseminate information is useful, and being able to filter out the rubbish and absorb the relevant are vital skills we all need from an early age. I was able to use social media to show my hoofcare clients via videos and photos and involving people who were sharing those experiences with me that I went through similar challenges with my horses, and that I also had a lot of fun with them too, with the aim to support, inspire and motivate those who wanted it.
And then I broke my ankle.
This event proved to be life-changing. For several weeks I couldn’t do much more than lie on the sofa watching crappy TV, and think. Once back on my feet I was dismayed to discover that my obsession with all things to do with horses’ hooves had evaporated. I closed my business, found I had time on my hands, and started to write about a fantasy antiques world and the lives and loves of the people within. Note I said ‘Fantasy’ please!
My original intention was just to see if I could write. I have tried several times over the years and never made it past Chapter Two. I decided to keep quiet about what I was doing, in case it didn’t come to anything, but also because I didn’t want to negatively impact our antiques business by giving people the impression I was writing about them and losing their trust. At this point I was going to find a publisher and be able to stay anonymous. That plan didn't last for long!
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Published on April 29, 2016 07:19 • 265 views
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