To self-publish or not to self-publish…

So, the moment of truth is nigh.  This weekend is the annual RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) conference at Lancaster University.  This is the first ever time I’ll have been – RNA virgins we’re called apparently – and I’ve come to realise it’s a BIIIIIIIG deal in the romance writers’ calendar; the biggest in fact.

Emails are flying about all over the place, very helpful ones, about what to pack, what not to pack and whatever else we might need to know.  This organisation is all very frightening for me as, what with work and family, and all, I’ll most probably be thinking about packing 20 minutes before I set off so will inevitably forget most of this well thought-out advice.

No matter, the most exciting part of the weekend for me is not whether I pack enough pants, but that I will, for the first time ever, get to meet a Mills & Boon editor for a one to one 10 minute meeting.  By this point she’ll have already read my first chapter and will give me feedback.

Either she’ll say: “Wow, where have you been all my life, send me the rest of this masterpiece.  Pronto.”

Or she’ll say:  “Hmmm, needs a bit more work before you even think about submitting this bad boy.”

Hopefully she won’t say: “Sorry, is this meant to be a comedy script?”

With my optimistic head on I’m hoping for the first option, but with my realistic head on, it’s more likely to be one of the latter two.  The question is, if it is, what do I do: start from scratch and try again or – du du duuuuuuuu – self-publish?

And I really don’t know.  Does self-publishing look bad in the future if a traditional publisher is considering you or does it actually look good that you’re committed enough to write an entire manuscript and have at least started to build a following?

I want to be published the traditional way, of course I do, as this means someone in the know thinks my work is good enough for public consumption.  However, I’ve read so many self-published books recently, many of which were just as good if not better than published books I’ve read, that I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t a more valid route than I’d first thought.

What I do will depend on the feedback I get in those precious 10 minutes.  If there’s so much of a glimmer of hope that, even with a few edits, they’ll look at my manuscript seriously, then I’m likely to go down that road.  However, if it’s a case of don’t give up the day job, love, then I might well opt for plan B.

Scary!

Interview with Sally Trueman Dicken, short story writer

Sally Trueman Dicken has had two short stories accepted for People’s Friend magazine.  Here she gives an insight into what inspires her to write and how she achieved success with her submissions.

What made you want to write for People’s Friend?

My grandmother read People’s Friend and I would read the children’s page and some of the stories. As I grew older, I started buying the magazine myself, enjoying the comforting feel of the stories set against the harshness of life.

Recently I decided that I would like to get a story published there as a tribute to my father who in his latter years would tell about his mother and aunt buying the magazine, reading it from cover to cover, discussing the contents and trying out the recipes.

Also, it is a long established magazine with a good reputation. When people told me that it is not easy to get a story accepted by People’s Friend, this gave me the further challenge to get writing. Listening to Shirley Blair, the fiction editor, speak on the topic of how to submit at Swanwick (writers’ course) fired me with enthusiasm.

How did you come up with the idea for the story?

I was interested in the relationship that women have with their hair, how it reflects their personality and outlook on life. As a young woman, I used to have very long hair, which I loved. As I got older it became more and more impractical, so I adopted shorter styles. I wrote about the changing styles through the decades, following the fashion. I wrote about how I felt, as my long hair got shorter and shorter with the passing years and how I felt rather sad about that. I got rather stuck at that point and then it suddenly struck me how very much more sad I would feel if I had lost all my hair through chemotherapy. Then I saw a programme on television about a woman who was making wonderful wigs for women in this very situation and it all suddenly came together by the addition of a special song. It did take me quite a long time to get it all to work in a story.

How did you make the approach?

I began by accessing the submission rules on People’s Friend website. I checked my word count, grammar, spelling, line spacing, right size paper, easy to read font and also that my subject matter matched People’s Friend’s very precise guidelines.

When I felt that my document was as professional as I could make it, I added a front sheet with the personal details requested. Finally, I wrote a personal letter of introduction. Shirley Blair had said that she always likes to receive a friendly letter with submissions, giving a little information about the writer and why they think their story would be suitable for the magazine.  I placed all of this, held together with a paper clip, in an A4 sized envelope and queued at the Post Office to ensure I had the correct postage.

How long did it take from your initial response to getting accepted?

I posted a paper copy of my story off on November 5th 2015 and received it back with a request for some rewriting on February 5th 2016. My tenses needed some work as I had used both past and present with gay abandon, making the story a little confusing. I went through it with a fine tooth comb aided by some vigorous proof reading by my husband and friends and resubmitted it with much trepidation on February 15th.

On February 17th, I got a very nice email from Shirley Blair which said the second half was okay but the first half needing some more reworking on the “show, don’t tell” aspect, also more dialogue. By a happy coincidence, I was in the process of attending a class at Writers Holiday in Fishguard run by Rachael Thomas; one topic was “show, don’t tell”, and that really helped me to see where I was going wrong and gave me lots of practice.

A third version was submitted on February 27th; this time by email as stated, and on March 4th my story was accepted. I was ecstatic. People’s Friend pay on acceptance so soon the money was in my bank account and I just had to wait for my publication date.

When was your story published?

My story, “Flowers for My Hair” was published in a People’s Friend Special, number 124, on sale June 1st 2016, with a lovely illustration that aptly matched the story. Back copies can be obtained from the magazine.

What advice would you give to fellow writers wanting to get their short stories published in a magazine?

Study the rules for submission very carefully. Check the word count is correct and that the work is neatly and professionally presented. I treated myself to some quality computer paper to ensure it looked just right. Check grammar and spelling so that it is easy to read and understand. Study the layout of the magazine you want to write for, how it is set out, how long the paragraphs are, how much dialogue there is and how soon someone speaks. Is it the first line or the fourth? Is there dialogue in each paragraph? How many characters are there?

Write a story that you enjoy writing and that means something to you. Look for current themes that affect people on a daily basis. My story concerned a woman who lost her hair due to chemotherapy and was becoming withdrawn from life. Her family conspired to give her some extra special birthday gifts which made her feel their love and concern and also made her aware of their need to know that she was not giving up. I would describe it as bitter sweet with an uplifting ending.

What’s next for you, Sally?

I have since had a second story accepted and am in the process of writing several more. I would eventually like to write a novel, maybe a cosy crime story in a beautiful setting like Midsomer Murders or a psychological thriller.

Ghostly goings on…

Last weekend I went on my first ever ghost hunt.  Not one of those walks through ancient towns but rather a late night vigil involving seances, experimenting with ghost hunting equipment, ouija boards – the works!

I decided to do this as part of my bucket list and it’s fair to say that the whole day leading up to the event I felt sick with fear!

Other than having a couple of unexplainable experiences involving hearing footsteps and the like, I haven’t had a ghostly experience, and remain open minded as to whether there’s ‘anything out there’.

For me to do this was a huge step; I won’t even watch a horror film as I like to be able to sleep at night, thank you very much!

I went along with my friend, Sue, fellow author and blogger at https://authorinanotherdimension.com/.  A pro at these, having been on 10 ghost hunts, Sue was as cool as a cucumber while I was a quivering wreck.

I nearly jumped out of my skin in the first few minutes when one of our guides jumped out of her seat, shouting and swearing because she was convinced a figure had just appeared in front of her.  I was sat next to her and didn’t see a thing, but perhaps I’m just not very sensitive to these things…?  Anyway, her reaction was enough to scare the bejeebers out of me and I shot across the room and squeezed poor Sue’s arm for dear life.

However, within about 20 minutes I’d well and truly calmed down and became completely unconcerned about the presence of any spirits and far more fascinated in the human psychology surrounding the event.

I didn’t once feel like there was anything there – other than us and around 20 other participants plus a handful of seasoned paranormal investigators.  What I did discover though was that the will of the mind, the power of suggestion and the determination to discover something ghostly, is truly staggering.

There were sightings of course, feelings of being touched, of being oppressed, sensations, smells and so on.  None of these I experienced personally and all of them, I believe, were brought on by will, hope and imagination.

It was a fascinating experience and I’m really pleased I went, even though I didn’t see so much as a glimmer of a ghoul.  It was an insight into the human psyche, a glimpse into weird and wonderful human brain and what it is capable of conjuring up.

I got into the ‘spirit’ as much as I could, even agreeing to lie on a spooky bed while the group performed a seance in the corner of the room.  I felt nothing, other than extreme tiredness, but then it was 1am by this point.  I was asked to call for the spirit but felt like a proper numpty so refused that one, but did agree to stand in a dark wardrobe for five minutes just in case anything happened.  It didn’t.  Good job as well, otherwise, I think I might have needed that change of clothes.

Of course, who am I to say that what those people saw, felt or sensed (or thought they did) wasn’t real?  Nobody of course, and I could be entirely wrong.  But I went in open minded and came out very cynical.  To some of them it was clearly real, but that opens up a whole new debate about what ‘real’ is.  In the sense of it meaning physical fact, I don’t believe that anything experienced that night was.  In the sense of them believing whole-heartedly it was happening, then yes, quite likely.

I don’t disbelieve in ghosts, still now, and believe that things happen that science cannot yet explain, whether it be hormones, energies or whatever.  I don’t necessarily think it has to do with dead people.

I would definitely do another one, even if it was just to witness the human brain at work again.  What that wonderful organ is capable of is incredible and is, to my mind, far more interesting than what might or might not be on the other side.

WIN – free Hannah Kimble audio book

Update – if you entered this competition please check the original post to see if you’ve won.  If you’re a winner you have until 31st July 2016 to send me your email address so I can respond with your code.  Any responses made after that time will unfortunately not be accepted.

Thanks!

Following my recent interview with Patricia Pitt, author of post-war romantic novel Hannah Kimble, Patricia has kindly offered free downloads of the audio book for three lucky winners.

For the chance to win, simply comment ‘nostalgic romance’ below by midnight 30th June 2016.  Alternatively, you can enter via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ginahollands/

For the full interview with Patricia Pitt, please click here: https://ginahollands.com/2016/06/06/exclusive-interview-with-patricia-pitt-author-of-hannah-kimble/

Good luck!

Ts and Cs
You must be 16 years or over to enter.  Closing date is midnight on 30th June 2016. Three winners will be selected at random and will be notified 15th July 2016. No purchase necessary. Prizes are non-exchangeable and non-refundable or negotiable. The competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or WordPress. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

 

 

 

Ideas for easy after school tea times

When I say goodbye to my colleagues at 4pm, the end of my working day, I imagine a lot of them are thinking that while they’re slaves to their desks for another 90 minutes, I’m swanning off home to put my feet up and watch Neighbours.  Ha ha ha ha ha – if only!!

The reality is that 4 hours later I’m still racing around, having done the after school crush – I mean, rush – bolted home to empty the dishwasher, put the washing on, do the online supermarket shopping and make the dreaded AFTER SCHOOL TEA.  And that’s all before bathtime, reading time and bedtime.

If I thought I could whip up some uber creative meal involving a medley of nutritious home-cooked this, that and the other, all in the space of 30 minutes and expect my child not to turn his nose up at my lovingly prepared creation, then I’d be setting myself up for a major life fail.

Having said that, I wouldn’t want my child eating nutritiously-void rubbish every night, so I try to be realistic and strike a balance between the time I actually have, what he will eat without too many complaints and what is relatively healthy.

If, like me, you get home knackered, lacking energy and enthusiasm for tapping into your inner Delia, then I thought these ‘after school cheats’ might help.  Remember, it’s not about being lazy, it’s about being economical with time and holding on to any last scrap of sanity you may still possess by 5pm!

Oh, and they’re all cheap too, which helps.

As my son has a hot school dinner every day, it’s nice to know I don’t have to do a full blown meal in the evenings all the time.  Here are my favourite quick after school tea ideas:

  1. Dippy egg with soldiers – You can’t go wrong with a soft boiled egg with solders.  It’s fun to eat, packed with protein and cheap as chips.

    Extra tip – if you have your own chickens, all the better.  If not, but you have a farm nearby that has chickens, take your kids and let them choose their own eggs – they’ll be much more enthusiastic to eat it then.

  2. Anything in red sauce on toast – Beans on toast is great, a family winner.  But, why limit your horizons and stop at beans when anything that comes out of a tin and that’s red works just as well?  Ravioli, spaghetti hoops, sardines (pilchards are essentially the same but cheaper), woah, it’s a world of opportunity out there!
  3. Tortellini – You know, the little pasta parcels stuffed with a variety of fillings?  You can pick these up from all supermarkets and the great thing is, they take about 3 minutes to cook!  With or without sauce, tortellini works well, and goes especially nicely with garlic bread.  Easy peasy!
  4. Fish finger sandwich – My gran used to feed me these when I was diddy and back then it was considered ‘poor man’s food’ (although it always smelt and tasted bloody good!) but now a fish finger sandwich is a gastronomical revelation for some reason. Regardless of whether it’s trendy or not, a fish finger sarnie tastes delicious and takes about 20 minutes to prepare – marvellous result!
  5. Weekday ‘roast dinner’ – I love making (well, eating to be exact) a proper roast dinner that’s taken hours to cook and that’s served with all the trimmings.  But in our household the only time for this kind of thing is on a Sunday, if we’re lucky.        However, my son’s favourite meal is a roast dinner so I do a cheat’s version during the week which involves either pre-cooked roast chicken or Quorn steaks, frozen Yorkshire puddings and veg and instant gravy.   I am fully aware this isn’t an authentic substitute for a proper roast dinner but for a mid-week cheat it’s pretty good!

 

Exclusive interview with Patricia Pitt, author of Hannah Kimble

Back in October last year I was on a writing weekend course in Derbyshire where I met a lovely lady called Patricia Pitt.  Patricia was fascinating as she’d completed a romantic fiction novel, entitled Hannah Kimble, and self published it.

I’ve just finished reading Hannah Kimble and can highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic fiction, especially those set in the immediate post war era.

I had lots of questions for Patricia and felt that budding writers – or even just those interested in this genre of literature – would also find her experiences of self publishing interesting.  For that reason I asked if Patricia would be kind enough to do an interview with me, and thankfully she agreed!

Q: Patricia, tell us a bit about Hannah Kimble.

A: Hannah Kimble is set in the pretty village of Edingale in 1946. Edingale is actually,
where I live. The novel is a romance between an American who purchases Edingale
Manor and the woman who runs the village shop. There’s intrigue, sadness and, of
course, love.

Q: Is this your first novel?

A: Hannah Kimble is my second novel. No Reserve on Love is my first. This is a modern romance set in New York which has recently been published on Amazon.


Q:
What inspired you to write Hannah Kimble?

A: I wrote Hannah Kimble for The Lichfield Prize, some eighteen years ago. The only
rule was that the story had to be set in the Lichfield area. I didn’t win but had a good
critique of my novel. The Lichfield Prize, however, ended not long after I entered
the competition and my novel went into a drawer to collect dust.


Q:
Did you approach traditional publishers before you decided to self publish?

A: I have never sent my work to a mainstream publisher and to be truthful it’s because
I never got round to it. I self published because, in my opinion, it’s now the
way to go. You can spend a very long time waiting for a publisher to take you on.

Hannah Kimble was published by Feedaread; this is part of the arts council. After
much thought, I put the novel on Amazon as a download in June 2015. Wow! Over 2,000 downloads to date and 200 copies of the paperback sold.


Q: Where is your book available?

A: It’s available from Feedaread, Waterstones and Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hannah-Kimble-Patricia-Jane-Pitt-ebook/dp/B00L1H2V58


Q: How did you go about self publishing?

A: Although I have always enjoyed creative writing, short stories in particular, I didn’t do
much about it until I enrolled for a twelve-week writing course run by Keel University
that was held at the arts centre in Tamworth. This was ten years ago and since then
I haven’t stopped writing. Hannah Kimble came out of mothballs and I rewrote it
but once again, I put it back into that drawer. Then one evening I went to the local
library where they were holding a workshop on self-publishing. I was hooked and
Hannah Kimble came out of that drawer yet again but this time, and after another
edit, I sent it off to Feedaread. The paperback looks as professional as any mainstream
published book and I would recommend any author to try them. It’s a great feeling
to see your work in paperback form.


Q: Your book is available in audio form (great for road commuters!).  How did you manage to organise that?

A: As I always wanted to hear my characters speak, I decided to try an audio version.
I didn’t want to share a 50/50 split with a narrator so I paid mine a one off fee. I’ve sold a few copies but it’s still early days. But it’s money well spent because it gives me a lift just hearing my characters speak. It’s brought my novel to life.

You can download the audio version of Hannah Kimble here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hannah-Kimble/dp/B01BI7LDO0/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Q: Would you recommend self publishing?

A: Take a look at the Amazon forum site, this is a good place to ask writing related questions.  There are authors on there who have self published many novels and are earning a good living from them.

Q: What’s next for you writing-wise?

A: Next on my writing agenda, after the Tamworth Litfest, which I am involved with, I intend starting my new novel, Hannah Kimble’s Daughter.


Q: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of self publishing?

A: My advice to anyone struggling with their writing would be to try to join a writing group. They offer good advice and sharing your work and getting feedback is invaluable. I belong to a writing group who meet every Wednesday afternoon and I gain much from it.
Also, reading your work aloud and slowly, is one of the most important things a writer
should do. Not only do you spot mistakes but you hear them too. I read my work aloud
at every opportunity.

Finally, just go for it!  You’ll never become a writer if you don’t write!

Thanks to Patricia for the insight, and can’t wait ’til Hannah Kimble’s Daughter is released!

Evoking Emotions – with a good book

It never ceases to amaze me how a book can stir up the emotions like nothing else.  I’m not a particularly expressive person and the last time I cried was probably through anguish that someone else had got to the last biscuit first, but a good book seems to get the better of me every time.

Here are my top 5 emotion-evoking reads:

Want to feel warm and cosy with a dose of romance and friendship?

Then read…any book by Millie Johnson.  I love this woman’s books so much I’d marry her. There’s not too much sop that you want to punch the romantic couple in the chops, and her one-liners are priceless.

This paragraph is not enough praise for Millie Johnson and soon I’ll do a full review, but for now all I can say is that they’re great reads – trust me!

Leaves you feeling: so satisfied from your read you’ll want to go out and hug everyone.

Milly Johnson, Award-Winning Author, Public Speaker and Scriptwriter

 

Want to feel like a gritty woman of the world?

Then pick up a…Martina Cole.  How she thinks up those horrors goodness only knows.  I read The Graft with a mixture of intrigue and repulsion; it was a page-turner all right and I raced through it, fascinated at this underworld life I was completely naive to, but at the same time put off by the grossness of it all.

Martina Cole is very clever writer and if, like me, you’re a bit ignorant to the nasty stuff, then give it a go – it’s an eye-opener!

Leaves you feeling: Like you want to don a leather jacket and dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’.

http://www.martinacole.co.uk/

 

Want to feel glamorous and edgy?

Then try…Helen Fielding’s Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination.

I first discovered Helen Fielding when, at 15 years old, a friend gave me a well-thumbed copy of ‘Bridget Jones’ along with a fierce recommendation that I must “read it at once”.  I did and, like most people, absolutely loved it.

So much so in fact that when I heard that she was bringing out a glamorous female spy thriller, I was straight on it, spending a fortune on the hardback version because I couldn’t even wait for the paperback to come out.

Olivia Joules is a complete departure from Bridget Jones.  It’s like Scuba Barbie combined with a female James Bond.  It’s completely different from anything else I’ve come across and my advice would of course be to “read it at once”!

Leaves you feeling: Like you could save the world while dressed in a ballgown.

 

Want to feel inspired?

Then give Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week a go.  Tim Ferriss managed to work just 4 hours a week and make a tonne of money in the process.  I loved reading about how he did it, although the fact that I’m still working a 37 hour work week suggests I could do to read it again.

If you have entrepreneurial spirit and fancy yourself as master of your own destiny then give this one a go.  A right good holiday read.  And if you can put into practice what you learn then all the better!

Leaves you feeling: Like you could rule the world – and still have plenty of time for the finer things in life.

 

Want a profound read and a good cry? 

These days, after years of hardcore studying reading lists, anything too heavy is definitely off my agenda (the fluffier the better!), but if you can cope with the emotion then I’d recommend The Dead Poet’s Society.

I saw the film before I read the book and was too young to have a clue what was going on, but when I did read the book at 21 it had a profound effect.  I was working as a language teaching assistant in East Germany at the time.  It was the middle of a lonely winter and I was already pretty depressed – but was definitely more so by the time I got to the end of the book!

I read it in one night and did so because it was part of the curriculum of the class I was helping to teach.  I think I’m the only one who actually read it! – but I’m pleased I did as it made me think, even though I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night!

Leaves you feeling: DPS lifts you then plummets you down to the depths of despair.  It’s an important read, but not a frivolous one.

Bookreavement

Bookreavement.  If it’s not a word, it should be.

This is the word I use to refer to the feeling you get when you reach the end of a book that you’ve really, really enjoyed.  You feel that not only have you got to the end of the story, but also that you’ll never meet those characters again – characters whose lives you’ve had an insight into, who you’ve made friends with, even fallen in love with.

And now, they’re gone.  Yes, you can read the book again but that wouldn’t really help ease the loss, because it would only tell you what you already know, rather than what you yearn for – which is more.

OK, I’m not seriously comparing it to actual bereavement, but there does need to be a word for it because it’s definitely a thing.

Sometimes the English language fails us because there are holes in it where concepts exist but words don’t.  In such cases we normally pinch words from other languages; think ‘faux pas’ / ‘Wanderlust’ / and my personal favourite – ‘Schadenfreude’ – a very useful word we just don’t have a simple translation for in English.

I don’t know if any other language has a way of expressing this particular concept but I really think we need a word for it, so ‘bookreavement’ is my suggestion.

I’ve recently experienced ‘bookreavement’ when I got to the end of ‘Miss McGuire is Missing’ by Eileen Robertson http://www.eileenrobertson.co.uk/.

A cosy murder mystery, this book had me absolutely hooked!  I couldn’t wait to get to the end to reach the conclusion but I knew doing so would be a double-edged sword – I’d get the satisfying ending but then that would be it.  Game over.

And it was.  I read on her website that Eileen is going to work on a sequel so I hope she hurries up with that one as I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it.  Actually, in this instance I didn’t put my hands on it at all, I downloaded it from the Amazon Audible site.  You can now get 3 months’ subscription free with a Prime membership http://www.audible.co.uk/.

This means I can consume 2 books at the same time – one in the traditional format when I’m at home, and one in my car when I’m not – marvellous!

 

Suppress self doubt – and emerge brilliant, or humiliated?

In order to achieve something we want is it necessary to risk making an absolute idiot of ourselves if it all goes wrong?  I’m beginning to think it is.

If we give it a go and emerge triumphant then happy days, but if we give it a go and emerge a failure then there could be some serious personal humiliation in store.

The problem is, if we want something so much, I mean really, really want it, then we’re prepared to risk achieving it at all costs, right?  Right – unless of course, self doubt raises its ugly head, gets the better of us and means we never actually go through with it due to the fear of making a bit of a dick of ourselves in the process.

I’m struggling with a touch of the ol’ self doubt at the moment.  If the publisher doesn’t like my book and I go with my second choice of self-publishing it, then I’ll open myself up to the criticism of, erm, let’s see – the ENTIRE WORLD!  And that’s an extremely daunting prospect.

Normally in life I don’t really care if someone doesn’t like something about me – my outfit, point of view, way I bring up my child, etc.  But this is different; this is my personal creation on the page and the result of months and months of hard work.  If, over breakfast, I see someone has left a bad review I can’t pretend I won’t end up face down in my porridge.

Of course you’ll never please everyone, I know that and that’s fine, but here’s where self doubt creeps in – what if my book doesn’t please anyone; what if I become a laughing stock; what if my friends and family disown me; what if I’m banished from society for ever daring to think I could do this and succeed; what if, what if, what if…..

And there’s the problem, once you start doubting yourself, there’s no end to it.  Well, there is, it’s when you finally talk yourself out of even trying because you’re convinced you’re bound to end up a massive failure who people will be pointing and laughing at for eternity.

I know if I’m going to get anywhere with my book then I need to suppress this self doubt and deal with whatever may come, and I want it so badly that this is what I’ve decided to do.  Come what may, that book is getting out there!

I wonder how many people have been put off from having a go at something because of their own self doubt?  Are there geniuses out there who were on the brink of showing their talent to the world – be it sport, acting, art or science related – just to pull back at the last minute because of this devilish emotion?

Has self doubt ever stopped you from doing anything?  Where could you be now if you’d have fought through its barrier to give it a go?

I’m thinking of starting a one-woman campaign to banish self doubt forever.  So say we give something a go and it goes wrong, say we get talked about and laughed at, who cares! Perhaps that will result in a great dollop of self respect that we had the gumption to give it a go, and surely that will tell our self doubt to take a hike once and for all.

 

Competition Alert!

In celebration of the fact that today I’ll be finishing my book, I’m giving away 5 little boxes of these lovely heart shaped choccies.

To WIN all you have to do is visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ginahollands, LIKE my page and the post and COMMENT ‘Happy End’ below it. Don’t forget to SHARE the post with your friends too!

Due to postage, this one is only open to UK residents – Good luck!

Terms and conditions: Terms & Conditions:
Only open to UK residents, over 18 years old, with a UK address. Closing date is midnight on Sunday 22nd May 2016. One winner will be selected at random and will be notified by Tuesday 24th May. No purchase necessary. Prizes are non-exchangeable and non-refundable or negotiable. The competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.