My biography was published three months ago and so far I have done no advertising, no interviews other than notifying my friends that i have completed the book. Several people have bought written reviews and those who haven’t said they loved it but are too lazy to follow up, (or I was not pushy enough). Generally, the story is about growing up in war- torn London and finding my way with no guidance, finding my way to three different countries for one half of my life after which becoming a popular artist in the US, in between surviving several groundbreaking surgeries. Im afraid I have no notes relying completely on memory. I was not a diary writer, putting my hand to painting only when I settled here.
Accidental Artist is available from Amazon and most other outlets, as an ebook or in paperback. The audio version will be available in July 2019, also from Amazon. In getting Accidental Artist published, I attempted to go through the conventional channels: find an agent, get a publisher, have the publisher edit and advertise, and so forth. I found that as a new, untried, author (especially one advanced in years), no agent or publisher would give me the time of day. I eventually found and checked out Escarpment Press in an online search. I used them for editing and setup, and to self-publish. The effort was so painless and successful that I wouldn’t consider publishing my book any other way.
Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am an artist, first and foremost, I say first and foremost since my children are both married with children, which gives me another life to do what I love best. A day without painting is a day spent without pleasure.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I would never have written the book had my daughter not piped up one day and said “mummy , you really should write your bio, I don’t think there is anyone out there who has done so much in a lifetime. She was speaking half jokingly and half seriously. But she made me think, particularly since other close friends over the years had said the same thing. The seed was planted.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
What inspires my creativity is when I am out and about I see a certain child, a certain scene, and I will say to myself, “darn it I didn’t bring my camera”! and be unhappy for an hour or so. I had missed something wonderful.
How do you deal with creative block?
Creative block has happened to me, when my two sisters who died within a year of each other, even though I was not close to them at all I had never felt so vulnerable not even wanting to go into my studio.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I had no trouble in finding a book title. I wanted something funny, so for the longest time I called it “Memoir of a flawed and ignorant traveller” because I always thought of myself as being just that. And I still consider myself flawed and ignorant, no longer a traveller but now a painter never having had any tuition in that field.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I have been very fortunate in that I never get bad reviews in my line of work so I have never had to deal with it. Being an optimistic individual I have very little to feel negative about. I also lead a very dull life if you can call working all alone in a studio all day long but to me it’s a very happy life.
How has your creation process improved over time?
My creative process has been much the same. Mind you when I did trade shows I would get a lot of feedback from the audience which help me think in different ways so I would say it has improved.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
When I was writing my book, it was for personal satisfaction but as I continued, I began to think that it might inspire others who are going through certain difficulties, mental or physical, or I hoped it would. These thoughts alone pushed me along to finish it. I also began to have a new respect for writers!
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions have a lot to do with creativeness. Optimism is the best word I can use. With optimism there are no tricks.
What are your plans for future books?
If I am asked to write something, perhaps.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
Im full of quirks – getting up at 3.00 am to do my exercises – calling anyone and everyone “darling” – insisting on having my Guinness at 5 o’clock in the evening. I’m sure there are tons more which I can’t think of right now, but I’m sure my husband can!