Monday, 25 April 2011


I’ve been doing a lot of ‘self-talk’ these past few days, preparing myself for life as an author…

One day, when Sausage was very little, we went to a service at a Korean church in the city to commemorate the Korean War. While we were there, I was approached by a Korean lady, who shyly asked, “Excuse me, but do you know that your daughter is very beautiful?” I laughed and assured her that, yes, I did know that, (she’s beautiful in any language) but it made me feel wonderful. Only days before, I had stood in the checkout at our local supermarket and grown progressively more uncomfortable as the woman behind me stared at my beautiful black-haired baby with undisguised contempt. In the end I turned around and stared back at her. She simply lowered her sunglasses so that I couldn’t see where she was looking. Obviously she couldn’t see past her own bigotry. I could really only feel sorry for her. She had blinkers on long before she lowered her sunglasses.

I’ve just spent my first weekend as a published author (I did write "published" but I changed it…positive thinking). The experience has been a strange one. I’ve taken my baby out into the world and now I know I have to deal with those two extremes: those who understand perfectly what my book is about and those who can’t understand it at all. With that last group, I’ll lump those who have no interest in even trying it. Having had the book critiqued by numerous people, I’ve already met the two extremes, and I’ve developed something of a thick skin. But is it thick enough? I have to admit that waiting for people to comment is extremely nerve-wracking.

I’ve had one lovely, fantastic, wonderful, beautiful, heart-lifting review. That person understood perfectly. I’m still floating from that one. But I know that there will be people who won’t like my book. They’ll say so and I have to accept that. I spent some time the other day looking at other self-published authors on Amazon, namely the ones that are doing really well. They’re selling tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of their books. Yet in amongst the five star reviews, there are still plenty of scathing one star reviews. You could never tell that these people have read the same book as everyone else. Are they wrong? Who can say – they’re probably just coming at it with a very different perspective to everyone else. 

So it has five legs, who cares? It's beautiful.(Aged 4)

But before anyone can like or dislike Treespeaker, I have to persuade them to buy it! The marketing ‘experience’ is a whole other post.


Gregory House said...

Well done, if its not out there no one will know how good it is, or be inspired. Ignore the doom sayers and take strenght from the fact that you finished a book, not a common feat by any measure.
regards Greg

Kate said...

Thanks, Greg. Yes, it is a huge achievement being able to write 'The End' isn't it?

Clare said...

New mums are always nervous - and always subject to others' opinions, whether these are sought or not.
Inevitably, these opinions will, at times, be contradictory but one thing remains constant - your baby is PRECIOUS to you and any criticism will sting.
That said, your daughter IS beautiful and bigotry is INVARIABLY ugly.
Personally, I LOVED "Treespeaker" but I accept other people might not like the genre.
That said, no one can deny that it is a great piece of story-telling, impeccably presented - it is a matter of taste whether they like the content or not.
Katie Stewart, you can be proud of ALL your babies!

Kate said...

Thanks, Clare!

Pam Asberry said...

Reading is so subjective; the most important thing is knowing that you did the best work you were capable of and that YOU are proud of it. Of course you want people to buy the book, but as you can't let a few negative reviews shatter your confidence. Congrats on your success! I am on my way to Amazon right now! :-)

Angela Ackerman said...

I wish you all the best, Kate! And I felt such anger at your experience with that woman in the line up. I don't get the race thing AT ALL. Who cares what race/color/religion we are?

I feel sad for people who are just still completely ignorant and see differences.

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse