Category Archives: Writing

Background to writing

Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have had a copy of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul‘ (2nd Edition) for years.

The books are a collection of true stories with a feel good factor, empathy or message, but one story has always lived with me. Being a teacher I was struck with an end of year story of a tutor who was saying good bye to his students of that year. To some he congratulated them; others he wishes them luck in their new ventures, but to one student he gave a tiny box. When the student opened the box there was a pearl nestled inside.

The message of this gesture remained with me and in a way it worked on me over the years, just like the oyster covering the tiny piece of grit or shell, until I had the idea for a small gift book.

I wrote ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself’ back in 2014 and, at the time, I was taking voluntary redundancy from my work at college. If I had not done so I would have been competing with colleagues, who were dear friends too, for the few jobs remaining. Two thirds of our department left or had to leave that year.

Recently I was remined of this draft manuscript and so I metaphorically dusted down the files and worked on them. After that, I asked several folks for their feedback (my beta readers) and amended it accordingly before publishing it through Eventispress.

If you need a bit of positivity, a feel good factor in your life, or you just need to read how others are coping with similar situations to yourself, then I really recommend the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. They now do books for Teens and areas like Dementia, but personally I just love the original mix of stories.

www.chickensoup.com

or the original version on Amazon.co.uk on their 20th anniversary.

I gained permission to mention the 2nd edition in ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself’, a gift book for young adults ~ inspiration, motivation and encouragement.

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Gift Book for YA, Writing

Author Platform ~ If you’re new to writing plan ahead!

Don’t do as I did!

My author platform is now:

www.dianajacksonauthor.co.uk

www.dianajacksonauthor.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDianaJackson/

DianaJackson@Riduna on Twitter

My main blog www.dianamj.wordpress.com

Dear Reader

I began writing in 2000 and had my first book Riduna published in 2009 by Pegasus Elliot McKenzie. I knew nothing about author platforms and just chose a Twitter handle and web address fairly randomly.

Twitter

I chose my Twitter handle @Riduna’ before it had occurred to me I’d write several books. It was the title of my first book and the Roman name for the island of Alderney, on which my novel was located. In the early days of marketing it certainly helped to link myself to Alderney and one of my first followers and readers did a search for ‘Riduna’ on Twitter and came up with me. He was an ESOL teacher in Argentina at the time, but his Great Grandparents were alive on Alderney at the same time of mine. One of those lovely coincidences!

Riduna

In 2012, a small Indie Author Collaborative, for which I was a founding member, relaunched Riduna and its sequel Ancasta. (losing all my hard earned reviews for Riduna on Amazon unfortunately, but that’s another story)

It was when I came to release ‘Murder Now and Then’ in 2014 that @Riduna was less helpful, although characters in that novel did in fact visit Alderney briefly.

Website

The website for Diana Jackson was not available and I so I chose http://www.dianamaryjackson.co.uk as my web address. I was asked where the ‘Mary’ came from when interviewed by Chiltern Radio. I must have looked surprised, although of course I couldn’t be seen, ‘it’s my middle name,’ I replied. Since then I’ve realised that it is a little odd. At first I thought to change my pen name to Diana Mary Jackson. It has a certain ring to it don’t you think? If you ever wish to do that, please don’t go there! It’s far too complicated, especially since I had already published at least one book in each of my three series.

Blogs

I am reluctant to update my main blog www.dianamj.wordpress.com because it goes through periods of success and increased outreach, dependent on my input and a bit of luck. I also find that some posts and themes have a certain amount of longevity, discovered by folks sometimes years later. I now have links to this blog on both websites making it easy to share news and for me to update most of it myself. This works seamlessly

I have two blogs, but this year I have paused on www.selectionofreflections.wordpress.com to give myself less pressure through a difficult year.

…and so I’ve kept ‘Mary’ hidden in my blog address by the initial ‘M’ and that sounds like the title of a book!

Banner

I have yet to get this banner updated with my latest release ~ see below, but it is on my dot com website and my Facebook page too. I’m not sure about my twitter header. What do you think?

In Short:

Think carefully before you choose twitter handles and web addresses and not only that its worth paying for web addresses ahead of time to reserve them. You never know who might come along and snap them up. Be consistent!

“Diana Jackson’s latest release is a #YA book of encouragement, inspiration and motivation called ‘Search for the Pearl Inside Yourself‘, just released on Kindle .”

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Blogs, Marketing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing

I admit it. I am a murderer!

Not only that, I am a murderer with intent!

Years ago I stayed with a family in Sri Lanka; a memorable experience. One morning I spoke with Mrs Abysingi about my visitation from a fire fly the night before; an eerie light flying around the netting surrounding my bed. In the morning I made sure the creature was able to fly freely out of the window. She kindly said that I must be a Hindu like her, because I cared for all creatures.

But I’m not at the moment!

Each day I walk up the garden with murderous intentions. Why? Because greenfly and whitefly are attacking my lovely Lupin Tree!

This is what it should look like:

In May this year

After a while I noticed that it was beginning to look a little limp and the tell tale signs of hundreds of little critters made me realise I might be on the verge of losing this beauty. Not for the first time. This is Uncle of Lupin and Son of Lupin after the original suffered a similar infestation few years back.

In June this year

Determined to defeat it this time, I pruned off all of the flowers (conserving its strength) and began my campaign. Soapy water sprays, then vinegar and soapy water sprays nightly. I even resorted to insect killer a couple of times, but I hate to use it.

When I was beginning to win, I scanned the bush for signs and squashed them between my fingers! Oh how satisfying! Is this how a murderer feels I thought, as I hear the sound of the crunch or squish, depending on the maturity of the bug.

Now I have pared the whole bush down and am thinking

‘Nematodes’.

If my plant is going to survive I need a predator who can do my work for me, so that I don’t feel so guilty; like hiring a contract killer. I’ll let you know how they get on.

Has this got anything to do with my writing?

Well, not really but I’ve got it off my chest!

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