Today, author of Mending Lace, Sheila Forsey, is my guest on #IrishWritersWed.
Sheila discusses the impact, distraction and necessity of Social Media for authors, especially when you are a new author.
‘If only I could just write and ignore all the rest. Imagine never checking if anyone has reviewed my book, never caring if my book post received any likes or comments. Abandoning Twitter!’
Read on for more…
Enid Blyton did not have to worry about having an online presence!
by Sheila Forsey
Becoming an author, I learned very quickly that writing was not the only thing I had to do. There was a whole business to embrace. I learned very quickly that I needed an agent. Sleepless nights and numerous emails followed.
Then, it was as if an angel landed by my side, when the gorgeous Tracy Brennan from the Trace Literary Agency, literally took me under her wing.
Submissions to publishers began and the pure terror of being rejected was like a physical pain. I was consumed by it. I obsessively checked my email. Tracy constantly reassured me, but in the darkest hours, my doubts grew. It still might not happen. What then! Would life as I knew it, crumble away? My anxiety grew into a big ball of pain that I tried to hide but was beginning to eat me away. They say things happen for a reason, I often wonder about what happened next.
I had a fall and cracked a bone in my back. While lying in my hospital bed with my mind being blissfully taken over with Morphine, my anxiety about my novel ebbed away. When the drugs began to wear off, I needed to put my energy into getting better. After weeks of bed rest and endless cups of tea, I re-emerged with some clarity. Perhaps it was the painkillers, perhaps the reality of knowing that I could walk, my back would heal. I began writing my next novel.
On my very first outing out of the house, I checked my phone for any emails. There it was, the mail I had being waiting for. I had an offer to publish.
They say there is no point in worrying, but of course this is the hardest thing to put into practice, but I have learned that by deciding to become a full-time writer. I would have to, at least, try to manage the worry levels.
Now I often think, if only I could just write and ignore all the rest. Imagine never checking if anyone has reviewed my book, never caring if my book post received any likes or comments. Abandoning Twitter!
Where do people get the time to promote their work? This is a question that baffles me.
I have often scrolled through Facebook, liking writer posts or putting up posts, only to realise, I have lost an hour. An hour that I can’t have back. I could have spent it writing, walking the beach or reading. Enid Blyton did not have to worry about how many followers she had on Facebook. She spent all her time improving her craft. Then I wonder does it all really matter? A good book will rise to the surface, surely? But I have met wonderful writers, not necessarily published though. Is this because they are not out there, being visible? Is there another Sebastian Barry or Ann Enright undiscovered? I believe there are some, lying in a pile on a publisher’s office floor. One day they may be read. Hopefully whoever does, will see the beauty of their work.
There is an overwhelming amount of talent in Ireland. We truly are the land of story tellers. It is in our DNA, I am sure of it. But we are not all naturally good at promoting ourselves, that is in our DNA too. I have struggled even saying that I am an author, despite having my first book published.
Hopefully one day, I can just write and disappear to one of those lovely writing retreats that I dream about. But right now, lunches must be made for school, a wash absolutely must go on today or no one will have a clean sock to wear, I need to answer some mails and I better put up a post on Facebook.
Then, I will lock myself in my writing room as my world of creativity wraps me up in its embrace. With reality locked outside my door, I delve into the finals chapters to my new book. I had to spend some time researching for this book which has brought out emotions that have almost overpowered me.
I have travelled in my mind with the last Islander of The Great Blasket Island, to the dark streets of Cricklewood where our Irish men and women went with their few bob and carboard box in search of a better life and then to the grandeur of Broadway in New York’s theatrical elitist world.
My new novel is a story of enduring love and sibling loyalty that spans a lifetime, beginning in the wilds of the mystical Dingle Peninsula.
Thank you so much Sheila for sharing your words with us all here today. Sheila’s current novel Mending Lace is now available with full details below, including a little bit about Sheila herself so please do read on.
A story of love, loss and redemption, Mending Lace is a wonderfully woven story of people coming to terms with who they are, what they want, and all they have learned along the way.
Sive and Dan Gallagher are devoted to each other. Living the dream in a beautiful old house that Sive has spent the last few years restoring.
Set on the grounds of the house is Sive’s haven, an artist’s studio built for her by Dan. Dan’s business is going from strength to strength and they are doing very well financially – or at least that’s what Sive believes.
But their marriage is tested to its very core when Dan has a car accident. As Dan fights to recover, Sive unravels a trail of deceit and financial chaos that has the power to destroy them. The comfortable life Sive has grown accustomed to evaporates.
Sive’s life is further complicated by Dan’s mother, a formidable woman who rules her clan with an iron fist and has little time for Sive, who she thinks is in a cult because of her bohemian lifestyle, a cult she blames for her son’s downward spiral.
But as Sive puts the pieces together, she learns the Gallagher clan are hiding a secret, one that will change all of them forever…
Purchase Link ~ Mending Lace
Meet The Author:
Sheila Forsey’s debut novel was published last year and made The Irish Times Best Sellers list. A contemporary novel, titled, ‘Mending Lace.’ She is now officially a full-time writer. That is, in between running around after a teenager and two younger kids, three dogs, two cats called Ginger Rogers and Doris Day, fourteen hens and a cockerel called Oscar, that persists in crowing at four in the morning. She lives a mile from the village that she grew up in, on the coast of Wexford. At the heart of her village is a small theatre. She reflects that it has added a huge tapestry of plays and performances to her world from a very early age. She adores all things theatrical and her novel writing is now her theatre, on a page. She is addicted to tea, pecan pastries, old movies, reading about the past and finding crumbly old houses to visit, especially if they have a ghostly past within their walls.
Sheila is PRO for Wexford Literary Festival.
Twitter ~ @SheilaForsey