Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sheila Norton Newsletter November 2013

Now my blog's up and running again in my real name, I thought it would be helpful to post my author newsletters on here for anyone who may be interested in the latest news.  Of course, if you'd prefer to have your name added to my mailing list to receive these updates by email, just let me know. The mailings are only sent out two or three times a year so you can rest assured you won't ever be inundated, or have your details passed on to anyone else. You can contact me by responding on this blog, or through either of my websites: or  .

Meanwhile here's the news ....
Author Newsletter: November 2013
Hello again to all my friends and readers – welcome to this latest update about my books and writing. And to start off, I’ve got some good news for those of you waiting for the third in the series about the Jennings sisters. Here it is, now available on Amazon for Kindle:

Millie Being Married (How to stay married – and love it!)
Millie and Tom were only eighteen, and expecting a baby, when they got married. At the time, they featured in a TV documentary about teenage marriage – convinced they would beat the odds and prove to their families that their relationship would survive.
Now, fifteen years later, their two daughters are stroppy teenagers, money is tight and although they’re still together, life’s not exactly a bed of roses. The TV company wants to produce a follow-up film about how their marriage has turned out. Which would be fine … except that there are a couple of things Millie would prefer not to be revealed in the documentary. In fact she’d prefer they weren’t even revealed to Tom.
Can Millie and Tom survive the intrusion of the film crew into their already stressful lives? Or will the cameras perhaps expose some secrets that would have been better kept hidden?
Download the book now for only 77p at:
(this is a shortened link to the Amazon page, for your convenience) – and find out what happens to Sophie and Debra’s youngest sister, Millie, when the TV crew descends on her family!
I hope to produce the book as a paperback in due course for those who prefer their novels in paper format. Meanwhile I hope those of you who download the digital version will enjoy Millie’s story. And of course, many thanks to all those who have already read the previous two books and been in touch to say how much you’ve liked them.
Out and about
Although we writers by necessity spend most of our time with our bums planted firmly in our chairs and our fingers glued to the keyboard, playing with our imaginary friends, we do occasionally get allowed out too. I’ve been quite busy this year on the ‘writer talks’ circuit, within my home county of Essex, visiting various clubs and organisations who like a speaker to entertain them (I use the word loosely!). 
I remember this being a fairly nerve-racking experience when I first started, but over the years I’ve come to enjoy it. I normally talk about some aspects of a writer’s life, maybe dispelling a few myths but hopefully not putting off too many would-be authors in the process!
I’ve presented talks to as few as half a dozen people, and to as many as 200 in a crowded hall with standing-room only. The organisations have ranged from U3A groups to WI clubs, Lions and Rotary clubs, Townswomen’s Guilds, and earlier this year I gave a talk to the lovely members of a local centre for the blind and partially sighted. Yes, even though they weren’t able to read my books! – they were a very appreciative audience, and enjoyed hearing a reading of a chapter of ‘Sophie Being Single.’  Of course I’ve also taken part in many local library events – I’m an ardent supporter of the library service.
I’d like to think most of my audiences have enjoyed these talks, although there have been one or two times where someone has walked out halfway through – but because of a timing issue rather than in disgust!  
Taking part in a writer panel event with other authors who are good friends is a particularly enjoyable type of occasion. These are very relaxed affairs, with one of us acting as chairperson, asking the others to talk about their lives and their writing, and then throwing it open to the audience to ask us questions. It’s a popular type of event and we’re often asked back. Last month, for instance, Maureen Lee, Fenella Miller, Jean Fullerton and I held a panel afternoon in Wivenhoe Library as part of the WivWords Festival.
 Our author panel at Wivenhoe Library
Sadly there was torrential rain on the day, which kept a lot of people away, but the small audience was enthusiastic and the library staff are hoping we can repeat the event as part of the Essex Book Festival next year. We’ve done this previously at Hadleigh Library.
Regardless of circumstances, the ‘show’ always goes on, and I always enjoy chatting to members of the audience afterwards. It makes a change from talking to people who only exist in my head!
‘Other People’s Lives’                                 

As promised, I’m giving a short intro and background to one of my earlier books in each newsletter, and this time it’s ‘Other People’s Lives’, the second of my published novels.
This is the story of Beth, a single mum who’s just about to turn thirty and feels like her life has become a dead-end. Deserted by her little girl’s father, she’s had to resort to cleaning other people’s homes to help to provide for herself and four-year-old Ellie. Fortunately her best friend, Fay, is a tower of strength and support to her, and despite the struggles Beth faces, she enjoys getting involved in the lives of her clients – perhaps a little too involved in some cases. But when she falls out with Fay, it really does feel like Beth is on her own. All she wanted from everyone was some honesty … was that too much to ask for? Or is she really being honest with herself?
‘Other People’s Lives’ is very much a story about friendship and loyalty, as well as ending with a bit of romance. It was originally published in 2003 in hardback, and in 2004 in paperback. It was translated into Italian, and was also sold to an American publisher, who published it in the States under the title of ‘Would I Lie to You?’. One of the most exciting moments of my writing career came when the book was the subject of a mini-auction between two film companies who were interested in the film rights – although sadly, nothing came of that in the end!
Since publishing this book on Amazon for Kindle it’s done really well and is currently the best seller of my backlist. I hope you’ll download it and have a read, if you haven’t already!
I’m always pleased to hear from my readers; feedback about my books is very important to me. And finally, please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends who may be interested.
Meanwhile, Happy Reading until next time!

Sheila / Olivia