Thursday, 30 March 2017

Snipped Tales 'halfway there' book giveaway


Hello you.

Yes, this is a give away. Yes, I will tell you how you can win a copy to keep or give away. Just ... give me a  minute first ... to ramble ...

Creating a published book from my private hobby of making tiny text-collages was one of the most rewarding and delightful gifts I've ever given myself. And I give good gifts.

 On the other hand ...

... deciding on how many of them to print was one of the most stressful times I've had in recent years.

There were so many factors to juggle ... and I'm notoriously bad at catching.

When faced with the mathematical nitty-gritty of pricing, profit margins, and print costs that scaled with size, my stomach, previously buoyed-up on the initial creativity of the project, began to sink. But the project couldn't go ahead until I finalised that print number; I had to commit to something. 

I wanted to both play it safe (begging people for reassurance I was doing the right thing) ... and take a risk at the same time. I believed in what I was doing, I had the money in the bank, I wanted my work to reach more than a handful of people.

So I decided on a number. 
  • A smallish number in the grand scheme of publishing, but a number that was far higher than the 'safe' option. 
  • A number that was at least 5 times more than the 'sure thing' orders I knew I was likely to receive. 
  • A number that was many more than what I could expect family and friends to buy.
In a show of support for which I will be  forever grateful, during the first week the book was on sale it sold more than a few people had advised a first book, self-published, would ever sell.  Which was when I knew I'd made the right decision to publish more than that!  

Naturally, once the initial excitement of the first month and the Christmas gift-buying season were over, sales began to slow. But then ... just this week, a couple of orders came in and tipped me over into a territory I'd been looking forward to since the beginning. 

This week (wc 27th March 2017) I reached the half-way mark! 

And now that I've reached this milestone it's my turn to order a copy .... only I'm going to send that one to one of you. 


  • I will send one gift-wrapped copy of 'Snipped Tales' to the giveaway winner. 
  • I am happy to post to anywhere in the world (However, please note: I have had trouble posting to Brazil in recent times ... with at least 2 orders going missing).
  • Any one can enter, even if you already own a copy. 


  • Leave a comment on this blog post making it clear you are entering the give-away. 
  • In your comment you can say why you'd like a copy, or who you'd gift it to. You don't need to to this to enter ... I'm just interested in hearing from you. 
  • (Feel free to also comment if you're not entering. I like hearing from you anyway!)
  • You can also enter via this post on my Instagram account. Where I will be giving away a second copy. Enter one or both ... I don't mind! 


  • The giveaway will end at 1pm (UK - BST - time) on Thursday 6th April 2017.
  • I will make a list of all the entrants and use a random number generator to select one at random.
  • I will announce the winner in a blog post ASAP afterwards. 
  • PLEASE make sure you either check back to see if you've won OR that I can contact you to let you know! eg. if I can't hop through from your account then please leave another way to contact you eg. a Twitter/Instagram handle. 
  • If I can't contact the first winner, I will re-draw to select another winner. 

Best of luck to you. And please share the opportunity with anyone you think would like to join in! 


And before I go ... 

Thank you to those - you know who you are - who have valiantly played their part in hauling my book's little legs over that halfway mark. 
I couldn't have got this far without you ... I do hope the book repaid you in some way for your efforts.

And ... if you want to read more about the book or pick up a copy yourself:
Now you can get commenting to win a copy! 

Julie x

Friday, 10 March 2017

Come and meet the novelist ... (then let me know if you recognise him!)

Hello, hello, come in, make yourself at home.

I would introduce you to my other guest today it's just that ... I don't know his name.

Round here, whenever we pass him by, we simply nod cordially and greet him as 'Novelist' (a bit like how Seinfeld always greeted Newman.)

But maybe you do know his name, maybe you've seen his face somewhere before, maybe he's familiar to you.

Do you, have you, is he?? Here, have a closer look ...
So - you might well be asking - if I don't know who he is, how do I know he's a novelist?

I think I can just sense it in his face. His eyes feel like a novelists eyes, his artistic, middle distance stare. His strong nose and soft mouth are held like a novelist's. His sideburns sit like a novelist's sideburns ...

Well, that and the fact that it says 'Novelist' on the back of the frame: 
But apart from that single word I know nothing about this portrait. (I think all the label read was '19th Century portrait 'Novelist''.)

You might already know that I have a head collection (for any passing law enforcers no, not real heads, but ornaments and dolls' heads) and I've been interested in expanding this into painted portraits ever since I saw an exhibition of artist Julian Opie's personal collection of  head sculptures and portraits at Bowes Museum in 2015.

Then, last summer, while James and I were browsing one of the many, many, many rooms at Hemswell Antiques Centre in Lincolnshire I came face to face with the handsome chap ... and it was kind of love at first sight.

Can't you just imagine him wandering into a scene from a Jane Austen novel? Or maybe you're more of a Bronte fan?
That same summer I'd decided that I'd try my hand at writing a novel, which, until then was something I'd never really thought would happen. And - coming across Mr.Novelist at that time - seemed like a sign I hadn't even been looking for.

So, reader, I bought him. 

He lives with me, I see him every day, we chat (admittedly, I do most of the talking while he listens thoughtfully and nurtures his Strong Silent aura), but  I still don't know who he is.
  • Maybe he is a famous novelist of the 1800s (I think that's the right era judging by the clothes - don't you think?) - and I just don't recognise him. It's not like many of them have Instagram accounts for me to check out their selfies.
  • Maybe he's or a forgotten novelist and that's why he's not familiar. 
  • Maybe he's an amateur novelist and someone just fancied painting him (I can't imagine you'd write 'Novelist' on the back of something you'd commissioned for yourself. Although - if I ever do get my novel written - I'll probably go around writing 'Novelist' on everything.) 
  • Or maybe he never wrote a word of a novel in his life and was simply a sitter for an artist creating a series of works featuring different occupations. 
Who knows? Maybe you do! 

If he looks in the slightest bit familiar do get in touch. 

And please feel free to share his mugshot with any of your literature loving friends too and maybe, between us we will #findthenovelist 

And if we don't then it won't change how I feel about him. There's nothing quite like an air of mystery to keep a girl interested ...

Julie x

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