|After the Debut|
After the debut…
By Nicky Schmidt
As a round up to a busy year and a half of Debut Author Interviews, I decided to find out what happened to our authors after that first thrilling experience of becoming a published author.
Has it been all plain sailing or has it been a challenge? Have riches, success and glory followed? What lessons have been learned, what experience gained? I caught up with several authors to find out what life after the debut has been like.
Unspeakable is on the longlist for Shropshire Teenage Book of the Year, the shortlist for the Coventry Inspiration Book Award, and the shortlist for the North East Teenage Book Award. I've had a wonderful time promoting it. The highlight was appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with Sarah Crossan. Also, one of the best parts has been chatting with readers on Twitter.
When I've had a Tweet from a teenager saying that they really connected with the book - that's the best thing ever!
I think my main piece of advice (and I'm not saying I necessarily follow this myself!) would be to try not to have regrets. Once your book is published, it's finished. It doesn't matter whether you read something in a review and think you'd like to go back and change something, you can't (unless it's a small error, in which case your publisher probably can change it at reprint). I'd also advise people to enjoy the experience, but try not to get swept away by it. It's important to take a step back every once in a while and reflect on what you've achieved, that after all that hard graft, you actually did it!
My second book, Consumed, is out on 5 April 2016
It has been an exciting and busy time since The Mixed Up Summer of Lily McLean was published in April. I'm working on a new novel, although with a full time teaching job it's a struggle to fit writing time in some days.
The big thing I have learned is that I should have had school and library events organised before publication date.
It has taken me a while to get author visits under way, but thanks to my very supportive Head Teacher, I am now using my non-contact time on Thursday mornings to whizz out to local schools. I am thoroughly enjoying myself, although it is exhausting!
I was thrilled that I managed to speak confidently and coherently at my book launch in June, thanks to Scottish Book Trust's Performance and Presentation course which I would heartily recommend.
In March I went to the Dundee Great War Children's Book Prize awards ceremony. I didn't win but I'm proud of being shortlisted and am so glad I got the opportunity to meet and befriend the lovely authors on the shortlist and the wonderfully enthusiastic staff at Dundee Libraries.