I’ll be celebrating with a live online event this evening (7pm BST, 11am PDT, 12noon MDT, 2pm EDT, 4am AEST) hosted by the fantastic Mr Caimh McDonnell who will interrogate me to squeeze all the Babes in the Wood secrets out of me in just an hour. We’ll be announcing the winners of the signed book and chocolate giveaway, I’ll also be talking about the trailer for UNWELCOME, and I’ll be dropping some big hints about the third Witches of Woodville book.
And publication day is off to a lovely start with this blog from Mai’s Musings…
“Once again, Mark Stay has produced a book that is utterly charming, sometimes funny, and sometimes a little bit scary. It was a joy getting to know more of the colourful Woodville residents, and I am excited to keep doing so in future books.”
I had a great time chatting to the delightful Mr Olly Smith for the Media Lunch Club podcast. We discuss the differences between writing novels and screenwriting, how Star Wars ruined me, and the thing that Olly and I have in common. Listen here…
You are cordially invited to join me for the launch of the new Witches of Woodville novel BABES IN THE WOOD on Thursday 28th October (that’s this Thursday coming!) at 7pm BST (11am PST, 12 noon MDT, 2pm EDT, and 4am next day Brisbane… with apologies to the good people of Australia!).
I will be joined by the magnificently-bearded bestselling author Caimh McDonnell, and we will dig into the origins of this tale and you will discover…
Why it’s called Babes in the Wood.
Who the blazes is Otto Kopp?
The influence of PG Wodehouse, the movie Night of the Demon, the Midwich Cuckoos, and Dada art.
The secret of the Ur-Tree…
And what the dickens is an Ur-Tree?
And will Faye and Bertie ever find true happiness?
Publish or Self Publish? That is the question that three Canterbury local authors will discuss, and at the same time offer insights for anyone thinking of taking the plunge or simply curious about the business of getting your book out there.
Mark Stay, Raoul Morris, and GC Fisher, will spend a happy hour analysing the pros and cons of each path to getting your book to your readers.
I recorded a few rambling thoughts about writers and their mental health on World Mental Health Day…
Hello folks, I’m recording this on World Mental Health Day, and this is something we talk a lot about on the Bestseller Experiment podcast, which is writers’ mental health, which is fragile at the best of times. And I honestly don’t really have any answers for you or anything like that. If you’re having serious problems then talk to a professional. Call The Samaritans, that sort of thing. But I can talk about it from my own perspective. And what’s helped me in the past because the thing is, it doesn’t really go away. It never really stops.
If you achieve any kind of success, you get different kinds of stresses. Certainly, if you’re starting out, it’s stressful because you might have a job and a family and all sorts of of things clamouring for your attention, making it difficult for you to write. And then there’s where you do get something published, either self published or hybrid traditionally. And it goes out there… (exhales)
And it can be… Not many people talk about this. It can be a bit of an anti climax, frankly. Because you’ve got to write the next one and the one after that. And it never really stops. And then… I get this all the time, which is you see other people doing well and you think, Why isn’t that me? What did they do to get that thing?
I’m sure people look at me and say, how come that flabby pasty git got a film or a book deal or whatever… But this is it, y’know, we’re all in it together. We are. I saw a thing the other day on a writers’ group I’m on where a couple of writers sort of turned each other. It’s heartbreaking to see that because we need to support each other.
I mean, if there is any big piece of advice for writers, I’d say find other writers. Find other writers because they understand you better than anyone else. I know a lot of people… Writers who, y’know, their family, frankly, don’t understand what they do, why they do it. So find other writers, find another group. I mean, we’ve got the Bestseller Experiment. We have a lovely group on Facebook.
We’ve got the Bestseller Academy, a lovely bunch of people there. We all… There is a very positive attitude there. We do lift each other up and console each other… (distant train horn) When our trains are late, that kind of thing. Seek out other writers. Seek me out if you want to drop me a line. I’ll do what I can do, but I’m not a doctor. Not a professional. Anyway, there was a point to all this… Well… Mental Health Awareness Day or whatever it is. We’re all aware that there are big mental problems. We talk about them more, which is a good thing. Perseverance is a thing. If you want the answer to how come that big pasty flabby git got so much of this, or that, or the other… it is perseverance.
I mean, I started writing seriously just before my daughter was born. She’s 21, nearly 22. And the number of times I could have stopped. Number times I could have given up. Number of times I could’ve said, nah, this is not for me. I’m not getting the success that I, y’know… this soon. Or not getting the success I want. But I love the writing. I think that’s the key for me.
I enjoy the process. I won’t pretend it’s always easy. Sometimes it’s really, really difficult. Sometimes there are days you need a break. Like today. Not doing any writing. Going for a walk, which I haven’t done for ages. Absolutely ages.
See this is a bit of a ramble. But anyway… Find other writers. Persevere. Keep at it. Take a break if you need one. But as Mr D says on our podcast, you know, the one guaranteed way to fail is to give up and… It’s understand in the face of: you publish a book, 25 people buy it. You get a stinky review. No one sees your movie. Now one reads your book. You’d be forgiven for giving up.
And if that makes you happy, then maybe that’s the way to go. But if, like me, you’re compelled to write, then you kind of have to. One of the first guests we had in the podcast was Joe Abercrombie, and he gave the best advice. He said that the longer you dance naked it in the rain, the more likely you are to be struck by lightning. And that is the best summation because it’s a crazy thing to do what we do.
It’s irrational, sometimes. It doesn’t make sense. Makes no financial sense.
But every now and then… Zap. It works. Anyway, like I said, this is a bit of a ramble while I’m rambling. I hope that helps. But happy writing. Keep writing. If you’re enjoying it. If it’s making you miserable, maybe it’s time to stop. But if you’re enjoying it, with all the rough and tumble that comes with it, keep writing. Happy writing.
I’ll be in conversation with the amazing Ben Aaronovitch at Waterstones, Canterbury on Friday 29th October at 6:30pm. A splendid time is guaranteed for all, though space is limited so grab your tickets here now.