New Year…New Me

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Well, Happy New Year lovely people who visit my blog.  It’s a bit late now, isn’t it?  There was that moment in early December, when it was safe to say ‘Happy Christmas’ and now seven weeks later, we’re just about over saying ‘Happy New Year’ at the start of every conversation.

That said, my little one is still on a loop of Christmas carols which she’s been singing since mid-November.  It didn’t help that the middle one got an electric keyboard for her birthday and the very first thing that got played was ‘Away In A Manger’ in burp sound effects.  This has progressed to ‘Deck The Halls’ in creaky door and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ in farts.  Seven generations of synthesizer technology and that’s the result.

Anyway, officially, we’re into the most depressing weekend of the year, so they say.  The week before payday in January, when everyone is skint and have that tense shouldered wince of  having just read their credit card statements for December.

This is also the week where the new year’s resolutions are largely forgotten or blamed on an alcohol-fuzzy New Year’s Eve’s rush of misplaced conviction. That said, Emlyn made a resolution to go vegetarian for the month of January and so far it’s been easy peasy.  We’ve cooked amazing food from Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall’s Veg book and haven’t missed meat at all (although I do confess to snaffling a bit of the kids’ chicken kievs and carbonara sauce behind his back).  But I have to say, being a vegetarian is much cheaper than I’d realized and I’m eating a lot more healthily.

I think, though, that on the resolution front, boys are much better at sticking to them than girls.  We set ourselves up for failure far too readily.  As usual, I went on my obligatory January diet, reading cover-to-cover a new fad diet book whilst polishing off the last of the Quality Street on the sofa.  It was all with the goal of my photoshoot this week for new author pictures.  I needn’t have bothered.  According to the adorable photographer, Alex James, he can airbrush out wrinkles, bags and double-chins.  Genius.

I’m not one to defend airbrushing, but to be fair, I think writers need it more than most professionals.  We’re shut up for most of the year in our cold, lonely studies and then bam! You get the call and you have to scrub up.  Think about it.  There’s always been models-turned-actress, actress-turned-novelist, but you don’t ever get novelist-turned- model, do you?

So inevitably, there is confusion when you meet real live authors in the flesh.  This happened when I went to a book launch last week of  Louise Voss and Mark Edwards’ ‘Catch Your Death’.  It was a great launch, but full of squinting authors trying to make each other out from our Twitter avatars.

I think someone should produce badges with one’s Twitter Avatar on them.  Maybe there’ll even be a craze in the future of throwing parties for one’s Twitter followers.

Anyway, on that note, I’m pleased to announce that my Twitter name has changed to @joannareesbooks, if anyone is interested.  On account of the fact that I’ve finished the final final copy edit of the newly named, ‘A Twist Of Fate’ which will be out in August under my new official author name of Joanna Rees (which, coincidentally, is my actual name).

And yes, I am embracing Twitter. It’s crazy not to.  Authors have more power than ever to self-publish, but also to promote their books through the web.  The wonderful Ben Hatch goes from strength to strength with his brilliant book, ‘Are We Nearly There Yet’ which he’s successfully self-promoted on Twitter.  And why not?

Louise and Mark are shining examples of how to get a publishing deal with a main stream publisher, after getting ‘Catch Your Death’ to number one on Amazon.  Good for them, I say.

Exciting times for us authors.  It might be the most depressing week of the year, but I reckon 2012 is looking good.

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