The Ride (12): Just Ask!

Well! The Ride is fairly packing it in right now!

To catch you all up, I have attended a How to Market Your Book event in Edinburgh – loads of ideas! Possibly too little time to put them all into practice, but interesting nonetheless.  Aside from that, anything which justifies a trip to Auld Reekie gets the thumbs up from me.

Which meant that only two days later I did the same again. This time I was trekking down for a very enjoyable Book Bloggers and Writers Networking lunch. I know, it’s so tough:).

Edinburgh Authors and Book Bloggers lunch, organised by Joanne Baird. I’m right there in the bright blue.


The best side effect: not only did I get to meet up with the lovely Helen MacKinven of Cranachan, but I was also presented with my very own super-special book bag for carrying copies of Fir for Luck in – for when the time comes. I was so happy that I asked a complete stranger to take a picture at the railway station, just so you could all appreciate the sublime logo of Pokey Hat, Cranachan’s children’s imprint.

Keeping up? On the day after, Cranachan’s Anne passed through Inverness and single-handedly sorted out my formatting dilemmas, and today I had a fantastic day at XpoNorth, attending a brilliant masterclass with Vivian French OBE and Lucy Juckes of Jenny Brown Associates, as well as watching writers pitch their work to a panel of industry professionals. If that type of day doesn’t fire you up, I’m not sure what would!

But I’ll tell you what really made my week!

It was a simple thing – I was checking some research and found myself on a local interest website for Sutherland when I spotted an illustration. I narrowed my eyes and realised: I’d seen this before – it was a drawing of the inside of a longhouse, the type of house Janet, my character in Ceannabeinne lives in. I looked around, but no credit for the illustrator. I knew there wasn’t much of a budget for illustration for my book, but surely it was worth the ask. I submitted a query.

A day or two later I heard back. The illustrator was local to Durness and had agreed to let me use her illustration. Free of charge. FREE of charge!

Cooking Pot

I danced. All she wanted was an acknowledgement somewhere in the book – well! I think we can manage that.

Which made me think once again. Just ask, my mind’s voice whispered. You’ve got nothing to lose…

Take the book trailer trip on Saturday, and the fact that I could really do with some authentic clothes for that…

I began. I rang the local museum. I rang the nearest National Trust visitor centre. I contacted the Highland Folk Museum. Do you have villagers’ clothes ca 1840? Any chance of a Sutherland sheriff officer uniform? A fake eviction writ?

It’s unlikely – I know that – but you never know.

Maybe, just maybe, asking will get.


3 thoughts on “The Ride (12): Just Ask!

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