Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Publication Day for Write to be Published is here! Where will I be? In a glitzy hotel being champagned? Being showered with flowers or gorged with goodies or snapped by paps? No. Well, not as far as I know. I'll be on a train to London in preparation for my FREE Foyles event tomorrow. I will have this bag with me, thanks to Lynn Price, who generously sent me one as a present to celebrate publication.

But fear not, as I have a very special interview for you. I can't reveal the name of the mysterious interviewer because otherwise everyone will want to be interviewed by her/him, but suffice it to say that I am deeply honoured. So, grab a coffee and a chocolate brownie and settle down for the Big Publication Day Crabbit Interview.

Mysterious Interviewer: So, Nicola, if this book is based on the blog, presumably all you had to do was to copy and paste the best posts. Easy, yah?


MI: Well, relatively easy?


MI: Well, at least easier than if you'd been starting from scratch?


MI: OK, so it was a difficult book to write. I think we've established that. Perhaps you could tell us about the differences between blog and book?
NM: Well, you can find things in the book, for a start. This blog is now huge and unwieldy, with maybe a million words on it, buried in posts that are in a non-logical order, with some material repeated. But in the book everything is ordered nicely and logically, with clear headings in the amazingly detailed contents list so you can find exactly what you want. You could also read it in the bath. And throw it at the wall if you don't like the truth in it. If you were to read my blog in the bath or throw it at the wall you'd do serious damage to your computer.
MI: So, you're going to stop blogging now, then?


MI: Seriously? You mean it's all over?
NM: Don't be silly! Do you think I could bear to stop haranguing everyone here? Where would the fun in my life be?
MI: Once people have bought the book, though, why will they need to come back to the blog?

MI: You're going to give them chocolate? That seems like a good plan.

NM: No, sorry, I was just taking a break. In fact:

MI: They are chained to the blog?
NM: Oh yes, indeedily. By invisible and unbreakable chains, which they have willingly wound around themselves because they know that being harangued is absolutely the best way to become a stronger writer. They actually do enjoy being harangued. Trust me. And besides, even though the book aims to be all-encompassing, there may still be some small elements of haranguing that I've forgotten to put in. What if they were to miss those? Their whole literary future could be in jeopardy. So, I must continue haranguing them here, because the consequences of an insufficiency of haranguing are too awful to contemplate.
MI: Yes, I think I can see that.
NM (cannot now be stopped and has mad look in eyes): So, they must come back here for more haranguing and rest assured that I will be here for them always, ready with my pointy haranguing boots and my crabbititude and my well known Withering Frown of Extreme Exasperation. Also, if they don't come here, I shall harangue them on their doorsteps and in Sainsbury's and at their places of so-called work and even from the highest mountains and deepest valleys shall I harangue them until, verily, the hills and all the citadels shall ring out with the trumpets and clarions of haranguing.
MI: Are you OK?
NM: Yes, I am very fine, thank you.
MI: Supposing anyone wished (or dared) to come and witness some actual live haranguing, such as you might offer in an event open to the unsuspecting public, where can they avail themselves of such an opportunity?
NM: Ah, yes. Since you ask, here is a little time-table:

  • 2 June: Foyles bookshop, London, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE but ticketed. TOMORROW - HURRY, tortoises....
  • 9 June: Edinburgh - private haranguing session, fully booked.
  • 16 June: Blackwell's bookshop, Edinburgh, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE but ticketed. With WINE.
  • 30 June: London Writers' Café panel.
  • 25 August: Waterstone's bookshop, Edinburgh George St, 6.30-7.30 - booking not open yet; timing may change.
  • ?? August: secret location in Edinburgh - I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you, which would defeat the object of my telling you. Details later. (About the event, not killing methods.)
  • 15 October, Waterstone's Cambridge - details later.
  • Elsewhere - UK tour currently in planning for autumn, once we've found a bus with a big enough fridge.
MI: Jolly good. But if all these events are free, does that mean you aren't being paid? (Please don't do that head-desk screaming thing again.)
NM: No, I'm not being paid, but this is absolutely fine, for one or two reasons. 
MI: Tell us. Tell us both of them.
NM: First, because I feel I have failed aspiring writers: I have sweated blood for them for some years now and I regret to say that agents are telling me that my very clear advice to submit work while sober still isn't getting through. Second, I have this vague hope that if I do free events for them, they might buy the frigging book. Because if they don't, I'm stuffed, tbh.
MI: You love your blog-readers, don't you?
NM: Absolutely adore them. No idea where I'd be without them.

MI: One more question. The cover of WTBP. That red stuff. We've all been wondering: blood or ink?
NM: Blood. Mine.

MI: Thank you, Nicola, for answering these piercing questions. May I suggest that you have a glass of wine or something?
NM: Thank you. I don't mind if I do. Seriously though, I'm very proud of this book and well I might be, since it was a complete and utter bugger to write. Luckily though, as you can see, I preserved my sanity and came nowhere near any kind of breakdown. I have witnesses for this.
*    *    *
Write to be Published is published today and if you'd like to buy it, thank you! See this post here for a discussion about the various methods, or click the Buy page at the top of the blog. Or just head down to your nearest  bookshop and smile at them, saying how you think every aspiring writer would love to buy Write to be Published. I don't recommend haranguing them, though - that works well for writers but less well for booksellers.

Some big thank yous: fabulous publicity person and ace-brain, Corinne Gotch; equally fabulous assistant and wonder-brain, Becky Hearne; everyone who buys a book; and ALL of you, my lovely blog readers, without whom this blog would not have succeeded, and this book would not have been born.

One more thing. Lest I paint a falsely negative picture of my mood, I am in fact very, very proud of my new baby. It's had a wonderful reception from loads of you, including lovely Amazon reviews already, plus some trade response that's been fab, and I am very happy. Srsly.


Anonymous said...

I hope you come and do something near Gloucester...please...pretty please...with a cherry on top...?

Can't wait to receive my copy, and I'm very glad you're not going to stop blogging! :)

Jane Smith said...

Nicola, I know how hard you worked on this book and it shows: it's one of the best books I've read on the subject, and I've read a lot of them.

Have a wonderful publication day on your train (there'll be a bar on board, I bet) and an equally wonderful time at Foyles tomorrow. I wish I could come along and heckle.

Patsy said...

Congratulations on reaching publication day with your sanity intact.

Miriam Drori said...

The book is excellent. I've been dipping into it since it arrived two days ago. I wish I could go to one of your events. Maybe one day....

catdownunder said...

Right, I nearly lost my copy dear readers - twice. The first time my 88yr old father (who should know better) started to read it over his mid-morning cup of tea. He was supposed to be mending a chair. The chair remained unmended. The book was read. He read it through lunch and most of the afternoon.
Yesterday I took it to our local indie bookshop and showed it to the aspiring young author who works there part-time. He tried to sneak it into the cash register when I was not looking he thought it was so good. (The shop is now ordering copies for the local writing group.)
So, go and buy a copy because I am going to be mean and scratch and bite and snap and snarl because I want to keep my copy all to myself!

Dan Holloway said...

Where are the anmiated glass of wine and party popper emoticons? Congratulations on getting it out and making it fab - just like you!

HelenMHunt said...

I love you Mrs Morgan. That is all. Bloomin' well done.

Sarah Callejo said...

You and your baby will make lots of aspiring authors very happy. You give us the tools to feel confident in what we're doing. We love you despite being the Crabbiest Crabbit of the entire Crabbitland.

DOT said...

I am seriously tempted to stand in for Jane and heckle on her behalf. Will check trains and daughters for accommodation. (I am not planning to sleep on a train, you understand, but to stay with a daughter.)

If I don't make it, bon chance, comme on dit en France.

Rin said...

Hilarious post!! Congrats on the launch, and here's to many many many books being sold and you being able to buy that beautiful-looking beach for your very own.

Bernadette said...

Congrats on the publication. I wish you every success with it and hope you enjoying the forthcoming haranguing events.

bookwitch said...

Buy it? I much prefer being given it for free, thank you. But I see your point.

Did your make-up smudge doing all that banging?

Lesley Cookman said...

Many crabbity congratulations. Great book - natch.

Sally Zigmond said...

Happy Launch Day! May the bubbly flow. I have read WTBP and it is fabulous. Not only was it suitably crabbit, it was entertaining (in a crabbit sort of way) it taught me loads and I thought I knew a lot. (Hangs head in shame.) You are the Crabbiest Crabbit on the block.

But don't talk to yourself too often, dear. It could become a habit.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Congratulations, Nicola! Enjoy your day and try to have some fun!

adele said...

Missed you last time in Cbridge but Oct 15th is in the diary in letters of fire. Good luck with the book. I'll be handing out postcards/carrying my WTBP bag at the workshop I'm doing on Sat 18th June at Lucy Cavendish College on writing for teenagers. All strength to your pen.

sheilamcperry said...

Congratulations, Nicola - hope all your launch celebrations are great fun!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Nicola! Can't wait to read it.

Book Maven said...

Happy publication day!

White crabbits, white crabbits, white crabbits!

M Louise Kelly said...

Hip Hip Hurrah - Happy Publication Day!

It's a great book - deserves to be seen as important.

Enjoy today! x

Marina said...

congratulations! ... oh, and if you ever wanted a two-in-one... to keep blogging AND be at the gorgeous beach.... you could always do some haranguing in Rio (this is completely selfless, of course, nothing to do with the fact that I live here...)

JO said...

I hope you know that all your efforts are worth it - the energy of all of us following this blog and wishing you well surely tells you something! Well done - enjoy the moment.

Katalin Havasi said...

Congrats on Big Launch Day, Nicola!
Carpe diem. And drink your wine.

Leila said...

congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading it. great post :)

womagwriter said...

We do indeed like being harangued very much, so please do keep blogging.

Many congratulations on your latest publication.

Tamlyn said...

Grats on publication day and a very awesome/hilarious interview :D

kmckendry said...

Congratulations on your latest book! I just found your blog through Talli Roland. I'm looking forward to perusing your posts and learning lots of wonderful things. :)

Claire Dawn said...

Can't wait for mine to arrive!

Congrats :)

Margaret Hall said...

I hope the launch goes well!

Rebecca Bradley said...

Brilliantly entertaining interview and love the book. Thanks Nicola!

Nicola Morgan said...

Everyone: thanks so hugely much for all your good wishes. Sorry I didn't comment sooner but I was away, as you know, and now there are far too many comments to answer individually, so just thank you all.

Dot - thanks for coming to the Foyles event! Great to meet you at last, and to sign your book.

Bookwitch - thanks for possibly the most lovely review ever, over on your esteemed blog. We all know that Bookwitch is discerning and honest so i was in some trepidation before I read it!

kmckendry - welcome!

Jesse Owen said...

Congratulations on reaching publication day :D

And I have to say I loved the interview!

Col Bury said...

Congrats on the book, Nicola. I'm sure it'll sell really well.
I'll be buying a copy, of course.

Anonymous said...

I was in the hospital becoming bionic and missed your coming out day. Fantastic news! Go forth and be brilliant. No one can carry it off better than you, dahling. With that mahvelous purse, how can you miss? Mwah!

Akiko said...

The book has arrived to my pèlace and it's really great! Thank you Nicola! I will suggest it to every writer!