I become an Indie Writer

Previously on this blog:

At the age of 11 I discover I want to be a writer. I continue to write throughout my teenage years. img035.jpg.faceofthepoet

I postponed a career as a writer in order to live a full and varied life as an astronaut, pirate or teacher while looking like a poser.

I write lots of words and get lots of rejections. I help support the Post Office.

I win first prize in a competition to write a story based on the Wind in the Willows and it is published.

Winning the Kenneth Grahame Society competition proved a false dawn.

Again I submitted to agents and publishers, again I got standard, photo-copied rejections.

Then three or four things happened. I looked on the web-sites of all the organisations who had rejected me. I was astonished to see that most of the letters had come from kids, barely in their 20’s who had all gone to a handful of private schools and were called Lucy, or Julian or Samantha or Luke. I realised that I was never going to make much of an impression on them.

The second thing was that a man on a ferry from France had an e-reader and let me look at it. Soon after I saw a tiny article in the magazine Writers News about a writer who had decided to self-publish on Amazon. To my regret I don’t know who she was but I owe her a lot. She talked about e-readers.

The third thing was that I had a terrible accident. I fell off a one inch high path (honestly), broke my ankle, dislocated my elbow and shattered my arm. It was the worst possible type of accident I could have suffered. My mother had dislocated both elbows when I was a toddler and seeing the agony she experienced whenever her elbows went out left me with a huge phobia about broken bones and dislocated elbows. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I almost gave up writing but bought Dragon Dictate and ploughed on until I found I could type faster with one hand than I could dictate.

Almost as bad was the fact that when I was at home, with my arm in plaster and my foot in a moon-boot, I had to execute a complicated manoeuvre to turn over the pages of a book. If I dropped it I was sunk for I couldn’t reach it. So when my wife was at work I had to wait until my 87 year old neighbour came over to make me a cup of tea and sandwich and pick up my book.

But then, I remembered the article about Kindles and the man on the ferry and decided to buy a Kindle. I tried to order them but they were out of stock so I got a Sony e-reader instead.

Finally, in April 2011, all these things came together in my brain. Ping. I decided to self-publish my books. I certainly had time because following my accident I was unable to give as much effort to my business as I had. I set to with more enthusiasm than was seemly in a man of my years.

This was the steepest learning curve I’ve ever experienced. I had to learn to format, to design my own cover, to upload books, to write blurbs and publicity. Then I got a blog, then another one, discovered that Twitter was more than just gobbledy-gook and took the plunge into Facebook.

It was an experience beyond words. I wasn’t selling many books but I was getting good reviews and finally fulfilling my second, life-long ambition.

Next up: I discover Alice Petherton.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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3 Responses to I become an Indie Writer

  1. tigers68 says:

    It seems we have something other than writing…I broke both the ulna and radius in my left arm when I was 11 by jumping off a swing set…my arm had a horseshoe like appearance … spent 11 weeks in a cast from hand to almost my shoulder… Looking forward to reading Outcasts(bought it the other day for Kindle)…


  2. Martin Lake says:

    Happy New Year. Wow what an accident. Bent like a horse-shoe? That would have seemed lucky except for the pain. Hope you like Outcasts.

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