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Sunday, 1 May 2016
#Beltane Blessings! #MayDay #celebration
Today is Beltane, a day to celebrate fertility, fire, and abundance. As a Leo (not that I'm really a follower of astrology) and a redhead, I have a strong kinship for all things fiery. I'll keep quiet about all the secret little fires I used to set as a child--hey, I never burnt anything down! Other than a few of my parents' flowerpots...
The first of May also marks the first anniversary of losing my main publisher as Breathless and Lycaon Press shut their doors and my publishing dream went down in flames. It was, however, also the day I decided to fully commit to being a self published author, partly to save myself more heartbreak at losing a publisher again. After all, it was my third experience of doing so in just three years as a published author. Over the past year I've seen more publishers closing - most shockingly Samhain - while others have cut their expenses and shifted their strategies in an attempt to remain viable. The early success of small presses pioneering ebooks has not been long lived. It just shows how changeable and unpredictable publishing can be, and why authors need to learn flexibility among our many other skills.
And in just over a month my final contract with a publisher will expire. It's a peculiar thought. Five years ago I had a very different view of my future, and it certainly didn't include being self published. In fact, I very much doubted I'd ever be published at all. I'd spent a year submitting to agents in the UK to no avail, and was in the process of submitting to various small digital-first presses in the US. I'd released a scifi short - The Bones of the Sea - on Smashwords, more as an experiment than as an official debut publication. How things change... A year later my debut novel Keir released via Lyrical Press.
So May is a month of special significance. I celebrate two anniversaries - my official debut as an author and my wedding. It was also the month my mum was born, now gone for 15 years. But I try to dwell on the positive. This year I will have been a published author for four years. This year I will have been married for 23 years - now more than half my lifetime - to a very wonderful man who has held my hand through highs and lows and all the bits in between.
Beltane marks an auspicious time and the beginning of summer. Here's hoping May will bring you good things too! And if you're setting fires, be safe and avoid the flowerpots. :P