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To All My Friends in Baldock

As you know I am coming back to Baldock for six months to do a writing course at Faber & Faber in London (October 2017 - March 2018).

I'll be renting a flat or small house, but as I'm sure you'll understand, I'll be doing it on a very tight budget.

If any of you could lend me any of the following furnishings for the six months, it would help me immensely!

An office chair.
A writing desk.
A small sofa.
A coffee table.
A single or double bed.

Or any other bits of general furniture you have lying around that you think may be useful.

Thank you all so much especially if you can help me out, and I am really looking forward to spending some time with you all again.

Much love,
Paul
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I just wanted to add to my last post about going to England for the writing course. I may have given the impression that I am going back to England for good. No, I'm only going temporarily for the six-month course, and then returning to my home in Spain.

Big, big thanks to all of you for your emails congratulating me, and the spike in book sales. I really feel very honoured to have such supportive and loyal readers.

All best wishes,
Paul
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Hi Everyone,

I have some very good news!

As you know I have been beavering away at self-publishing for a long, long, (dare I say it again?) long time. It has not been easy. Writing a 100,000 word novel takes real commitment. Most days, whether I feel like being creative or not, I need to get myself settled at my desk and fill blank sheets of paper with a story that people will want to pay money to read. But the job of self-publishing does not end there.

For the best part of three years, I have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds taking online courses and poring through books about ebook marketing. You see, finishing a manuscript and editing it to a polished finish turns out to be the easiest part. The hardest part is convincing a decent number of people that they will enjoy reading it. And it doesn’t end there. Once you get people to part with a few dollars, the book must look exciting enough for them to actually read it. Then you need to leave them with such a good feeling that they want to tell their friends and family about it to garner new sales and readers.

I’ll be frank. I love the soul-churning process of writing books. I love hearing that my work moves people and gets them thinking to the level that they send 100s of emails to me every week. But I hate, really hate marketing. Plus I’m not great at it. So, what I’ve always craved is getting a publisher. Then I could concentrate on writing books (which I think I do well), and they can concentrate on selling the books. That’s what they do well.

The first step to traditional publishing is to get a literary agent. It is these noble negotiators that push the book to publishers and hopefully get the writer a good deal. But getting agents to even look beyond the first sentence of your covering letter is an Everestine achievement!

So, to my great news. I recently applied to the Faber Academy to enrol on their six-month writing course in London. Run by the publisher Faber & Faber, this course takes the student through the whole process of writing a good novel. At the end of the course, the students (around twelve people) get the chance to read a sample of their work to an attentive selection of literary agents. Many writers from this course get taken on by an agent and subsequently get a book deal with a publisher.

I’ve just heard that I have been accepted onto the course!

So, now I am desperately making arrangements to move back to England temporarily (as you know I live in Spain), to be ready to start the course on 5th October. That’s the good news. Here’s the tarnished silver lining! The course is £4,000, my living expenses will be around another £9,000. So, to raise the £13,000 I am cashing in a small pension plan, using my savings and will find some part-time work.

In addition, I am appealing to all my readers out there to help me (if they can) and buy/promote my existing books. I get 35% to 70% royalties on each ebook sale, depending on the book price. So, if I can persuade you buy one of my books (that you don’t already own) and get the word out to everyone you know, that income will go directly to helping me fund this venture and subsequently, possibly get an agent and a publisher.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about going back to England and doing this course. I will learn so much, and maybe get the boost I need with a publishing deal. I’m also really excited about the book I intend to write. This is the synopsis;

"When a widowed and emotionally regressed, anti-smoking campaigner inherits a very successful tobacco plantation, from a distant relative, his morals are seriously compromised – until he finds an amazing new use for the crop and a romantic can-opener for his emotions."

The book is titled 'Up In Smoke'.

So that’s it. Please buy a book and help me. And please tell your friends and family about my writing and get them to buy a novel or two as well.

I’ll keep you posted as to how the adventure is going. D-Day is approaching fast - The 5th October 2017 may turn out to be the beginning of something very special indeed.

All best wishes,
Paul

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