Inside the mind of a writer www.scskillman.co.uk

Posts tagged ‘readers’

Lovely Atmosphere at King Edward VI School Christmas Fair Book Signing

at I enjoyed selling and promoting signed copies of my two thriller suspense novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit and meeting readers at King Edward VI School Christmas Fair, Stratford-upon-Avon last Saturday.author-sc-skillman-at-booksigning-at-king-edward-vi-school-christmas-fair-sua-3-dec-2016

A pianist and choir entertained us with carols, the prefects carried our bags from the car and brought us tea and coffee during the fair, and there was also a fabulous raffle with wonderful prizes like an overnight stay and dinner and wine for two at the Lygon Arms, Broadway… very appropriate for the fact that the final scene of A Passionate Spirit is set in in the Lygon Arms, Broadway. Sadly though I didn’t win the prize!

I chatted with readers and one of them said “This looks just the sort of thing for me for January reading…” also I found once again that men seem to be the first to take initiative in browsing and then buying my books, even persuading their wives to buy them! What is this saying about my target audience?..MC & APS on display at King Edward VI School SUA 3 Dec 2016.jpg

We’ve heard it said before but it always stays true – books make an ideal Christmas present… if, of course, you know the reading taste of your gift recipient!

Happy reading over Christmas and into the New Year.

10 Things I Want My Readers to Know About Me

1. I was born and brought up in Orpington, Kent; my father’s family owned A.D. Skillman & Sons, the Ironmongers Shop opposite the Woolwich Ferry on the River Thames. This shop was started by my grandfather in December 1900 and the last owner was my brother Chris who sadly had to close for business in June 2002. During my early life, I regularly visited the shop and helped out there, and encountered colourful characters who made a strong impression on me.

Author photo SC Skillman

Author photo SC Skillman


2. My inspiration as a writer came from an early love of reading: at first, the stories of Enid Blyton. I began writing at the age of seven. All successful stories stem from this; the main protagonist leaves their ordinary life and enters a new world.


3. The first stories I ever wrote were adventure stories starring children of my own age doing exciting things. I was also influenced by Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking, Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmations, and Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.


4. My previous workplaces have included BBC Schools Radio, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Universities of London, Queensland and Warwick, and the European School of Osteopathy. They have all furnished me with raw material for my two published novels Mystical Circles and

A Passionate Spirit.COVER DESIGN A PASSIONATE SPIRIT pub Matador


5. At the age of fifteen I had a summer job on the assembly line making pop-up toasters at Morphy Richards factory in St Mary Cray, Kent.


6. The best job I ever had was at the BBC when I worked with many creative people and had great fun recording programmes both in studio and on location.


7. The worst job I ever had was as a temp at a company called Imported Meat Trades Ltd (I’m a vegetarian). After the first day I was asked not to come back again (and it was nothing to do with my food preferences either…)


8. I got my ideas for my new novel A Passionate Spirit from many sources; the ghostly encounters in my book are all based on real stories, one of which is from my sister Julia who, several years ago, experienced paranormal activity while babysitting. I’ve also been inspired by esoteric and new age philosophies. Other ideas about my character Natasha (a mysterious spiritual healer) were sparked off by the sorceress Morgana in the BBC TV drama series Merlin.


9. I have myself experienced several groups like the ones in Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit; among the most quirky was a dream yoga group led by a shaman in the Australian rainforest.


10. If asked to give advice to anyone who wants to write I’d say, “Read a lot, listen to conversations, closely observe human behaviour and interaction in groups, and be persistent, single-minded to the point of obsession; never give up, always believe in yourself, despite all evidence to the contrary, and hold out for what you first dreamed of.”

Out at the Christmas Fairs Meeting Prospective Readers

One of the joys of selling books at local Christmas Fairs is that you get a chance to introduce yourself to possible new readers and to chat to them about their reading tastes.

I had some interesting chats at the Princethorpe College Christmas Fair on Sunday afternoon whilst promoting and selling signed copies of my two novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit.

One lady, seeing that my new novel is a paranormal thriller, asked: “Is it based upon a real life story?”

At first her question surprised me, for of course I wouldn’t expect the target audience of a paranormal thriller to even ask that.

But I realised it was a very interesting question. “Yes,” I replied. “Not only do I get my inspiration from my own experience and from the many people I have met and known; but also this novel is based upon several true stories, from different people.”Sheila beside stall at Princethorpe college Christmas fair 2015 image 1.jpg

The true stories that I draw upon in my novel A Passionate Spirit, have been told by my sister Julia; by a retired clergyman called John Alderman; and by a selection of writers upon the paranormal, including Peter Ackroyd, Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and Peter Underwood.

Whilst chatting to another lady about the fact that both my novels were set in the Cotswolds, I was asked another curious question:  “But do paranormal things happen in the Cotswolds?”

My reply to that was, yes, they certainly do – in my novel at least!

Then I realised it produced quite a good slogan: “Creepy things happen in the Cotswolds”. Though, in reality of course, they can happen anywhere and everywhere.

Decide for yourself by downloading the ebook here or by ordering the paperback direct from the publisher here.

 

 

 

 

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