Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 28 May 2016

FACEBOOK FRIENDS Linda Mitchelmore

I was dragged, kicking and screaming, to social media. Facebook? Twitter? I didn't want to know and resisted for as long as I could. However, when I secured a contract on my first novel it was explained to me that being active on social media was all part of the deal and was expected of me. Now, I don't have an addictive personality - chocolate, TV soaps, wine, shoes .... I can take or leave them all - but I did know there would be times when I wouldn't be able to resist having a peak to see who had mentioned me, or not. Of the two, I prefer Facebook. 140 characters is never enough to say all I have to say! What has come as a big surprise about Facebook is the 'friends' I have made. I was hugely surprised to find that I seemed to connect with some people more than others - people I had never met. We seemed to meet in the ether somewhere with shared values and likes and dislikes. Annie Seaton, who lives in NSW, Australia, in a very covetable beach situation and who writes stories in exotic locations for PanMacmillan, Australia, was one of the first I connected with.
What I admire about Annie is that she very generously used her technical know-how to start a closed FB page, Coastal Romance. This has given a platform to other writers, all over the world, who set their novels in coastal locations, and it's introduced me to writers of whom I might otherwise not have heard. Being in Australia and twelve hours ahead of us here in the UK, I often wake to Annie's fabulous sunrise/sunset photos. Thanks, Annie!
Obviously, as a writer, I tend to lean towards other writers because we all speak the same language. We share our highs and lows, our successes and our failures. Sometimes - especially in the short story writing world - there can be a fair few failures. So, it's been great to have Gerri Gill who lives in Belfast come into my world. Gerri is an interior designer, as well as having been a model, and I can guarantee her FB posts will lift my spirits. She puts up the most fabulously glam fashion shots and now knows that I have a passion for black and white, be it clothes and shoes, or interiors and photography - especially photography - and she will often give me a personal mention.
And there are times when I need coffee before beginning my writing day and there will be Gerri joining me with a fab photo. Thanks, Gerri - and I enjoy your poems, too.
When my first novel came out I received a lovely review from someone called Marilyn Chapman. Then I noticed that Marilyn continued to support me with 'likes' and 'shares' and great comments even though we had never met. More book reviews from Marilyn followed for which I was, and still am, very grateful. Marilyn was born in Guernsey and writes a great regular blog, often featuring wonderful photos from that island. I went there, just the once, on holiday so these always bring back great memories. And then Marilyn published Baggy Pants and Bootees, a story of love, loss and betrayal, which is set in the 1960s - my sort of time. I connected further with Marilyn over this book and here I am holding my copy.
Marilyn's second novel, Occupying Love, is due out in July. This time her novel is set in her beloved Guernsey, but at a time when the island was under German occupation during WW11. This book has a fabulous cover and I am so looking forward to reading it.
So ... thank you, ladies, for all the things you have introduced to my world.

17 comments:

  1. Linda...Ours is a great virtual friendship!Would be lovely to catch up in person when I am in the UK this summer!

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    1. Gosh, Annie, that would be wonderful. I didn't realise you were coming over. Keep me posted and we'll see what we can do.....

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  2. So agree Linda. It's hard now to remember what it was like without FB et al. There are the new friends I have made and the old ones I find it easier to keep in touch with. Love your pics by the way!

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    1. Thanks, Gill. I love photo/journalism .....probably shows!

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  3. I totally relate! I was reluctant to spend time on getting my head around social media. Maybe I thought it was frivolous, a waste of time. But it's really benefited me as a writer. Great post!

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    1. So glad I'm not the only one, Barbara .... thank you for popping by.

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  4. Thanks for including me on your lovely blog, Linda. I've just arrived back from the Italian Lakes so seeing this was a lovely welcome home. Sometimes, when you discover a new author, you make a connection and that's what I did with you. It's great that we've been able to stay in touch through our mutual love of writing and reading. You inspired me to carry on in the difficult pre-publication days and I'm just so glad that I did.

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    1. It's been a pleasure to include you, Marilyn. And I am touched you credit me with carrying on..... keep on carrying on!

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  5. I shared your reluctance to join social media, Linda, but, a year on, agree wholeheartedly that it's a great way of making new friends, discovering great authors and, as Marilyn Chapman commented, have received so much encouragement as a pre-published writer. Off to read Marilyn's blog and, as I've had the absolute joy of visiting Kakadu, to download Annie's novel. Wonderful photos. : )

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    1. It's working, then, this social media thing if it's introducing to different authors. Glad you like the photos.....see my comment above ... :)

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    2. Thank you, Rae. I hope you enjoy it... it is a wonderful place.

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  6. What a lovely example of the benefits of social media, Linda - completely agree that it's a great way to make friends and to discover new writers from all over the world. I wouldn't be without it now!

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  7. Great post, Linda. I've long been an advocate of Facebook friendships - and bloggers.

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    1. I'm getting there....... slowly. And wouldn't want not to find the three I've highlighted in my blogpost. There's also Kandie Delley in the US and .... but that's another blogpost!

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  8. Oh, Linda...I, too, was dragged on to FB kicking and screaming. And yet, I've made a whole load of friends there. :)

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who paled at the thought, Jennifer!

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