When is a writer not a writer?

When I first started writing, I had two ambitions.
1) To be published so that others could enjoy my books and think I was a genius (ha!).
2) To become an eccentric recluse and live in my very own writer’s shed with a telepathic butler to deliver exactly the right food to my door at exactly the right time.
My dream writer’s shed would look something like this one designed by John Seely and Paul Page situated at Mottistone Manor, Isle of Wight.
mottisfont manor shed Mottisfont manor shed interior snipped
Oh dear, I really did have a lot to learn.Now that Help I’m an Alien is about to hit the shelves I have had to  :

  • Learn how to build and maintain my own website.
  • Become an accountant so I can prove to HMRC how little money I earn.
  • Get to grips with Twitter. You can follow me on @jofranklin2 to see how unsuccessful I have been.
  • Be even more punctual than usual because I’m often booked on a non-flexible, non-transferable, but very expensive train journey.
  • Become a competent photographer and learn how to edit photos to squeeze them onto social media NB I learnt how this morning and have now forgotten.
  • Try and network professionally. I’m still struggling with this one. If I go to a party I’m more likely to befriend the waitress than the high powered publishing executive.
  • Be able to work eighteen hour days, seven days a week because there is so much to do.
  • Work hard at keeping everyone happy, including my agent, publisher, family and dog.
Help I'm An Alien

Artwork by Aaron Blecha

Luckily, since Help I’m an Alien has moved from being my fantasy to being a reality, I have had some help.

I’m interviewing my critique group, my agent, my publisher, my publicist and my illustrator over the coming weeks to shed some light on what they do and to share with you what role they have played in creating the published version of Help I’m an Alien, because I couldn’t have done it on my own. Do come back and see what they have to say.

Being a published author has nothing to do with being an eccentric recluse, but I love it anyway.