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Guest author blog: Hanna Jameson
Guest author blog: Hanna JamesonSubmitted by: Kaz 19 Jan 2013 - 02:01
Something You Are,
the first in a razor-sharp
and utterly addictive new thriller series.
Reasons why being an author is (sometimes) fabulous:
The ensemble. You’re essentially paid to sit and listen to Spotify for twelve hours a day in your pyjamas and dressing gown. I don’t even need to elaborate on this reason.
Other people think it’s cool. Much like smoking, despite the harsh realities of it, you do consistently look cool to other people if you can genuinely state that being a writer is your occupation and sole source of income.
The diet. Hemingway said ‘Writing and travel broaden your ass’, but I’ve often found the opposite to be true. The sheer amount of stress-crying you’ll do over your deadline every day will be enough to carve out some fierce abs. What’s more, I’ve gone entire days passing-off a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter and jam as a worthy meal.
Artistic license. You can, for the most part, write about whatever you want. I recently passed-off 300 words on how much I love Nick Cave as part of a blog for a proper website. It’s brilliant.
You become very easily amused. I think this is a good thing. I become inordinately excited on a daily basis about what I’m going to have for lunch and where I’m going to have it. Hearing the post drop through the letterbox can be a highlight of my day, or stumbling across new music on Spotify, or getting a distracting Facebook message from a friend, or sent a funny photograph of a cow photo-bombing a horse stuck in a gate...
If you feel like it, you can sack off an entire day. Have you ever tried phoning in sick to yourself? Yourself is a very understanding boss. “Hi Hanna, look, I’m just feeling horrible today, I’ve been up half the night and...what? Take the rest of the day off and watch Breaking Bad? Oh thanks, Hanna. You’re a star. Promise I’ll be in early tomorrow. Bye!”
- You basically never grow up. You are paid to fantasize for a living. You are paid to never progress beyond childhood, where sitting in the middle of fields making up characters in your head could take up an entire afternoon. You can talk to yourself frequently and have no one judge you for it. You get to display all the major symptoms of most mental illnesses and not have society ostracize you! This is unbelievably liberating. You can still spend hours of every day pretending to be Indiana Jones. What could be better than all that?
Reasons why being an author is sometimes only marginally more fun than contracting syphilis:
The guilt. As someone who spent my youth at Catholic school, I know all about guilt. I know more about it than most people. But the guilt that comes with being a full-time writer is almost unparalleled. Any task equal to, or longer than, making a cup of tea, is about as close as I can come to a break without wanting to cry and self-flagellate.
The ensemble (Part 2). Because you’re essentially paid to sit and listen to Spotify for twelve hours a day in your pyjamas and dressing gown, no one actually believes you’re working. Whereas most housemates wouldn’t consider bursting into an office/law courts/surgery at midday begging you to come to the pub, they don’t view bursting into your room with the same trepidation.
The motivation. When I say ‘The Motivation’, I may mean the total lack of it. When waitressing I used to get up at 05:10 every morning with little fuss. Nowadays if I manage to talk myself into struggling up before midday I consider it a towering achievement.
The internet. Unless you’re one of those psychopaths who insists on writing everything by hand, it’s attached to your place of work. There is almost nothing you can do about this if you have a wireless internet shared with housemates. I’ve just checked my emails for the 32,674th time.
Everyone is writing a book. No really. They are. You’re probably one of them, but just haven’t realized it. Every time you tell someone you are writing, or have written, a novel, the universal response is to say, ‘Oh, me too!’ On further investigation, it usually transpires that ‘Thought about writing something once while drunk at university’ isn’t quite the same thing.
Everyone can write a book! This is a lie. No one ever thinks of saying to a musician ‘Everyone has an album in them’ or to a brain surgeon ‘Everyone has a life-saving operation in them’, but apparently writing is thought of as so easy that people are falling over themselves to claim anyone can do it, much like a degree in Media Studies or bowling. I blame our X Factor culture, but it’s not true. Sorry.
- Writers don’t get groupies. Maybe if we all dressed a bit more like David Bowie (or got dressed at all), we would. I’ll try this and get back to you.
Hanna's debut novel, Something You Are is out now. For more information and to read a first chapter, click here.