The Launch of CLARA – A Good Psychopath?

Hello, how are you? My weekend was dominated by the launch of CLARA. It has all been very exciting, and began a few week’s ago, so I’ll tell you about it (because one day, you might be having a book launch of your own).

CLARA is the second book which I have been brave enough to have a launch party for. You have to be brave, because writing a book involves hours living inside your own head, and a book launch involves talking about the book to other people – which does not come very naturally to most authors. However, as I discovered with my previous books, if you opt to not have a launch, then some of the friends who would buy your books, find that local shops have sold out, or they never actually get round to ordering a copy, so you lose sales. After 18 months writing and rewriting and editing a book, you want people to read it. (Plus it’s nice to start paying off some of your debt!)

The first decision is time. I waited until the books were safely in my house, and I had checked they were good, before advertising my book launch. I know some authors are braver, especially those who use a printing company that isn’t in the UK, and I have heard scary stories about everything being in place for a book launch…except for the books.

Once I had set the date – last Saturday – I needed to decide venue. At the launch of JOANNA, I had invited absolutely everyone who I thought might be interested. To be honest, of all the family, neighbours, friends, people who heard me on the radio, people who saw the event in the newspaper or on fliers, only my friends or friends-of-friends actually came. (Plus my family, but none of them bought the book as I’d given them copies.) I therefore decided that although the local community hall was a nice venue, and although we’d had sufficient people to fill it (about 50 people) it would be much more relaxing to have it at home. I have a big kitchen area, which is often used for church functions, we would use it for the launch. So I didn’t have to worry about transporting glasses and cupcakes, or cleaning up afterwards, or exchanging keys. And it wouldn’t be embarrassing if only my mum came.

I decided to serve cupcakes, with either wine or cups of tea, depending on what people wanted. (At my last launch, I served wine, but most people wanted soft drinks.) I began making cupcakes. I have an excellent cupcakes recipe book, and the cakes freeze very well, so I could make them ahead of time. The kitchen began to smell lovely, and Husband began moaning that no cakes were available for eating. It coincided with a cold spell, which was unhelpful as the chickens all stopped laying in protest, and I actually had to go out and buy some eggs.

I made invitations and bookmarks. We have a printer at home, so that was easy (well, it was easy once I’d persuaded Husband to make them). I wanted a poster of the book, which I could also use when I’m doing book-signings or selling at fairs, so I contacted Chloe (who took a photo for the book cover) and she sent me a photograph I could use. (I couldn’t use the final cover version, as the quality has been reduced to make it suitable for printing.)

Then I invited lots of people, contacted the local press, asked people to write reviews, and waited. I wrote a couple of blog pieces too, as most of you won’t be able to attend the launch, but I want you all to know what CLARA is about, so that you want to order a copy too.

The day of the launch was very scary, wondering if anyone would actually come. I had borrowed an urn to boil the hot water, so was ready if loads of people came – or just one (my mum had been told it was compulsory attendance).

It was fine. There were about 40 people, some were good friends who had travelled for miles, others were people who I didn’t actually know. The local journalist came, and took some photos, and I gave a short talk about how I wrote the book. It was exhausting – because I find public events difficult – but everyone was very kind, and the event was a success. Most importantly, I sold lots of books. In fact, some people who have read my previous books bought two copies – one for a friend. Have you bought a copy yet?

Thank you for reading. Have a good week.
Anne x


CLARA – A Good Psychopath?
ISBN 978-0-9954632-5-7
The Cobweb Press

Would you like to buy a copy? It costs £11.95 from Amazon and in bookshops (they can order it if it’s not in stock). But until the 31st March, I can sell copies at a 33% discount, for £7.95 including free UK postage. Just send me a message via the contact form below, with your postal address (this is sent directly to me, it isn’t public). I will then send a book, and enclose payment instructions – you can pay by cheque or direct bank transfer. Why not buy a copy today?



If you prefer to buy from Amazon – it is available as a Kindle book in most countries, the UK link is:

Book Launch and Animals (not a great combo)

Hello, how was your week? Mine was extremely busy! I had the book launch for JOANNA, of course, and I’ll tell you about that in a minute. First, I will tell you about the animals (because they were quite high impact this week).

Do you remember me telling you that the ducks had nested in random places hidden around the pond? Well, last Sunday, when I went up to feed them, there was a mother on the bank, completely traumatised, with 5 ducklings and a ring of cats. I had told myself, that if the ducks chose to nest in weird places, I would let nature take its course, and they could take their chances with all the predators. When it came to it, there was no way I could let 5 ducklings be eaten if I could help. So I called husband, told Mum (who had arrived for a relaxing Mother’s Day lunch) that dinner would be late, and we attempted to catch them. Never easy. I grabbed the cats, one of which was angry when he realised I was heading for the workshop, and who stuck out his claws. (Which meant when I got to the book launch I had big scratches down both arms.)

Anyway, we managed to catch all 5 ducklings AND the mother, which was brilliant. They’re all now safely in the aviary until they’re big enough to survive on the pond.

On the day of the book launch, my daughter kindly came home to help. She wanted to see the ducklings, so went up to the pond. For some reason, when the chickens saw her, they freaked. Perhaps they’ve forgotten her – they’re not the most intelligent of animals. Anyway, all 8 chickens scattered – some flying into trees, some running into their cage, and one cockerel headed onto the bank of the pond, paused for a second, spotted the island in the middle of the pond, and decided to fly to it. Cockerels are not great at flying a distance. He got about half way, then crashed, loudly, into the pond. Great. I assume chickens can’t swim, so prepared to wade into the muddy water (this was not what I was hoping to be doing an hour before my book launch). However, he managed to use his wings like oars, and to propel himself, getting ever lower in the water, up to the island. He hauled himself up and stood there, completely bedraggled, making “I don’t know what to do now” noises.

I decided he could stay there for the night, and went to get everything ready for the evening. When I went up to the pond later, he saw me and decided he could now fly back to the bank. He couldn’t. He again landed in the pond, but managed to clamber onto an over-hanging bush. I waded out, picked him up and shoved him into the cage for the night. Stupid bird! He did look completely forlorn, dripping wet on his perch. (He was fine by the next day, in case you’re wondering).

The book launch went well. I will add a section to the bottom of the “how to publish a book” page on the main blog, explaining what I did, and how the costs worked out. My family were brilliant, helping me set up the hall and serving drinks and selling books. About 60 people came, which was a relief (I was terrified it would just be me and my Mum!) I fed them wine and cupcakes, and did a short talk about why I wrote JOANNA.

I explained that we are all influenced by our family, and I wanted to show how having a psychopath in the family affects everyone else. I told them that part of the book is written in the first person, so the reader sees the world through Joanna’s eyes, they will see what motivates a psychopath, how she thinks and feels. The rest of the book shows how those around her cope with living with her, loving her, being hurt by her. The story examines the idea of choices and forgiveness, and what those things actually mean.

There was one funny moment, when a man walked in, marched purposefully through the group of people chatting, and then went and stood still, staring at a wall. I suggested Husband should check he was okay. Apparently, he had come to see the art exhibition that was advertised outside!

I managed to sell lots of books, which was wonderful. Chloe Hughes, the brilliant young photographer who did the cover photo for me, was there, so it was nice for people to meet her too. She’s very talented. (Even if people don’t like the book, they should buy it just to own a Chloe Hughes photo – she’ll be famous one day!) Now I’m hoping everyone loves the story, and tells their friends and neighbours about it. Nothing sells books like other people talking about it, so I hope they do. (I am not very ‘laid back’ about sales. Whenever an Amazon order comes through, I get very excited and walk around smiling! Honestly, every single time. It is so exciting!)

Thanks for reading. If you would like to buy your own copy of JOANNA, the link is below.





Joanna sits on the bus and begins to plan. When Joanna plans, this usually means trouble for those around her. But this particular plan brings more than trouble, it results in fear and death and guilt. But not her own guilt. Joanna is a psychopath, guilt isn’t within the range of emotions she is able to feel.

Written in the first person, we learn Joanna’s story, from the initial spark of her plan, to the horrible aftermath of wrecked lives. You will view the world through Joanna’s eyes – be careful though, she might lie to you.

This is not just her story. We also watch the impact of her actions on those close to her – the woman who raised her, and Joanna’s own daughter. How does it feel to be related to a serial killer? For how long do you carry the burden of their actions? And when it comes down to it, is anyone really innocent?


Published by The Cobweb Press
ISBN : 978-0-9954632-2-6

Why not order a copy today?


Available from book shops (if it’s not in stock, they can order it for you).

US Link:

UK Link:

Thank you



How to Advertise a Launch Party (which is mostly scary….)

Hello, how are you? I hope you’ve had a good week.

I’ve been busy advertising the launch of JOANNA. As I have said before, I love writing books, researching new ideas and weaving them into a story. And I pretty much hate everything to do with all sales and promotions once the books are published. I think many authors do, but it’s part of the job. When you are self-published, the whole promotion exercise is down to you. It is therefore hugely appreciated when people help – whoever they might be.

One great piece of help recently was from a friend who bought Hidden Faces and lent it to one of her friends (who I don’t know). Now, mostly, lending a book results in a lost sale for the poor author. However, this friend of a friend happens to run an online bookshop. She read the book, loved it, sent me a very nice email and ordered 40 copies to sell. That was a very nice help.

JOANNA has also been featured in local newspapers. Again, I always really appreciate this, as it’s a good way to tell people about my book. I was on the front cover of The County Border News. Embarrassing photo, but good advert for the book:

There was also a nice article in The Edenbridge Chronicle:

If you want to be featured in a local paper, I would suggest emailing the editor to ask if this is the sort of thing they cover. If you can include some local interest – like that you attended a local school, or were the postman in the town for many years, or your Dad ran the chip shop, it encourages them to take an interest in you. They want to know their readers will care that you have written a book (because these days, loads of people self-publish!) I have found the local journalists to be incredibly supportive, which was unexpected and rather nice.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about being interviewed on the radio. I’ve never done that before.

If you would like to buy a copy of JOANNA, it’s now available on Amazon, and can be ordered from all bookshops.

Published by The Cobweb Press
ISBN: 978-0-9954632-2-6