“A page-turner and moving journey filled with romance, Burges’s novel shows the possibilities of moving on beyond tragedy.” ~ Publishers Weekly
We authors are a sensitive breed. At least, I know am. Perhaps it’s because of my creative and open nature. Writers live in a world of words and pictures, with scenes floating around and playing out in our heads. Premises come and go; only the most compelling that take root in the depths of our imagination will be used for that next novel. Our heads are full of images: faces, voices, characters, traits, plots, places, descriptions, all coalescing and escalating to a breathtaking climax before breakfast. No, not that sort!
As Ernest Hemingway said with a hint of satire: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Not literally I hope, but sometimes it feels like my head will explode. You craft your stories as best you can, edit them, get them read, incorporate feedback, edit and rewrite, get more feedback and go on until you’ve reached the end of your tether and just want to get the darn thing published.
You’ve probably gathered I don’t possess the patience of a saint!
Some writers are blessed with quick minds, maybe if they have no other work or family commitments they can churn out a book every year. It took me five to finally publish my debut novel, The Virtuoso. It was a labour of love. But that doesn’t mean to say I don’t care about its journey out into the big, wide, literary world.
With upwards of a million books on Amazon and the empowerment Indie publishing brings to many aspiring writers, it’s tougher than ever to stand out among the noise as a first time author.
I know if I could just get The Virtuoso featured on Classic FM or BBC Radio 3 I’d be in with a fighting chance of reaching many of my potential readers through the medium of music. After all, music is at the core of my novel, and so is an irresistible story. Sadly, I don’t have a large marketing budget to afford the advertising and an unknown author is a bit of a risk for the big radio stations.
And now to the question of how to make an author insanely happy: it’s twofold really, read their book and write an honest, constructive review. Social proof is the best way for a fledgling author to win new readers and build up a fan base so that they can hit the ground running with their next novel. Writers spend many hours obsessing over their ‘babies’ and want nothing more than to enrich readers’ lives with their work.
I haven’t found the process of marketing my book entirely comfortable, I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but it is certainly easier to sound off someone else’s!
Hence my unashamed promotion of my first major book review; an awesome endorsement from industry giant, Publishers Weekly. When I submitted The Virtuoso for a review on their BookLife platform I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it. It was highlighted that many, many books were sent to them and only a select few would be chosen for a review.
Imagine my delight when I received this email from BookLife yesterday!
Dear Ms. Burges,
The Publishers Weekly review for your book, The Virtuoso, ran on Nov. 14th:
Thank you for submitting your book for review to Publishers Weekly. Of the hundreds of self-published titles received each month, only a handful of the very best are selected for review.
Thank you also for being a part of the BookLife community. We hope you will continue to use all of the resources at BookLife.com to support your work as an author.
Here it is:
Dare I finish by saying that the thing that would send this particular author into the stratosphere, would be to have a film adaptation made of The Virtuoso.
My dream cast
My readers tell me they think it would make a fantastic film. My dream cast would be Keira Knighly in the main role as Isabelle Bryant, the heroine of my novel. She has the perfect blend of spirit, talent, vulnerability, courage and beauty, (both inner and outer) to play the beleaguered violinist. her Her box office appeal doesn’t hurt either!
Sharon D. Clarke is the only woman I can visualise as the larger than life jazz singer, Hortense Lafayette. I think Damian Lewis could bring the right amount of the narcissist and tortured soul to conductor Howard Miller’s character. I’m not sure about Daniel Carter. Maybe someone like Hugh Grant could fill his shoes.
There are some wonderful locations as well, such as Madeira, New York, Vienna and London.
If you’ve read The Virtuoso, thank you, and if you’ve left me a review on Amazon or Goodreads, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Do feel free to share your ideal cast for the film adaptation, I’m open to suggestions…
I can always dream can’t I!?
At least the music soundtrack has already been recorded!