Showing posts from October, 2016

The Woes of Book Promotion

The edits of Murder at Cleeve Abbey are done, the cover art is lovely and the release date is three weeks away. It's about this point that I realise I'm still not working hard enough, because as every author will tell you, books don't sell themselves - they need help and lots of promotion.

But promotion is like advertising, some works, some doesn't - and no one knows which part!

To a talented minority, promoting themselves and their work comes naturally; to the easily embarrassed like me - it really doesn’t. It's awkward to keep pushing your book in front of people, becoming a walking advertisement that makes people duck into doorways when they see you coming. It's not - well English.

Social media is, of course, the cheapest and one of the most direct ways to tell the world you have a book out there, but if like me you are reluctant to bombard all your friends, even internet ones, with hundreds of pre-publication FB posts and Tweets encouraging them to buy you…

Dr Grace Harwood Stewart Billings - Edwardian Lady Doctor

Dr Grace Billings, who makes a cameo appearance in the second Flora Maguire Mystery, Murder at Cleeve Abbey, was the first female doctor in Gloucestershire, opening her first surgery in Cheltenham in 1899.
Grace spent her early years in Bristol, but at fifteen, her family moved to Cheltenham, where her father, a chemist, ran the Co-operative Drug Stores in the High Street. Grace had nine siblings, four sisters and five brothers. 
Grace attended a new, progressive Public Day School for Girls at 3 Bays Hill Villas which opened in 1885 to provide “at a moderate cost, the best education procurable for the daughters of the Middle Classes” whose parents’ social status would “preclude their admission into the [Cheltenham] Ladies’ College.” 
Grace trained at the London School of Medicine for Women and the College of Medicine of Durham University in Newcastle-on-Tyne. She graduated with an MB and BSurg in 1898 and set up her practice in Cheltenham the following year. Her sister, Mary, was also a …

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