One of the responsibilities of a writer is marketing the novel. Because I am unknown in the published world, I need to talk to strangers – not initially about A Time for Peace, perhaps never- but to open up a conversation which allows the possibility that someone other than family or friends may want to read my novel.
Leamington library gave me such an opportunity on 11th November, Armistice Day. Gill Colbourne provided some display boards and I took a couple of my own. Gill also provided a wide choice of books about war available from the library.
Leamington Library with some of display
The Day itself gave me an opportunity to talk to readers.
Nonetheless, I found it hard to initiative conversations – tending to allow people to approach the display area before I asked a general question about their interest in war, for example. Most people had stories to tell: someone in their family was killed, they were a Member of the Peace-Keeping force in the Balkans and the dangers of that, a Japan student curious as to where Serbia was, and how it became involved in World Wars 1 and 2. Two children approached me because one wanted to be a writer, her father warning she needed a “proper” job first.
For many, particularly on that day, war was an emotional matter as they remembered the death of a great-grandfather, or the bitterness of the political fall out – that from an Irishman. The deaths of other young people- a couple whose daughter died during a risky heart-lung transplant. Most people who stopped, talked of the loss of so many young lives in our two World Wars. It explains why war is an endlessly fascinating topic not only for books, but films and photographs. Pride and grief enmeshed.
Commonwealth War Graves
The two minutes silence at 11.00am was honoured by everyone.
Poppies and cornflowers in a field
Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/ea9618″>Visualhunt</a>
I wish that it was easier for A Time for Peace to become known. As that isn’t going to happen, it is good that I meet people who read. Not my novel, but those like me who enjoy a variety of books. It is good that I initiate conversations about all sorts of subjects because people are interesting, and there’s so much to be fascinated by.
I am also pleased that my novel is out on loan and that one person chose to buy one, having taken a couple of leaflets about it. If she enjoys it, she may recommend it to her Reading group. Fingers crossed!
Colours of peace