Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Ten best things about being an author in 2016 - Katherine Roberts

Today is the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year for those of us who live the northern hemisphere - a time for reflection, fire ceremonies involving holly and mistletoe, and other pagan traditions now more commonly associated with Christmas. However you celebrate this time of year, it is also when newspapers start printing their 'best of year' lists. Not to be outdone, here is my author 'best of' 2016 (which might seem small and insignificant compared to everyone else's multi-book advances from major publishers, no. 1 best-selling supermarket titles, and research trips around the world on elephant-back, but then I am only 5' 4").

Empire of the Hare

1. Inspired by Brexit, I have republished my Library of Avalon Geoffrey Ashe Prize shortlisted story about Queen Boudicca's rebellion Empire of the Hare on my signature list for older readers. The publishing process took 12 hours rather than 12 months so if you're curious to know what Brexit looked like in the 1st century AD, you can download it today for just 99p... it might make you grateful we live in the 21st!

2. Since I've reverted the rights from its original publisher, my Alexander the Great epic I am the Great Horse is now back in print (on demand) with a bright new cover I designed myself:

I am the Great Horse

3. I am (still) an award-winning author. I've got the little black-and-silver butterfly 'book' to prove it, presented to me in London by Jacqueline Wilson for my debut novel Song Quest way back in 2000, before the days of ebooks, when authors had publishers and were paid advances because their words took so long to reach readers. Every solstice, I polish the silver stars in the hope a writing genie might appear and make me rich and famous like all the other authors in the world.

Branford Boase Award

4. Angels are speaking to me (one of my 2016 projects - don't worry, I've not come over all Joan of Arc just yet).

Jacob wrestling with the Angel
by Gustave Doré (1832-1883).

5. I won the premium bonds!!! Yes, really, a whole £25!!!! I spent it on a steam train ride to Agatha Christie's holiday home on the River Dart and used her typewriter, which (interestingly) did not have an exclamation mark:

'Agatha' Roberts at the National Trust's Greenway

6. I conquered Createspace (see 1) and used it to publish a brand new sequel to my popular witchy teen title Spellfall, only 15 years late:

Spell Spring
7. Some people have even bought a copy.

8. The Great Pyramid Robbery earned me almost £1,000 in photocopying fees via ALCS (Authors' Licencing and Collecting Society - well worth joining if you are not already a member!). Thank you, whichever school/college out there is still using this book - it's next on my list for a print-on-demand edition, I promise.

9. I spent a glorious November weekend with a group of authors at a nature reserve in the Chew Valley, where we walked in the golden woodland discussing creativity and took part in a fire ceremony to burn our writing demons... you should have heard them scream. (The demons, not the authors.)

10. I have a cat to keep me sane - though not too sane. Everyone knows you need a dog for that.

Author Survival Shelf.

Wishing you a peaceful winter solstice, and hope to see you all after Christmas (by which time I will definitely be rich and famous like all the other authors in the world).

Find out more about Katherine Roberts and her books at

6 comments:

Wendy Jones said...

You've certainly achieved a lot. Well done. I wish you all the best for 2017

Jenny Alexander said...

What a lovely celebratory post, Katherine. Thank you!

Sandra Horn said...

A perfect end-of-the-year post, with so much to look forward to in 2017!

Penny Dolan said...

So cheering to hear all your good things, Katherine. Here's wishing you a very fine 2017.

Bill Kirton said...

Excellent, Katherine. An antidote to all the horrors elsewhere. I hope that, when you're definitely rich and famous like all the other authors in the world you'll still be our friend.

Katherine Roberts said...

You're one of the other authors, Bill... :-)