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Barbara Copperthwaite

CRIME AUTHOR

Month

July 2015

New Street Authors’ Group

NSW4

Finally got round to posting a photo from the launch of last week’s New Street Authors’ Group, in Birmingham last week!

It was a great night, I met lots of fellow independent authors and people interested in the industry, and the local news filmed everything. The evening also saw the launch of Andy Conway’s latest book, Buried In Time.

This is me on stage, during the panel discussion about what it is like to be an independently published author. The truth is, its hard work, scary, and absolutely brilliant! But I wouldn’t advise anyone to do it unless they are prepared to get involved with every aspect of their book, from editing to typography, from covers to marketing – either that, or you are prepared to pay others to do it for you, which could cost a lot.

For me, though, it is deeply satisfying. I love every minute of being an indie author.

What do you think? Is it possible to be an indie author who only likes writing, and hates doing anything else?

For a quick video on the New Street Authors’ Group’s launch night, click here

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Go Be Wild greetings cards now in stores

I’m very proud, and extremely excited! Why? Because my newly-launched Go Be Wild greetings cards are now being stocked in a fabulous local store! Popular Kings Heath craft shop Armadillo, which boasts a range of quality goods, has added the wildlife cards to their store after being impressed with the range of images and their quality.

It’s fantastic news, and means that now, as well as being able to buy bespoke packs of cards from  the Go Be Wild website, people can also purchase individual greetings cards for those special occasions.

Considering I only launched the cards the other day, I feel like this is a massive feather in my cap. I’m overwhelmed!

* Go Be Wild greetings cards are an extension of the Go Be Wild online nature magazine and blog. The full range of Go Be Wild cards, and details of the bespoke service offered exclusively online, can be found at www.gobewild.co.uk

Go Be Wild greetings cards, Barbara Copperthwaite, Go Be Wild

Peace in the wild city

The afternoon sun had decided to make an appearance, but was suddenly blotted out momentarily. A glance skywards instantly showed me why. Flying immediately overhead was a Grey Heron, its huge wings at full stretch, its body a sleek line from the tip of its sharp beak to the long, thin legs trailing behind it. Slow and easy it glided, disappearing from view as it passed over a tree I was standing beneath. It didn’t come out the other side though. Curious, I backed up, peering at the canopy to see if I could spot it. There it was, looking exotic and magnificent as it sat at the very top of the tree, silhouetted majestically against the sun.

It was the perfect end to what had started out as a rather grumpy day for me. I had gone out yesterday morning feeling all distracted and tense, because I was due to receive my novel back from the editor. For those of you who don’t know, I should briefly explain that I write psychological crime thrillers, and my debut was a bestseller last year. I recently finished my second novel, and it was being checked by my editor – which meant I was due to discover if there would be just a handful of tiny amendments, or a lot of work ahead of me. It’s fair to say I was feeling rather keyed up; I am not very good at waiting for things.

Walking to the park, I strode along, Scamp hurrying beside me. Suddenly I realised that I was not really taking any notice of my surroundings, and that instead of working off my tension, I seemed to be feeling worse.

A new tack was needed, so I decided to simply sit for a while. With a huff, I plonked myself down on the bench beside Henbury Pond. To the right of me, a Wood Pigeon cooed gently. Like a master hypnotist, it worked its magic on me somehow, and within minutes, its soft, rhythmic call had slowed down my breathing. As I calmed, I noticed Greenfinches to my right calling to one another, insistent and reedy, and a Blue Tit joined in momentarily. I closed my eyes and let the sounds wash over me, noticing more and more as I relaxed: the buzz of insects, a tiny splash as a Moorhen entered the water, the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze.

Tense neck shoulders loosening slightly, I opened my eyes once more and looked around me. Really looked. A Great Tit was fluffed up against the slight damp in the air that morning. A Small Tortoiseshell landed in the grass before me, and its colours were so vivid even on this dull day that I can only think it was freshly emerged. Absolutely beautiful. A little way away from me came the fluttering of a bird landing. When I looked closer, I saw a juvenile Robin, still in its fabulous camouflage garb of flecked browns, not yet grown into the red breast that makes it so famous and eye-catching.

The Moorhen pair swam across the pond’s surface, and as one turned away from me it fanned out its tail, showing off the pristine white either side of the black. I was suddenly struck by how beautiful it was, and wondered if I had ever taken the time to fully appreciate that before.

The pair dabbled around the lily pads. Only a few of the pale flowers were open, as the morning was so overcast, but the ones that were looked immaculate against the greenery. The curve of their cup shape, which looks as though it would nestle in the palm of a hand so perfectly, juxtaposed with the crisp zig-zag the petals form across the top.

Above and amongst the flowers were damselflies, those tiny blue needles of movement darting and resting, darting and resting. Tranquillity washed over me.

That’s the thing about taking time to connect with nature. It’s so good for you. In this frenetic world of constant information onslaught, and interminable decision-making, it’s good to slow down for a second. Nature makes you do this. It makes you unwind, breathe, and reconnect with yourself and what is important. It is a fundamental necessity. Nature as therapy, I’d definitely recommend it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WILDLIFE, HEAD TO WWW.GOBEWILD.CO.UK

Nature, tailor made for you

On my website, Go Be Wild, promoting a love of nature is always a priority. The photographs I take show a slice of wildlife that I want to share with you – and now you can share with loved ones too, with a Go Be Wild greetings card pack.

Uniquely, for a card service, if you want to discover where exactly the shot was taken, and the story behind it, then read my wildlife blog, which is based in Highbury Park, Kings Heath, Birmingham.

There are also lots of exciting ways through the entire site where you can learn more about the birds, plants, animals, and insects, and how to conserve them. Each picture really is worth a thousand words.

With Go Be Wild greetings cards you can enjoy nature, tailor made for you. You can order packs of five, ten or twenty cards – and the mix of images is entirely up to you.

Go Be Wild greetings cards is a bespoke service that is built around your wants and needs. Whatever photograph YOU want from the entire site is available to have. Just ask, and it will be printed and sent out to you.

What’s more, within the packs you can choose to have any number of one design that you like. For example, each card in a pack of five could be a completely different design. Or you can choose two of one image, and three of another to make up the five. Or three different cards, then double up on one image. Or… There are so many options!

Go Be Wild greetings cards is a fantastic, totally flexible service that puts you completely in charge. The only difficulty? Making up your mind which images you want.

For more information, check out the Go Be Wild website at www.gobewild.co.uk

Review: THE MURDER BAG, Tony Parsons

Murder Bag cover

Read my review of The Murder Bag, by Tony Parsons. “There is something compelling about the novel…”

For more, click here!

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