I began writing ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ on March 17th 2009. I was frustrated with my current works and had taken them as far as I could at the time.
Wandering through our local park the first line of the book leaped into my head and I couldn’t shake it… “Freya was seven-years-old when she got hit by the car, it was a 4×4 with a bull bar.” I came home and scrawled it out in my notebook and spent the next few hours crafting the first chapter.
It was a book that flowed and I wrote as often as I could, and by October the story was complete.
Not an excessively long book at about 46,000 words, but the story was told.
And here was where my ‘expertise’ let me down. I’d read many books on writing and publishing, but I struggled to know what to do. I rewrote, I edited and was finally happy with my finished product…then loomed the dreaded synopsis. I had no idea how to write one and what to include. All in all the synopsis read more like an outline for the general book than something exciting and enticing…I did send the synopsis and first three chapters to a couple of agents, but got standard rejections.
Unfortunately this coincided with an episode of depression on my part and I shelved the book and all writing. I got help for my anxiety and panic attacks in September 2010 and in 2011 I began to write again.
I came back to ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ and ran through another edit, cutting and tightening much more of the story, leaving me with a 41,599 word manuscript. My daughter then helped me come up with a book cover.
The book cover was a diversion, something to take up my time instead of querying it.
Several friends asked about the book and many expressed a desire to read it…so, in a naive move, I decided to put it on Kindle…after all I wasn’t the only one who’d heard stories about self-published authors suddenly becoming Kindle sensations and being picked up by publishing companies? That’s where ‘naive’ comes into it!
I published it via KDP in June 2011…and of course my loyal family and friends bought it. Their feedback, though biased, was beautiful. They enjoyed it, laughed in all the right places and cried buckets where I’d hoped they would!
I was encouraged.
Then sales dwindled as no one out in the big, wide world knew about the book.
What to do? I flaunted it on Facebook, carefully, I didn’t want to be ‘in your face’, I created a Facebook Page for the book, I joined Goodreads and made an author profile, and sorted an Amazon author page too. What else? My daughter was on Twitter and suggested I join too, at least so she could introduce me to followers.
I joined Twitter as @LisaShambrook, for all the wrong reasons and very quickly realised I was going about Twitter the wrong way. I didn’t like being bombarded with ‘Buy my book…’ tweets, and I was very relieved I’d not done that! I barely mentioned my book and didn’t want to become a self-pubbed author hawking my book via constant tweets. So I readjusted my approach, unfollowed the book attention seekers, took the link out of my profile, and began to have fun and make friends instead.
It was then that I realised that Twitter would help me more than I’d ever guessed!
I began to follow writers, I had no idea who they were or what their books were…but they wrote, tweeted and blogged… I discovered Flash Fiction, and I began to learn more about the trade, my trade.
I spent the next six months writing flash fiction, reading blogs, taking advice and learning…and learning…and learning some more!
My Twitter friends helped me find a wonderful writing community and helped hone and shape my writing.
Beneath the Rainbow is my first published work, and I’m very proud of it, please check out my reviews and see what you think…
*Update October 2013*
‘Beneath the Rainbow’ did indeed get an upgrade, two years after making it onto Kindle. I decided if this writing business is to stay serious, then any flaws needed countering and polishing!
I worked hard with Blue Harvest Creative to put together a brand new cover and wraparound print book cover, and a redesigned and formatted interior. I was overjoyed with the result. I went through the novel, word by word and made serious adjustments and changes, including the removal of an author’s indulgence chapter. I was very happy with the finished product.
The subsequent ‘remastered’ book got a relaunch on 11th October 2013.
See below for stockists.
Beneath the Rainbow
“It’s those silly dreams that keep us alive.”
Freya won’t let anything stand in her way. Not even death.
A heart-breaking event leaves Freya’s family devastated, but Freya has left clues to her secrets and her family need to uncover them before it’s too late.
Freya watches from beyond as her family unite and her dreams begin to become real. Hope triumphs, but as final yearned for wishes remain overlooked, hopelessly neglected, time begins to run out.
Freya is certain she’s the only one who can help as precious life hangs in the balance.
‘Beneath the Rainbow’ can be bought in Print or eBook from Amazon: