Don't Smile!Wedding Research for Death Do Us Part
22 April 2021
I have been hard at work these past few weeks, working on my latest book: Death Do Us Part.
It's going to (hopefully) be a fantasy romcom...full of dark humour and jokes that don't always fall flat. As well as a dashing male lead (obviously), a bright and bubbly female, who you just can't help but love, and a kickass bestie who has her own love story. Ah! I do love side story romances. (:
And in honour of the 'marriage of convenience' trope, which stars in this book, here are some wedding practices I've come across in my research.
- One MUST NOT smile. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is custom for the bride and groom to make it through both the ceremony and reception without smiling. For to smile or to laugh is to show that you aren't really serious about the whole affair.
- Stealing the bride. In Austria, it's a very old tradition for friends of the bride and groom to kidnap the bride during the reception. The groom must then go on to find her and pay the ransom to get her back!
- Stand in brides and grooms. In four states in the US people can actually get married despite NOT BEING at the wedding! They're called proxy weddings and it's where the bride or groom has someone else stand in for them during the ceremony because, for whatever reason, they can't be there. And yes, there are DOUBLE-PROXY weddings where BOTH the bride and groom have stand ins! That's so crazy. However, traditionally, this practice was relatively common during wartime (even amongst royals), which actually makes it fairly sweet.
I Made the Paper!
25 January 2021
I actually did it. I emailed the local newspaper, not expecting they'd actually reply. When I got a response, I nearly died of a heart attack. I don't do interviews well. I don't really talk to people much and when I do, I make a fool of myself 90% of the time. I knew I was going to f*ck this up, and I did.
I hadn't prepared at all, having really
not expected them to respond. I wanted to hide under the covers and pretend I wasn't home. I immediately hopped onto a social media writing group and asked/begged for advice, knowing that I couldn't pretend I hadn't seen the email for forever. Within minutes, I was just blown away by all the support from the Writing Gals
. They boosted my confidence. Helped me with a list of things to talk about and things to NOT talk about (number one being that I'm an indie author due to the stigma). When I went to bed that night, I felt good. I had a plan. I was going to answer all the queestions in the list tomorrow morning and then call the paper back.
But that is not what happened.
Leanne, the interviewer, sent me a message on Facebook. I clicked on it first thing in the morning, not having made the connection about her name. Now that she could see that I had read her message, I panicked. I had nothing prepared; I hadn't even eaten breakfast. But I called anyway because what else could I do? She already knew I was home. And you know, it's lockdown here, so where else would I be?
Trying not to panic so I wouldn't come across as a complete twat like I always do when I'm nervous, I said the first thing that came to mind: "Hello, I am a self-published author."
F*ck. That was the number one thing I wasn't supposed to say!
Realising my mistake way too late, I started to panic. And when I panic, I giggle. Badly. A lot. It was awful. Leanne was so lovely and professional and I was just coming across as an absolute moron. I was sure
So the next day (publishing day) when I got a text from my mother in law first thing in the morning about seeing it, I died. But she loved it. And was proud of me. And when I finally gained the courage to nag my partner to please go get the paper because I wasn't stepping out of the house until I knew what it said... It was awesome. I didn't come across as a twat at all - all because of Leanne. And I'm not sure how she did it given I
wasn't even sure what I was saying half the time. But there I was, in the paper, and not sounding like a twat.
01 January 2021
This has been a long time coming, but I'm finally, finally going to get my butt into gear. It's been three years since I published my first book, Elemental Claim, and during that time I've done absolutely nothing other than write (and only part of the time). This year though, I'm actually going to market. I'm going to make a plan. And five years from now, I'm going to be living on a boat, sailing the world, and thriving off the stories in my head. I absolutely adore my characters and if there's anything covid-19 taught me, it's that oh my gods, I love working from home. I get to go out whenever the weather's nice. I get to procrastinate (to a point) as much as I want. I get to work to my own schedule, and I have so much more time to spend with my pets. I can probably get a dog. Or a crow or something. I bloody love it.
So what do I have planned for this year?
Well, in no particular order...
- Revamp my webside - check
- Build an email list - subscribe here
- Create a media kit (I'm not even sure what that really is yet)
- Publish six books - one down, five to go
- Relaunch Elemental Claim (I've learned so much, I just have to do it!)
- Do four giveaways - enter in the current one (until 7 Feb) here!
- Get in touch with the local paper
- Get back on my blog - which I've added all thanks to Jaiden!
Anyone want to guess on what the six books will (potentially) be?
My First Book Signing
01 June 2018
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be asked to sign one of my books, especially not within a mere three months of publishing! However, that's exactly what happened and it's just...wow, it's amazing. Seeing my first book in print was nothing compared to this. Seeing my first five star review was close, but still not as exciting as this. This is like flying into space and seeing the extraordinary beauties of the universe while eating mint oreo ice-cream without a brain freeze. Or actually having the time to finish your TBR list. It's like - I can't even!!!!
I practiced my signature for hours. I googled where to sign. I wrote multiple drafts of what to say - and then promptly lost them all so had to start over when the books finally arrived.
I was so excited, I couldn't figure out how to open the package, my mind just went blank. And when I finally remembered that you just tear these things open, I nearly dropped it in amazement. The person asking me to sign my books SENT ME a present!!!!
Look how beautiful the ornament is! The thought is so lovely and the fact that it came from someone who's been SUPER supportive about my writing - eeeeeck! It's perfect and I love it. When my partner and I finally get a place of our own and I get a writing area, this is definitely going right above my desk. (:
Thank you Zoe from Zooloobookblog!
For anyone looking for amazing and honest book recommendations, I'd definitely recommend you check out her blog