Welcome, a'body! It's so genuinely brilliant to see you here in these times (I tried to find an adjective or two to describe 'these times' but I couldn't. Jings, it must be bad 'cos I'm pretty nerdy wordy!) Anyhoo how did we get here? Well, it's like this … Mary Turner Thomson, Lea Taylor and I had too much coffee one morning at Dobbies Garden Centre whilst we were squabbling over a sausage. 'Ooooh,' said one of us, can't remember who, 'wouldn't it be a good idea to get a whole load of like-minded folk together so we can help kickstart those books they've been longing to write forever, to share good creative energy and to facilitate encouragement of one another in an uplifting positive way? And how about we do it just because we can and because we want to put good stuff out into the world just now when everything's going to hell in a handcart?'
Well, you can imagine the excitement! More coffee was ordered and in the blink of an eye, the sausage was abandoned and there started not a little swinging from the light fittings, which is not easy in Dobbies.
Mary Turner Thomson
Well, I reckon that we have an opportunity here. I reckon that joining together and working week by week through this Kickstarter course at this time in our lives, in this time in our history, could not only be a very real distraction from the anxiety we are all feeling but could also be powerful force for good for us all. Hand on heart, I believe that everything is energy so let’s join together and support each other in an uplifting creative way. Let our fire light up our lives and our work and in the months and years to come, we will look back upon the work we generate right now with a sense of wonder.
Bloomin’ heck. Wait a minute. Now, just hang on! I’m just going to have a wee peek in the mirror. Nope, I’m not sporting a bowler hat and a heavy overcoat, nor do I have fat cigar stickin’ oot o’ the side o’ ma gob. For a minute there, I thought that I’d mutated into the reincarnation of Winston Churchill and was about to launch into, ‘we will fight them on the beaches …!’
Well, my background has always been pretty wordy nerdy. The early part of my career was spent in the legal profession after which I transitioned through academia into the world of counselling and therapy, finally landing safely in the world of writing. I do love to write fiction now and then, I dabble in a wee bit of poetry but really, my heart lies in writing what I loftily like to call humour with purpose. I founded The Wee Book Company Ltd in August, 2018 and haven’t looked back. Our agenda is very clear in that we aim to reach as many readers as we can who would rather scoof doon their left shoe than be seen holding a book in their hand, let alone a motivational/self help book. Our books are therefore dressed up as mass market funny wee impulse-buy gift books but among the jokes, we sneak in motivational messages of confidence, resilience and positivity, and touch upon methods such as mindfulness, meditation and hypnotherapy. Our books are aimed at the Scottish market but are also exported to the US and Canada.
Beyond the six week Kickstarter course, one of my roles in the Book Whisperers will be to deliver a 6 week course on writing a motivational book. I know that there are many people out there who have something valuable to say to others, acquired through training and/or experience. I’ll be there to help tease it out of them.
There have been SO many times I have heard people say that they would write a book if they only had ‘time’ – and time is something that people now have an enforced abundance of.
I became an author in 2007 after discovering my husband and father of my two younger children, was a psychopath bigamist con man who actively impregnates women to rip them off for money - and it has been an international best seller ever since. Seeing my name on the cover of a book felt incredible and I wanted to help other people feel like that too - so I started an assisted self-publishing consultancy business - WhiteWater Publishing Ltd - in 2009 to do just that.
As an author of memoir/true crime I know how cathartic writing is. Experiencing any kind of trauma makes the thoughts in your head start to feel like a ball of knotted spaghetti and it becomes impossible to follow a thought from start to finish. When you start to write it down – rather like Dumbledore pulling memories out of his head and storing them in a pensieve – it frees up space to make sense of what is left. Bit by bit your head clears, and you start to see the world clearly again, unencumbered by hurtful or distressing thoughts and memories. Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you,” and I totally understand what she meant.
Beyond the six week kickstarter course, one of my roles in The Book Whisperers will be to guide new writers through a 6 week Life Writing course. Whether or not you want to share that writing afterwards through a published book is entirely up to you!
Here it is - the moment you’ve been waiting for. Roll of drums and the big reveal. We are so delighted that you have decided to join us. This is a space for time out away from the madness that abounds beyond. Here is the place for you to try your hand at writing that book you’ve always been meaning to write but for some reason, haven’t got ‘round to. Well, now’s the time!
I’ve morphed from a number of guises from fruit and veg seller, cleaner, front of house assistant to even dressing up as a British Rail Sandwich, I kid you not! I then spent the larger part of my working life as a Community Learning and Development Worker before becoming what I am now - a professional storyteller and published writer of short stories aimed at both adults and children. I have written and performed nationally and internationally as a storyteller along with running storytelling and writing workshops. My books, Midlothian Folk Tales and Animals Beasties and Monsters of Scotland, have sold all across the world, even as far as Russia (I didn’t know that there were people in Russia interested in Scottish folktales let alone being able to speak Scots - you live and learn). Anyway, welcome and I hope you enjoy what we have to offer you.
Beyond the six week Kickstarter course, one of my roles in the Book Whisperers will be to waltz new writers through a 6 week fiction writing course. Exciting!