Sunlight on Broken Glass: The True Story
When wannabe writer, Annie Ireson, began recording her Auntie Rita’s life story for her twelve years ago, little did she know that it would take six years to complete and she would end up with enough material for a novel so long it would have to be split into a trilogy.
Rita Crick (Annie’s grandmother’s younger sister) was a remarkable woman whose true life story was an epic saga of love, loss, hopes, dreams and family loyalty. It wasn’t long before the pair of them, aided and abetted by Annie’s mum, Margaret, decided to ditch the memoir in favour of a novel. Although, like most novels, Sunlight on Broken Glass is based on elements of fact, most of the names have been changed and some of the characters are fictitious. Annie is quick to point out that if there is a resemblance to any living person in the novels it is entirely coincidental. Before she passed away in 2007, Annie’s aunt said she had a vision of being draped across her sofa for an official photograph when their novel was published, looking just like the legendary Barbara Cartland, glass of wine in hand!
Sunlight on Broken Glass is the first novel in the Jeffson Family Trilogy of sagas. Published December 2014, it is available as an e-book on Amazon, and paperback from The Great British Bookshop or directly from Annie at the discounted price of £8.99 plus postage (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The second book in the trilogy, Melody of Raindrops was then published May 2015, and the third book, Ashes on Fallen Snow, November 2015.
Since writing and publishing The White Cuckoo in 2012, which reached No. 2 in the Amazon paid charts in the ghost story category, Annie has completed the first draft of a fifth and started writing her sixth – this time with a change of genre as this book is a political drama.
Annie has also written a number of short stories, one of which won a gold award in a national competition in 2008, and another which was included in a charity anthology in 2012.
Sunlight on Broken Glass almost made publication in the traditional way in 2008, when I secured the services of an agent and the novel was unsuccessfully submitted to publishers. Despite saying I would never self-publish, I decided to take this route in 2012 and take the risk with my fourth novel,The White Cuckoo. I have found the experience both satisfying and worthwhile and have absolutely no qualms about self-publishing the trilogy.
“I would say, though, that if an author is considering the independent route to publication it must be done professionally, with scrupulous attention to detail. In some ways, your novel is placed under a brighter spotlight because there is still a perception in some readers’ minds they may be getting a sub-standard product. However, I have found that most readers don’t give a moment’s thought as to how a book is published – all they want is a cracking good read. As with most commercial enterprises, the quality of the end product is key. You can’t get away with trying to sell something that falls short of expectations, either in book cover design, quality of the finished product or book length, and people expect good value for their money.
It is an absolute must to set a budget at a level you can afford to lose for publication purposes, undertake targeted marketing and promotion and maintain an on-line presence through social media. Despite having quite low expectations, I was very lucky with my first self-publishing experience: I broke even on my pre-set budget at my book launch and have even made a modest profit from my novel over the last two years.”
Annie’s first published novel The White Cuckoo is also available on Amazon and as a paperback from The Great British Bookshop.