Bonnie the very Cornish cockapoo is back again and what a crazy few weeks it has been!
Lots of people dropping by on their Cornish holidays, garden party planning, little ol’ me featured on the front cover of rent Maggie’s new box set of books. If this wasn’t enough, I’ve been invited to a talk about ‘Pets As Therapy’ (PAT) dog duties.
Well I could go on but you get the idea.
Summer is whizzing by but so far the Cornish weather has been – dare I say it? – a bit of a dogs dinner. One day sunny, the next pouring down and sometimes both on the same day. Yikes – I’ve even had to wear a rain coat when I should be rolling around in the warm sands. Come on, this ain’t good enough and I’m not even down here on holiday.
So I’m putting out a Bonnie cockapoo ‘cosmic order’ for a whole lot more sun. There, have done it and we’ll see if it works.
As for me on the front of the books box set, guess what?
Got masses of ‘likes’ on Instagram – here’s a snapshot of them…
I’ve said it before, us mutts on covers get a fantastic response.
It’s not quite a first doggy modelling assignment – ahem, a little reminder that I do have my own favourite west Cornish pubs calendar – but judging from the latest Instagram response, I think there’s scope for a whole lot more. Just saying.
Not really sure what I’m expected to do at the PAT dog talk. I’m guessing that the rents will do the chit-chat bit with me in charge of the ‘meeting and greeting’. There’ll probably want more photos but let’s face it, I’m getting used to that. Just have to make sure that this gal is camera ready for her close up.
Hey ho, it’s fun being a mini celebrity and there’s no complaints on that front.
The rents keep saying that I get treated better than them in the local pubs and restaurants and that’s true. They do know how to roll out the red carpet for us mutts in this part of the country. Bowls of water and free snacks are available in loads of places. One pub even offered up some scrummy left over beef from the Sunday roast menu, while the rents had to make do with a few tired looking Yorkshire puds.
Yeah – the priorities are bang on here. Now give me that order for more sun and it will be a Cornish paradise. Just get on with it though, cos we’re losing patience here.
Woof and out….
First a short message from Bonnie the very Cornish cockapoo…
‘Ahem folks, I know I’m supposed to be the doggy star of the blog but this time rent Maggie is grabbing back the slot. So here is a quick piccy of me to be going on with and trust me, I’ll be back!’
So over to me, to tell you all about the Dublin Writers Conference, a bizarre coincidence, and meeting my namesake cousin for the first time.
Starting with the conference. It was my first experience of this type of writer event and I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a journalist and television producer, I’ve covered lots of professional gatherings – everything from probation workers, doctors, police, child care workers – but attending as a participant, (rather than detached observer), is a completely different experience.
There were great opportunities to pair up with writers in our own book categories – mine being crime mystery and family saga – and my chosen writer ‘buddy’ was Norah Deay. We hit it off straight away and were both left stunned by a truly amazing coincidence but I’ll keep you waiting for a short while on that one.
My aim was to learn more about book marketing, what works and doesn’t work, straight from the mouths of other writers. I wanted hear about what they had tried, tested, developed and discarded. In other words the ‘who, what, why, when and where?’ of book visibility tactics in a fiendishly crowded market.
On that score the Dublin conference didn’t disappoint.
All the speakers I heard were informative, sharing their highs as well as the inevitable lows. Best selling Irish author, Patricia Gibney, described her own journey from taking up writing after the death of her husband, to the trials and tribulations of finding a publisher. Then several years down the line, the holy grail of top spots in the UK/US Amazon crime fiction listings.
The message? Be persistent, be patient, be prepared to rewrite and fine tune. Far from feeling discouraged, I actually came away feeling energised and upbeat.
It was reassuring to know that there are some things I’m doing right – blog, Twitter, Facebook etc – but it all needs to be done much smarter and in a more disciplined way.
In other words, as a writer you have to put in the regular hours on social media, hold book events, give talks wherever you can. While there is no magic bullet, the old saying that ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’ seems to apply to those authors who have punched through on book sales.
Like any business, you have to speculate to accumulate, spend on marketing and get additional help where it is needed. Along the way, I met some great fellow writers – to name but a few: journalist Nick Rippington, Allie Marie, Ray Ronan and of course the indefatigable Norah Deay.
And speaking of Norah, here’s that heart stopping coincidence I spoke about. We were paired together because our books were in a similiar story category, yet when we got talking we realised that the central theme of my ‘Dilemma Novella’ trilogy – adoption and reunion – actually mirrors Norah’s own life. She too has experienced a family adoption and is hoping for a reunion. What are the odds of that happening in a pairing of two writers? We are certainly going to stay in touch as we see how her real life quest turns out and on that score we both agreed that we were meant to meet up.
Would I recommend the Dublin Writers Conference? Absolutely. Meantime, I’ll be setting a realistic budget while trying to get that elusive bang for my ‘books’ – all the time keeping a beady journalistic eye on the results and of course, blogging about the journey.
After all the writer talk, there was still a little time left to do a bit of city exploration and to look up some relatives.
On that note, I met my namesake cousin ‘Mags’ Fogarty, (married name Moore), and we talked for Ireland. Isn’t it funny how you can meet a relative for the first time and the connection is already there – hardwired in the family DNA? So here is a pic of my namesake and by the way, another theme explored in my novel ‘My Bermuda Namesakes’.
Isn’t life darn well eerie sometimes?
Time for another posting from little ol’ me, and not before time!
The weather is getting better and it seems that a good chunk of the country is making its way down to my Cornish patch. Talk about busy and we haven’t even hit summer yet…not that I’m complaining.
Looks like we’ll be getting some visitors of our own in the middle of June and already my rents are planning where to take them. As usual I’ll be centre stage and lets face it, my very own pub calendar would be a good starting point. ‘Walkies first, drink afterwards’ is how it goes and take it from me, there are lots of great places to choose from.
Rent Maggie then takes off to Dublin at the end of the month, heading to a ‘Writer’s Conference’ whatever that is. I think it’s got something to do with those books she’s written and there will be lots of authors, book marketing bods and the like. She’ll also be seeing some relatives and it’s a shame I can’t go over there as well. I’d love to wander around the place and chill out in some of those Dublin bars. Though not sure if they’re all that mutt friendly over there, unlike Cornwall which is pretty damn good to us pub loving dogs.
Hey ho, me and rent Paul will just have to stay put and hit the beach. Talking of beaches, there have been lots of photos featuring yours truly recently – seems like they’re going to be used in a book marketing campaign – and I keep being nagged about not looking directly at the camera. I mean – come on. How can a gal be expected to stare at a boring bit of kit when there’s all those lovely views around to distract?
Now, what else should I mention in passing? Oh yes, rent Maggie has written a magazine feature on sailing supremo, Sir Ben Ainslie. It was done out in Bermuda earlier this year – that’s where the America’s Cup yacht race is now taking place. It has to be said that those boats look fantastic though I’d be happy with a more gentle sail across my local Mounts Bay, hint, hint.
Anyway, here’s a couple of pics of ‘you-know-who’ to be getting on with. You’ll see in the first one that I’m looking (or should that be snoozing?) straight at the camera and the secret is a doggy choc reward. Simples…
Hey – it’s little ol’ me again, Bonnie the dog blogger.
Just got back from a great break away with my rents – we stayed in a cottage right up in the Malvern Hills, so lots of great walkies and pub visits. (You guys know how much I love a good long stroll followed by a drop into a pub). Let’s face it, the two go together like – er – chicken and kibble or Tui my Havanese friend and me.
Saw lots of peeps and met a few new pals too. You’re never short of a friend when you’re out with a cute dog like me. That’s what my rents say anyway, so I’ll take the compliment thank you.
Now it’s back to work and there’s lots of stuff for me to do around rent Maggie’s books. With the three novellas all done and dusted, it’s full speed ahead so watch out for me with my ‘marketing mutt’ hat on.
Trust me, by the time we’re finished I’ll be even more of a celebrity than I am now!
Anyway, here’s a piccy of yours truly sizing up the job.
Look good don’t I? Next week there’s a proper photo shoot lined up with beautiful Cornish back-drops. Yes, sun, beach, Bonnie and (must not forget!) books. Never mind whether you are summer body ready yet. The real question is, are you holiday book ready? Just sayin…
That’s it for now folks and keep an eye out for those great snaps. When you spot them, let me know what you think because this gal just loves a bit of feedback.
Woof and out….
‘Hey – bet you thought you weren’t going to hear from blogger Bonnie again. How wrong were you?
Things have been a bit busy in my world, so I’ve got my excuse in early!
First, the rents headed off on a trip to London, staying at some amazing river side apartment belonging to friends. I’ve seen the photos and trust me the views are to die for. Take a look below, to give you an idea. That’s the Millenium bridge to the right and the Tate Modern straight ahead. Not bad eh?
Me? I stayed in Cornwall with my lovely minder, cos I’m not much of a city girl. The rents drove all the way down – the apartment has its own underground parking – and lets face it, a five hour journey doesn’t suit little ol’ me.
Nah, give me the beach and sea air anytime. The folks were laughing because a London restaurant they visited had a Cornish themed menu! Fish, cheese, the lot – yes, my little bit of the world was right there on the foodie map. If they’d stayed put, they would have got things much fresher. Just sayin…
Now for my main blogger job this month. My rent Maggie has told me that I’ve got to say something about her latest book, a thing called a ‘novella’, which is available today and you can get it on Amazon either in Kindle form or as a paperback. It’s called ‘Backwards and Forwards’ and it will be the last one for a while, so I’m told. I like the pink cover – check it out below – but think she’s missed a trick by not putting yours truly on the front.
I mean, us mutts are a great draw aren’t we? If you think I’m joking, try going out for a walk or a visit to the pub with mini me. Someone said recently, that I get treated like a rock star whatever that is. Hell, I love all that attention and what girl wouldn’t?
Apparently, I’m going to be in some of the publicity photos for the book so I’ll have to look my doggy best, smiling for the camera. I don’t mind as long as I get a decent wage, (biscuit currency will be fine), along with walks in some of those scenic locations. If there’s a pub visit involved as well, all the better.
On the suject of fab scenery, now that the weather has improved, there’s talk about trying some of the walks in a friend’s latest publication – she’s called Sue Kittow and her book is ‘Walks In The Footsteps Of Winston Graham’s Poldark’ www.sigmapress.co.uk. Grab hold of a copy if you are coming down to Cornwall and fancy some good old fashioned outdoor exploring on two or four legs. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on.
Well that’s me done for now, I like to keep things short and sweet. Check out the new novella and watch out for the tie-in publicity – did I mention I’d be taking part? Whoops, a repeat bit of information, ahem, ‘accidentally’ slipped in.
Woof and out…’
If you’ve been reading this blog spot, I’m usually the little ‘footnote’ – the bit that comes after my rent Maggie’s piece.
Not any more though! From now on, Bonnie’s the star of the show and about time too if you don’t mind me saying so. (Tough if you do).
Anyway, for those of you not already in the know, here’s a bit about little ol’ me, the west country cockapoo with attitude…..
First off, I’m not really that old – just three at the end of next month – and I’m a Cornish gal through and through. (Born in St Austell).
I now live with my rents in Marazion – just across the road from an awesome beach and St Michael’s Mount – and I’ve got loads of local doggy friends including my bestie, a handsome Havanese called Tui. More about him later.
When the rents Maggie and Paul are away, (how they can even bear to leave me is still a mystery!), I stay with my lovely minder, Leda. over at nearby Praa Sands. There’s another beach to die for and even more doggy pals to run around with. Leda teaches me tricks and it’s like a holiday when I stay there – a deep memory foam mattress in my overnight crate and a new comfy bean bag to lounge about in. Of course I miss the rents – I have to say that don’t I?- but Leda’s place is something else, a real home from home.
Once a week I go visiting a care home as a ‘Pets As Therapy’ dog and it’s great seeing everyone there. I always get loads of treats and pats and I’m told that I make everyone smile, which is no bad thing to do in life.
What else should you know about me? My favourite snack is ‘a Smart Bone’, especially the beef flavoured ones, and I love a bit of roast Lamb if the rents have it on the menu. Just saying.
I’ve also featured in a Calendar with me posing outside my favourite Cornish dog friendly pubs. Some people have already asked for a copy of it for their holiday guests, so I think I’ll be pushing the rents for royalties. (Actually I’ll settle for a few extra Smart Bones as an early negotiation tactic).
Tui, the handsome Havanese, is my ‘boyfriend’ but I only see him from time to time because he’s taking a while to recuperate from a back injury. Still, absence makes the heart grow fonder don’t you think? Roll on summer when we can hit the beach and share that specially made doggy ice cream he introduced me to.
My favourite room in the house is the new conservatory which I’ve named ‘Bonnie’s Crib’. Not far to run out into the garden but nice and cosy when it’s wet and windy outside. Rumour has it that I’ll be having a birthday party in there soon – I suppose you could call that ‘fake news’ but I’m putting it out there anyway and we’ll see what happens.
Well, that’s about it for now folks apart from some necessary pics of me, the newly appointed dog blogger. Can you believe it? Just writing that makes me blush. (Like hell it does – I just love my new opportunity to ‘paws’ for thought and write it all down).
Woof and out….’