Guest Post:Me, A Debut and Twitter: A view from the other side of publication

I have the privilege to feature the awesome Perdita Cargill on my blog today. She and her daughter wrote an awesome, funny YA novel, WAITING FOR CALLBACK, that reminds me of the humor in ANGUS, THONGS, & FULL FRONTAL SNOGGING. I  highly recommend you give this book a try. If you’re in the UK, you can purchase it here: Click here  Perdita’s post today is about social media, publication, and all the emotional swings that entails. She’s a fantastic writer, and what she has to say really resonated with me. I hope it does for you as well.

And without further ado, I’ll turn the microphone over to Perdita!

It’s been a couple of months since we published our debut teen novel Waiting for Callback and now I’m going to do the whole Wise Elder thing and tell you all about me and Twitter, publication and beyond.


I’ll gloss over the early days. Suffice it to say that I’d barely heard of Twitter before we signed a contract. Honor (my co-writer) maintained – as firmly as only a seventeen year old talking to her mother can maintain – that she didn’t ‘get’ Twitter and that a division of ‘labour’ would save me from making a fool of myself on Instagram and Facebook. I thought this was a good argument but I had yet to realize the potential for making a fool of myself on Twitter.  It took me a good six months to begin to master when to lurk and when to tweet. Ok, maybe not ‘master’, the shame of the unreciprocated intervention… But I did love talking about people’s books and I did start to make friends (oddly including a significant number of book-y people who had a deep and inappropriate appreciation of Poldark). Also there were puppy accounts (I never turned to the cat accounts, not even on dark days, because I had standards). There was @broodingYAhero.  I was getting the hang of it. But this blog (confessional piece) is about what happened round the time when our book was coming out.

Reader it was not my finest hour.

  • By publication day – a day that had become so magnified in my head that it should properly be given capitals (‘PD’)- I’d bored everyone on Twitter, including myself, with a tsunami of tweets and pieces about well, us – very occasionally about our book but yep, mostly us. Don’t misunderstand, we were very grateful for every invitation to talk, I just got a bit over enthusiastic about scheduling everything before PD. I’m not sure what I expected to happen on PD but because everything was going to be, in some unknowable way, ‘different’ I was determined to post everything in advance.

I’m pretty sure that most people had muted me before the first copy was on the shelves.

  • Not to worry, post-PD I set about livening up my feed with enthusiastic retweets of every single thing that anyone said about our book, someone posting that they were ten per cent in was enough to send me into a spin of RTs and comments – there was heavy emoji use. Well, every single nice thing – I didn’t mention the two star Good Reads rating because that hurt. Sadly this had the effect of making me look like an arrogant narcissist. Worse an arrogant narcissist that lived on Twitter and never left the house even to go and see if I could find our book in a bookshop (which if I had I would immediately have tweeted about because it was important to keep everyone absolutely bang up to date).

I consoled myself with the reflection that most people probably still had me on mute.

  • Fate intervened in the form of the second book deadline. So close was this to PD (rookie error) that I no longer had any time to tweet. Excellent? Not so much. First I vanished then I panicked. Was disappearing so soon after PD not the greatest author Twitter sin? Everyone would think I was A Shameless User and a Bad Person.

Well they would if they’d unmuted me.

  • The second book was duly delivered and my co-writer was released back to the relative normality of exam preparation at which point I remembered (in the way of someone remembering where they’d stashed the last bar of chocolate) that I used very much to enjoy reading And now there were new and wonderful books not written by me and they were having their own PDs.

I could talk about them.

Indeed I could tweet about them.

In retrospect I probably went a little mad. I like to think I won’t go quite as mad with book two (It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know the exact PD yet). If I do please do tell me. Stage an intervention if necessary. You can find me on twitter @perditact.

Thank you so much, Perdita, (and I am so so sorry this post came in a wee bit late. Life conspired against me finding time to blog)


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