Why I Haven’t Published my Book…Yet

In response to the frequently asked question “hey, Alice, when do we get to read your book?” here is a list of genuine reasons why I haven’t and why I’m not sorry for it.

  • My manuscript (at time of writing) is c. 70,000 words and nearing 200 pages. That’s a lot, but I want to make it up to the 80,000 mark. My History dissertation back (in 2014) was 10,000 words and took a year of solid research and writing (with no distractions). Go figure.
  • I realised three weeks ago at least half of it needed rewriting.
  • I’ve spent about six weeks working on the opening extract (first 5000 words).
  • I have a full-time job which I have continued to do throughout pandemic.
  • Up until mid August, I had only take one day off of my allocated annual leave. One day, in all of 2020.
  • I have to do human things; shop for food, eat, sleep, poop etc.
  • Shoot me, I get writers’ block/creative fatigue.
  • Covid-19. Just Covid-19.
  • I commute frequently from family home to the actual home I pay a mortgage on. A 1.5 hour car journey will just about sap up any energy you got.
  • Some days I really can’t be bothered to write.
  • Some days I really write a load of rubbish.
  • Believe it or not, I do other creative exploits. All writers need the satisfaction of quick-win completion, which is why I’ve also been writing more short stories. I can’t post these on the blog, because then I’d be unable to make money from them at a later date and/or submit for competitions. A ‘short story’ for me is 2000 words. Nine pages (double-spaced).
  • I blog.
  • I self-promote. See TV/Radio Appearances for a flavour of how much!
  • I’m busy building up a social media following. Half the battle with any published book is having an author that people love and can market.
  • Is there a chance this will NEVER be published? Yes.
  • I therefore need an agent. And to submit to an agent means you have to have your manuscript at the absolute top of it’s game.
  • (Mumma B suggestion) – ‘why don’t you just say “the dog ate my manuscript”?’
  • And as for the publishing industry in general? Please see video below. Spoilers, it’s infamous for being a slow.

Pinky promise to keep you posted on progressed. It still means a lot that I have a massive fan base that are chomping at the bit to pre-order something I haven’t even completed yet!

Much love xx

To give you an idea of time passing…that succulent I bought, it’s dead now.

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“You know, when I was younger I thought I’d be a lot cooler by now” Miss Alice E. Bennett

“I’ve got this Lynx for women shower gel, but I don’t like it. It makes me smell like a teenage boy on heat.”

“Why don’t you bin it then?”

“Yeah, but I got it as a Christmas present, so it’s free and all…”

Welcome to my world. A world where the golden rule is to always save money by any means possible. You are reading the words of a girl who never ate fancy during her uni days, instead always had a stash of £1.99 McDonalds vouchers to hand, a bottle of 19p water from Savers in her bag and a impressive knowledge of the shops which gave out free food (praise the Lord for the Hotel Chocolat samples!) A person who still cuts cost corners where possible, and if it’s free is all over it. For example, some of you may/may not be familiar with the Galaxy men and women, attractive people hired to give out free bars of chocolate to promote the brand…

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(I couldn’t find any pictures of the men but trust me, in their Galaxy suits they were looking sweet as chocolate – yes, pun intended)

Right here is a girl that constantly walked past the beautiful men not because they were beautiful men, but because they were giving away free chocolate and vouchers. It was a good Christmas that year, I had enough chocolate to see me though to Easter and enough free vouchers to palm off to my friends in far flung locations in place of actual gifts. One card even went missing en route to my friend studying in Japan. To this day I firmly believe the Japanese stole the voucher inside.

Fads

Like every human being, I’ve had my fair share of fashion fads in my life so far. There was the waist belt phase, where I wore wide waist belts with everything, even though looking back a lot of the time they really didn’t suit me. There were the teen years where I genuinely convinced myself I was incapable of smiling and/or looking good in photos so I just looked forever grumpy:

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Of course there were the selfie photos, back in the day where a ‘selfie’ was a photo taken with this newfangled ball thing called a webcam:

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(I thought I was so cool when I took that one)

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(no make up selfie, accompanied by: By the rules of social media (which you must never break, like the laws of jinx or tag) here is my no make up selfie. I’ve had no make up on all day, but I’ve taken it now fresh out of the shower to show I genuinely have nada on. If you like this you may be interested in checking out many of my other profile pictures or me most days of the week. People should love you, not your face paint. A belief I’ve stuck by for 20 years, and still do.) – sickening, eh? After a few gentle nudges I did actually donate money to charity.

And then there was the ‘rebellious’ year at university when I grew a side fringe.

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That was a very questionable style choice. Never again will I take the advice from someone who says after a drink “you know, you’d look really good with a side fringe”. Never. Again.

Thankfully I had my fringe reinstated April 2013 and it made me so much happier…

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As mumma Bennett is forever reminding me, “when we drove away from Southampton that Easter after you’d had it done, I remember telling your father how much better you looked. I mean it looked ok on occasion, but most of the time that side fringe really didn’t suit you at all.” Thanks mum.

Of course uni also brought the dressing up fad as standard:

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(An alien, before you ask)

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(Above I’m representing the Italian Mafia for Eurovision. Back then it was fancy dress, nowadays it’s called office wear)

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(For this one I was so chuffed I fitted into an age 12 gothic bride dress I literally refused to take it off all night. It freaked the hell out of my housemates, who thought Miss Havishman was patrolling the hallways when they saw my darkened figure at 1am)

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Oh wait, that was a couple of months ago…

Anyway, you get the picture.

Hats, hats and more hats!

A fad I’m currently riding now is hats (although I hope I never look back on these with regret). I mean hats go with everything!

Days out

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With snow

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At winter birthdays…

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…Or in summer selfies

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In the Disney store with friends

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Or with fancy dress

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Every so often there’s a mask…

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…Or we get the lines really blurred with a full on mask

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But then we return to the safety of hats

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Even though I was in the Parisian sewers I was still happy. You know why? Probably because I was wearing a hat.

In short, hats are cool. End of.

The photos you really want to see – lets bring out the baby pics

Ok, lets get a couple of these out:

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Yep, I used to be blonde

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Keenly eyed readers will notice I match the curtains almost perfectly

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When you don’t have curtains to hand there are always bin bags (in fairness, I used to love dressing up as a witch. My parents should have seen the warning signs then)

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Bonus points if you can guess which one is me. Think you’ve spotted me? Here’s a close up:

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I was quite literally shaking with excitement at having my photo taken. According to my family I still shake to this day when I’m excited or uber smug.

So…

I think that’s enough about me for now. Enough to give an insight into the warped life and mind of Miss Alice E. Bennett, a taster if you will. If you really want to get to know me you only need only give five minutes of your undivided attention. Within seven I’ll be telling you why Tom Hanks’ character in The Polar Express doesn’t make me comfortable…

“Look, all I’m saying is that when I was watching The Polar Express the only things I kept thinking were a) where is this guy’s CRB check certificate? And b) where are all the other kids on the train?”