Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rankings and Real Life

When the first of my six backlist titles was released on Amazon Kindle I promised myself I would not become a slave to rankings. Well, you can imagine how long that lasted.  I was ecstatic when Eye of the Wind reached number 40 in the Amazon top 100 free downloads.  Then Tide of Fortune went to No. 12 on the Kindle store’s Historical list, and No. 18 in the Historical Romance list. But these were four-day free promotions and so more attractive to people who didn't know my name and didn't want to risk their money.  But when The Chain Garden reached #1324 in the paid listings, plus staying for nearly a week in the top 50 in Amazon's paid Hist Fic and Hist Rom lists, thrilled doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.
Then real life intervened and I was brought firmly down to earth by my beloved husband coming home every other day for a fortnight with two two-litre tubs of blackberries picked from field hedges above the Helford River.  He collected them so it was my job to pick out the mildewed ones, remove the spiders, caterpillars, bits of leaf and stalk etc, and after a thorough rinse, cook them.  Ladled into scalded marge tubs and wrapped in clingfilm, when cool they were stacked in the chest freezer we bought in a sale in anticipation of this year’s harvest. Superstition decrees that you don't pick blackberries after the 30th September - apparently the devil spits on them.  But any hope of me putting in a full day's writing soon evaporated because in the tunnel on our allotment the raspberries were reaching their peak.  Over the past three weeks Himself has brought home 9 kilos. Putting them on the kitchen worktop signals his part done.  So, as with the blackberries, I went through them, removing any that were mildewed, overripe or still pale and bullet-hard. The best I spread in a single layer on baking trays to quick-freeze. Those unfit to freeze but too good to throw away I rinsed then added to stewed apple for a delicious crumble filling. Though I'd rather have been writing this sort of job (like ironing) allows my mind to freewheel so it's great for exploring potential plot twists. And on cold dark winter days a raspberry flan, or blackberry and apple pie will provide a delicious reminder of late summer, and those few so welcome sunny days.  I have one more tray of frozen raspberries to bag. But first I’ll just take a quick peek at the Kindle rankings.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I envy you the joy of watching your backlist succeed. Sadly, I don't have any backlist titles so I can't follow your example.

Loved the story of the delegating husband. I bet it's familiar to lots of women. It's best to smile, rather than grimace, at the "look what I've done for you, so now you can drop whatever you were going to do and start on the job I've so kindly set you up with" moment.

I'm sure you'll enjoy the pies, tarts and crumbles, though. Sounds yummy.