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Pyjamas & a Pen

The Random Rambling Blog of
author Alannah Foley
~ aka The Pyjama Writer ~
  • Writer's pictureAlannah Foley

VARIETY is the SPICE of Life

Want to know more about your friendly neighbourhood author? Here's the skinny...

For those of you who might actually be curious about me as an author, my writing journey, and some of the things that have led me to write, here's a bit more depth...

So, where to start?

Well, after working in black ops as a trained killer, I thought it was time to settle down and do something a bit more... y'know, chilled. So why not become an author, eh? (Actually, I'm kidding about the black ops bit. Just seeing who's read past the first line!)

Anyway, probably best to start with my first ever book…

Which is The Jacaranda Trail. It's one of my shorter works, but being my first, it took me a while to write, and I finally self-published it back in 2011 (yikes! Is it that long?).

It's the autobiographic story of how I left England (where I grew up) and travelled back to my Australian birthplace in 1993. It was a real journey of discovery, and I got more than I'd bargained for. Along the way, I found long-lost family, lived on a camel farm, and got to sample styles of living I hadn't encountered before.

I never did manage to stop the mozzies using me as a dartboard while I was in Australia, and five years later, I returned to 'Old Blighty'. I've been living here to this day in the picturesque county of Cornwall with my cycling-obsessed partner, Steve, who (thankfully and gratefully) is a great supporter of my writing.

In case you're wondering, the pic at the top of this blog is of the two 'old timer' camels that remained (of the many my sister used to have on her farm) when I made a return trip to Australia with my partner Steve in 2017 (and, yes, I wrote a book about that, too, called Up a Creek Down Under.)

In terms of my author journey, I haven't really looked back since writing that first book, which was back in the early days of 'indie' publishing, when the Kindle had only just arrived in town.

Since then, I've written more travel tales as well as mysteries, fantasy & general fiction, and a bunch of 'maverick' titles that don’t seem to want to fall in line. So I'm rather eclectic. Most of my books are peppered with humour, and if you've read a book or two of mine, I hope you'll agree they are entertaining, with a few twists, turns, and tickles along the way.

I've had my ups and downs since starting out on this journey and made many mistakes - some decidedly cringe-worthy - but, hey, that's life! What surprises some readers, though, is that self-published authors like myself have to wear so many hats in order to get books out into the world for you to read.

Writing a good book is just the first step. You also have to get it proofread, edited, formatted, and uploaded, then you need to get a cover designed, keep in touch with readers, market your wares, build a following, and work out the tech for things like websites, blogs, and newsletters.

Err… Are you tired just reading that?

Hopefully you have the strength to go on, 'cos there's a bit more…

My greatest challenge over the years, I think, has been the fact that I write in so many different genres. It can be quite a juggling act sometimes. I certainly would have made things easier on myself if I'd just picked one genre and stuck with that single-mindedly… Although that, of course, would've been much less interesting to me - and you know what they say about variety being the spice of life, don't you?

As a reader, I'm similarly eclectic. I've enjoyed a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction, over the years. Some of my favourites are Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series of novels set in prehistoric times, action-adventure/thriller novels by Scott Mariani and James Rollins, Bill Bryson's travel tales, and books on topics such as near-death experiences.

My favourite opening line?

It's probably from J.A. Konrath's technothriller, The List...

"I've found the head."

As you can probably guess, it's a novel with a sense of humour!

Anyway, I still have plenty more works in my author pot, and over the coming weeks and months, I'll be letting you know more about the projects I'm working on.

Meantime, if you'd like to find out what's currently on my shelf, why not pop along to the BOOKS page of my website to take a look? Here's the link:

Until next time, happy reading!

#authorjourney #selfpublishing #indieauthor


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This blog gives me a space to ramble on about stuff that doesn't fit in anywhere else. Might be about my author journey, might be some other random topic that's caught my attention or popped into my head. More posts to come, but I'll basically slip them in when I need a break from my main priorities. I hope you'll find something useful or enjoyable in here.

Meanwhile, to find out what works are on my shelf right now, visit the Pyjama Writer website.

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