I recently needed a cover for my latest e-book. The Angel and the Poet. I found someone on the fiverr website and he came up with this lovely cover. It was exactly what I had in mind, so I was pleased.
While I was browsing around on the site… Fiverr.com. a window popped up, asking if I wanted to place a gig of my own. Now you know how I like to try something new, so I typed up a few lines, saying I’d write a children’s story for a fiverr, not sure why they insist on two r’s in the word fiverr, because it’s dollars. My cover cost £3.80, and the fiverr people keep a dollar for themselves, so the fiver, becomes a fourer. Then when you pay it in to your pay pal account, they take twenty pence as well. That’s how a fiver becomes £3.80, if you’re with me. So when you have your gig on there, you’ll get £3.80, which takes a week to clear, another thing that’s not obvious.
So I’m on fiverr with four gigs. I have:- Write a 500 word story for children, write 50 lines of a poem for your special day, write 500 words funny story, and also write a romantic story in 500 words. In no time at all, I’d had three gigs, all I had to do was provide the story, and send it. It crossed my mind, that I liked these stories, and I could always use them again, which made me wonder about copyright.
Around the same time, I was explaining to Alan that I’d done some stories, and he said, ‘so they’re still your stories?’ I needed to find out. Trust me to plough on in and think about that at a later stage! Here’s my page. Susan on Fiverr
When I looked at the small print, at the very end, it says that when you sell a story, you are selling the copyright as well. You can either make the copyright another gig, or state on your gig description, that someone can use your story, but copyright remains with you, and hope they acknowledge that the work is yours when they use it. So now I’ve added that to my gig descriptions.
So far I’ve earned $12, which goes to your pay pal account. The last customer I had loved my story and wanted to order another two. That’s when Alan said, ‘watch it, if your stories get made in to a film… (I love the faith he has in me:)) you want your name on them. Not sure about that, and it’s what ghost writers do all the time, isn’t it?
I’ll keep my gigs on the go for a while, but I’m sure that because I was selling the copyright with the stories, that’s why I got a rush on. New members might miss that little detail, so wanted to point it out. Saying all that, each person has given me a five star review for my children’s stories, so I have to be pleased with that. And I enjoyed writing them. Getting practice in ready for when our new Grandchild arrives…
My letter is on the back pages of That’s Life! It’s one about when me and our daughter went shopping.
This is one I found in a handbag when I was sorting out my wardrobe. I should have sent it a year ago,
so sent it in this springtime. I was thrilled to have the email saying, ‘we’d like to use your letter in issue 22 of That’s Life.’
Next door pussy cat still keeps popping in when he gets the chance. He jumps up on my keyboard, and shoves his nose onto my fingers to stop me typing. His name’s Leo. I’m going to use this photo for the ‘before’ one, when I’m not such a fat person as this.
The great thing is, that you can email your letters or funny stories, or tips, or other regular items, and they pay
Also, hope you’ve had chance to read The Redington Millions, which is the featured serial on Creative Frontiers this week.
It’s the story that has been running from Monday through to Friday, and is set in the village of Redington, in mid-Norfolk.
The plan is to write more stories set in Redington, then when I’ve got enough, they will go into an e-book.
And, I had some income from my amazon stories today. I won’t say how much, but something. So I’m pleased about that.
Still working on the novel, and glad it’s still a working process because I’ve had a change of thought. Also some new ideas.
I’m reading ‘Our man in Havana’ by Grahame Greene. A good story, and plenty of humour.
Hope you’ve got a cup of tea, or coffee, so that you can settle down and enjoy this wonderful interview wit Pat Posner. I’m thrilled that Pat has agreed to be our featured author for May. Her stories are magical. For regular readers of People’s Friend, you will know that there aren’t many issues without one of Pat’s stories in there.
I began following Pat’s stories when I read a Cresslethwaite story. The mobile library was shutting down, and the character in the story depended on the library for her busy days in the tea shop. She came up with the idea of finding a corner for books, and this became the lending library. It was such a lovely story, I immediately wanted to go and visit Cresslethwaite, and have a drink in that tea-room, chat to the people, and find a book. That is the mark of a good story teller, and I’ve been hooked on Pat’s stories ever since.
S/ Pat, my first introduction to your stories was one set in the picturesque village of Cresslethwaite.
Where is this lovely place? Is it somewhere you’ve visited, or a mixture, because wherever it is, I want to go and visit.
P/ Hello, Susan. Thank you so much for inviting me here for a chat.
Cresslethwaite has quite a lot in common with the small villages and settlements in Littondale – a dale in North Yorkshire. It’s probably most like the main village, Arncliffe, where the outside locations for Emmerdale Farm (as it was in its early days) were filmed.
S/ We’d like to know a bit more about your Craikeworth Hall stories please? Did you write these with a particular place in mind, and did you need to research, or are the stories purely fiction? Since putting this issue together, I read on the letters page that one lady gave her son the middle name Craik, after the hall. The registrar wanted to put Craig, but she was adamant, he would be Craik. You’ve started a new trend Pat.
P/ I was researching traditions related to Shrove Tuesday and came across information about the Skipping Festival held in Scarborough on Pancake Day. It has been an annual event since 1903. Well, I’d already got a few characters (downstairs staff of a big house called Craikeworth Hall) ‘screaming’ for a story and, all along, I’d known they were from the early 1900s. I’d spent quite a while with them already – making sure their names were not only from the right era but also matched their personalities. Characters’ names are very important to me, once they’ve got the right name they spring to life.
Anyway, I decided Craikeworth Hall would be somewhere a couple of miles away from Scarborough and that some of the maids were hoping to go to the Skipping Festival. The rest, as they say, “is History”.
S/ Now, Pat, we can’t go any further without talking about the pre-fab stories. Set in the wonderful Broome Park Village, 1950’s era. Family spirit and sharing with neighbours is the theme that comes across in these adorable stories with those brilliant illustrations to match. You have the knack of showing us how hard times can be warm and wonderful in these stories. What made you choose such an unlikely setting for a series that can never read enough of?
P/ I honestly don’t know how I chose it. The prefab village and the villagers living there just sort of ‘came’ as the complete deal. When I realised the village was near a park, I chose Broome Park Prefab Village for the name because my favourite park when I was a tot (in the 1950s) was Broomfield Park – there weren’t any prefabs near it, though.
S/ We also love the Lobb Clough Farm stories. Recent one has been published in May issue of People’s Friend. Did you live on a farm, or is it purely from imagination?
P/ We do live in a farmhouse on a sheep farm but, although they seem to think differently, they aren’t our sheep and we aren’t farmers. I have used our farmhouse and surroundings in short stories and in a pocket novel but Lobb Clough Farm and its labourers’ cottages are set on a different Lancashire moor. The stories take us back to life in the 1840s.
S/ with so many series of stories going on, it’s sometimes easy to forget that you also write loads of stand-alone stories. Do you prefer to write something completely different, or are you happier writing the favourites?
P/ Oh, that’s a hard one to answer. As long as I’m happy with a story-line and I feel I really know the characters, I’m happy to write their story whether it’s a stand-alone or part of a series. Though, shhh! I think I love my prefab folk the ‘mostest’.
S/ How many stories did you send to People’s Friend before you had an acceptance? I know it wouldn’t have been many:)
P/ I think it was only two or three. “A Dog for Grandad” was published in 2006. I think that was after I’d had my first Pocket Novel accepted. But after that one short story acceptance the next few mss were rejected (with very helpful comments). I was still mainly writing children’s books back then so I didn’t try any more stories for the “Friend” until around 2010. The first four were rejected but I kept trying and “Cream-tea Tuesdays”, the first Cresslethwaite story was accepted in 2011.
S/ Any other information you have to tell us on People’s Friend Pat, your journey to becoming one of their top writers would be great.
P/ After the Cresslethwaite acceptance I really, really stuck at it and concentrated only on writing stories for the People’s Friend. I’d always loved the magazine – reading it for research (very important) as well as for pleasure wasn’t a hardship – and, after a few more acceptances, to think I might become a regular “Friend” writer kept me going through the rejections – and, yes, I still get a few! My editor, the lovely Shirley Blair, gives fantastic feedback and very often her comments help me turn a ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’. I feel the entire PF team are friends and I hope I’ll be writing for the magazine, and writing Pocket Novels, too, for many years to come.
S/ Amazing interview Pat, and thank you so much for taking time to let us into your People’s Friend world.
When you write fiction, have you ever tried writing about a place that does exist, but you haven’t been to? I understand the rule of writing what we know, but fiction is made up, so with all the resources available to us nowadays, why not write about somewhere you haven’t been? Elizabeth George in Writing magazine July issue, says that it’s not possible to write properly about somewhere you’ve never been; she toured Cornwall for her crime novels. I saw a t.v. programme, where Ian Rankin did the same in Scotland. They are great writers, but on the other hand, can we have a story going on, and use a fictional version of a place, using information you’ve gathered?
I’ve had a go on my website, on the prompts page here
The story needs editing again, but I’m having a go at writing from a male viewpoint, and a grumpy old one as you can see. My children’s story, written from the viewpoint of a nine year old boy, here.
I’ve been tidying the house as you can see above, (no, not really, it’s fiction) our house is more lived in than that. Looks a good setting for a story though doesn’t it?
Wish me luck, I’m off to work tomorrow, my first day at the helpline, looking forward to that.
Alex, the boy in the story is nine years old. It’s aimed at children around that age. Then again, I love all children’s stories.
It’s an adventure story; one that you could read to the children while traveling; down to Devon preferably, as it’s set in and around Exmoor. Now don’t all rush to point out any mistakes, this is my first go, so hope somebody somewhere reads it and likes it. I do. I’ve just finished reading this. The double comfort safari club.
By Alexander McCall Smith. He’s an amazing writer, and has a brilliant way with words. When you’ve finished one of his