Author Talks: Carrie Mortleman and Publishing Her First Book

It is with sweet servings of humble joy that I sit to write this article. I feel as if I have been chosen, as if a bright spotlight illuminates me, drawing me from the darkness, singling me from the masses of authors lined up behind the curtains awaiting their chance.

Why do I feel such an intense level of joy? It’s because I am a new writer & illustrator of a children’s picture book Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant. When I say new, I mean I am a real infant; only 12 months old. But this teething bub has been lucky enough to cut her first molars with a publishing contract by a real live publisher. It’s almost unheard of for a first book… talk about hitching a ride on the tail of a lucky star!

Why do I feel so happy and lucky? Because Jessica (who writes this blog) has chosen my book to review. Do I sound corny? Perhaps. But let me tell you, it’s is HARD to get someone to agree to read, review and blog your book. I contacted over 50 bloggers and do you know how many responses I received? TWO. Yes two.

So truly, genuinely, and with intense levels of sincerity, securing a review from a book blogger feels like being chosen for the lead role in a blockbuster film. A good review can change your life. A medium review can make you blush with joy. And even a bad review can be taken on board with improvements for the next release.

As a creative artist you put a big piece of your heart into your work, you put parts of your soul and hefty chunks of your dreams out in the public domain for the whole world to see. It’s terrifying. It’s exhilarating.

Time, that elusive and ever active essence that seems to continually slip away, this is what I believe book bloggers (and indeed any bloggers) lack. Blogging is a passion. You give strangers a part of yourself, of your life, of your time, of your energy, to really truly think about another person’s work and honestly and critically review it.

I know this because I wanted to become a blogger myself, but I realised just how intense it is for your time and your emotions, to continually connect with your audience. I remain an independent reviewer of children’s books but oh the horror, some of the submissions I have received have made me flush with shame for my fellow writers. But occasionally you dig a shiny pearl from the depths of the ocean, pry it from the stubborn jaws of a reluctant oyster and those moments are golden. They make it all worthwhile and you are able to give a glowing review and know that you have helped another person achieve their dreams. It’s a sweetly satisfying experience.

So it is with greatest levels of appreciation, I eagerly await the review of my first book Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant. With trepidation, I hope that it will be favourable enough that Jessica will accept my second book Queek’s Race in Outer Space available in May 2017.

Carrie Mortleman
Author, Illustrator & part-time mermaid

If you’re interested in buying Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant, you can find it on amazon! Also, any authors looking for entering a cool writing contest should check out Inkett’s Writing Contest and try to win a publishing deal!

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