Christmas Newsletter 2022
This year I’ve been working on the book I didn’t write while I living in the Midi in France. Instead, I wrote about my life in the village of Espagnac-Ste-Eulalie. Some of you will remember the bulletins which I sent to friends, which eventually became Charlie and Me in Val-Paradis, published by Simon and Schuster in 2008 and subsequently by Amazon.
The book that didn’t materialise in France, which I described in Charlie and Me, still has the working title Blue and Brown, partly reflecting the colours of the Murray and Darling Rivers but also the characters. As many friends know, my work involves a lot of peripatetic research, and this year, I revisited the Murchison and Gascoyne River regions of the Western Australian goldfields and spent some time in and around Tumbarumba in southern New South Wales. You can read about the Western Australian adventures and get an idea of some Blue and Brown themes on the travel page of www.maureencashman.com.
Meanwhile, now nearly two years after publication, sales of The Roland Medals have slowed. It’s very difficult to promote a self-published work, but I’ve been happy to be invited to several book clubs, all members of which have enjoyed reading it. I’ve also been gratified by the number of bookshops in Canberra which continue to stock it. These include the wonderful Book Cow in Kingston, The National Library Bookshop, Harry Hartog at ANU, and Muse in Kingston. You can also request it at your favourite bookshop. Both Charlie and Me and The Roland Medals are available electronically. It would be good if multiple copies were available in libraries. And, of course, with Christmas coming up . . .
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and happy reading in 2023.
In this newsletter I want to bring you, who have shown some interest in my writing, up-to-date with the publication of my new novel, The Roland Medals.
Scandinavian Noir meets Don Quixote . . .
Mystery with history . . .
|Fans of historical mysteries by Kate Mosse, Iain Pears and Umberto Eco will love the interplay of the past and the present in this gripping story. |
The Roland Medals sweeps across countries and centuries to tell a story of dangers, secrets, and the power of love.
Natalie Conyer, winner of the 2020 Ned Kelly Award for best debut crime novel.
If you enjoy mysteries with touches of romance, historical fiction, love Spain and the Camino or just enjoy a great read, this is for you.
Wonderful. I loved this book. I loved the story and the interweaving of past and present in a way which I found compelling, and I loved the marvellous research which underpinned every landscape and event. I found it enthralling.
Gwenyth J. McNeill
The Roland Medals was launched on two sunny Friday afternoons in Kingston, ACT, both events celebrating also Peter Arnaudo’s new bookshop The Book Cow and the new LaVa Café on Eyre Street.
Why two launches? The first, on 19th February, was booked out, so an encore was held on the following Friday, 26th. During that week The Roland Medals was the bestselling book in The Book Cow, and according to the Nielsen Report, had reached the top 5000 books sold in Australia. Several book clubs in Canberra and beyond have already invited me to meetings where they will discuss this book.
Since its release as an e-book in late January and the print release on 8 February, The Roland Medals has received numerous enthusiastic reviews on Goodreads and e-book ratings. On Goodreads it has a rating of 4.75 stars out of five, and it averages 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Reviewers have praised it for the research, the quality of the writing, the gripping pace and the resonance between two stories spanning five centuries.If you are one of the reviewers, thank you. If you have read it recently and enjoyed it as much as those readers, please feel free to add your comments and stars to review platforms.
The Roland Medals is available from some independent and chain booksellers, and can be purchased from suppliers listed under the ‘Buy now’ button on my website. Currently I’m talking with booksellers’ associations, asking them to advertise it in their members’ newsletters, in order to make it more widely available in independent bookshops in Australia.
The publication of The Roland Medals has also led to another revival of interest in my memoir Charlie and Me in Val Paradis, first published by Simon&Schuster Australia in 2008. It is now available in both electronic and print formats on Amazon.
Maureen Cashman Author May 2021 Newsletter
When I’m asked how The Roland Medals is selling, my answer tends to be positive but vague. Positive, because many people have told me how much they’ve enjoyed reading The Roland Medals, and because of all the glowing reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and other platforms. You can read some of these on my website, www.maureencashman.com . Vague, because information about sales comes from different sources, and until now, I’ve been more focussed on ‘getting the book out there’ than collating the sales information. I just want that as many people who would enjoy it could know about it. So I’m spending a lot of time on publicity, not so much on record-keeping.
However, in this newsletter I’ll try to explain the current information on sales, based on reports from the global e-book distributor, Streetlib, from the Print-on-Demand distributor, Lighting Source, and from my own records of the POD purchases which I supply on commission to bookshops. I’m unable to access some POD information, because the compensation for sales in countries where the books are printed must reach a certain amount before Lightning Source reports it and pays me.
To date, the numbers globally are
e-book sales: 53 units
POD sales: Australia, 105; US and Canada 25; Great Britain 4 = 134
So I still have a lot more publicising to do before The Roland Medals really takes off, and I would love it if everyone who has enjoyed it so far will spread the word through their networks, especially Book Clubs and to fellow-readers in Australia and overseas.
A recent exciting development is that later this year ‘Camino Chronicle’, the newsletter of the Australian Friends of the Camino, will include reviews of both The Roland Medals and Charlie and Me in Val-Paradis, as well as an article I wrote about a short (one-week) walk on the Chemin de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle (the Camino in France), in company with pack-llamas. The reviews will be available online later in the year and I’ll post the article on my website.
I wish you all the best for the antipodean winter, and summer in the other hemisphere. ‘Talk’ again soon.
|Christmas 2021 Newsletter|
This newsletter will bring my readers up-to-date, in particular answer questions I get about sales of the books, and about what I’m working on now. I’d be grateful if you would share it with others who might be interested in my writing projects.
Charlie and Me in Val Paradis, my memoir about my years in the Midi in France, is still selling steadily. It is available on Amazon in both print and ebook formats.
The Roland Medals is available from some independent and chain booksellers, and can be purchased from suppliers listed under the ‘Buy now’ button on my website. I’m still campaigning to make it more widely available in independent bookshops in Australia.
At last count, in October, global sales of print copies of The Roland Medals were 151, and ebook sales were 60. Copies are circulating among friends of people who purchased it, and it has also been acquired by libraries internationally. I’m satisfied that it has a growing readership, but I’d love it to be more widely-read, as I’ve had such positive feedback about it.
My ambition as a writer is that as many people, who would enjoy my books, get the opportunity to do so, and that readers who have enjoyed them will tell their friends and book clubs about it, and ask their local libraries to order copies. I humbly suggest that both The Roland Medals and Charlie and Me in Val-Paradis would make excellent Christmas presents.
|I continue to receive warm praise from readers and other writers, such as an email from Ian Howie Willis, author of many highly regarded historical works. With Ian’s permission I summarise his email here:|
Like the novels of, say, John Grisham & Simon Scarrow, The Roland Medals is a ‘page-turner’. It combines elements of several genres, historical, thriller, who-done-it, a guide to Renaissance-era medal-making, evocative travel-writing, and a pair of parallel romances.
Aspects that I particularly appreciated:
· the research on the history and geography of the ‘Camino de Santiago’ routes, and on the technicalities of numismatics, and the effortless way research is brought to bear on the narrative;
· the power of the descriptive writing and finding exactly the right word, phrase and metaphor;
· the dramatic tension created and sustained throughout the separate sections of the book;
· the complex and well-developed parallel plots; and
· the well-developed characterisation.
The Roland Medals is a most impressive, multi-faceted achievement. I hope there are others ‘in the pipeline’.
You will remember that more reviews, from Goodreads and elsewhere, are on my website.
Also on my website, I’ve added to the ‘Journeys’ page. The purpose of that page is to publish journals, with accompanying pictures, of my travelling life. The first instalment was about the extraordinary landscape of Las Médulas in Spain, because it inspired one of the settings in The Roland Medals. The current instalment is based on a trip to Ireland, undertaken in 2004, while I was living in the Midi in France.
I hope that you will open the ‘Journeys’ webpage and enjoy my Irish adventure.More such travelogues and stories connected with them will appear on the webpage as I edit them.
And I’m again working on the historical novel I intended to write while I was living in France, but didn’t, as it became too daunting. I really think I’ve found a way into that story now, and I’m looking forward to how it develops. I’ll keep you posted.
I wish everyone a very happy Christmas, and happy reading in 2022.