One Stop Short of Barking (formerly Mind the Gap) - Making of the Book by Mecca Ibrahim

One Stop Short of Barking (formerly Mind the Gap) - Making of the Book by Mecca Ibrahim

Monday, December 22, 2003

New Holland Xmas Party

On Friday I had my first party as "an author", a surreal fact in itself. But I really enjoyed it, for the following reasons:

a) because people kept asking me what my next book was going to be,
b) because I got to meet some other authors who had great advice on writing, getting agents, pitching etc etc and
c) because all of the people I spoke to said the book sounded like a winner!

One of the authors in b deserves a special mention - Suzy Greaves. She is a successful life coach but also used to be a journalist and is remarkably enthusiastic and positive but without coming across all earnest, preachy and self helpy like other people I've met in the "you can heal your life" business. Most amazing was that she was really interested in me and we'll definitely be keeping in touch as we hope to help each other on a number of levels. (In a very spooky way there's lots of things we have in common from a professional viewpoint and she also knows my friend's mum!)

Like me, Suzy's first book will be published by New Holland next summer, but it was fascinating to learn that an article she wrote for the Evening Standard on life coaching in December 2002 is still bringing her business today. Read it and you'll see why, very inspiring.

My publishing manager, Jo Hemmings, was great fun as usual and was on stage with the company's MD handing out some funny staff awards. Best staff catchphrase, best coffee maker etc.

I was honoured to be invited.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Ken Livingstone - He say no

After he agreed to write a foreword and then we gave him a few lines to "say" or write some of his own I've just received the following:

-----Original Message-----
From: Mayor []
Sent: 18 December 2003 16:03
To: Mecca Ibrahim
Subject: MGLA021203-1322: RE: Ask Ken debate follow up - quote request

Dear Ms Ibrahim

Thank you for your email of 1 December, inviting me to provide a quote for your book as we discussed at the Ask Ken debate in November.

Thank you for sending some suggestions for me to use, however due to the current constraints on my diary I am unable to fulfil your request at this time.

Please accept my apologies and best wishes for the success of your work.

Yours sincerely

Ken Livingstone
Mayor of London

Hmmmmm - old misery

Annie's London Underground Diary Highly Commended in Guardian Awards

Just because she's been twisting my arm and giving me Chinese Burns, I wanted to say congratulations and well done to my able co-researcher Annie Mole, whose London Underground Diary was highly commended in The Guardian's Best British Blog Awards, specialist category. She keeps moaning that the winner was a dead guy - Samuel Pepys - admittedly a far more famous diarist than she is.

And having looked at it, it does seem a bit weird to give it to someone who basically has done a lot of typing by entering bits from Pepys Diary online. It would have seemed more interesting if the links the writer - Phil Gyford - references went back to modern day links on the net, but they just go back to other posts in "his" diary. But hey, when have awards ever been uncontraversial?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Lunch with publisher

Had another great lunch with my publishing manager, Jo Hemmings. It was a lot of fun and although we hardly spoke about my book at all (lots of other more private stuff), it meant that I got an invite to New Holland's Xmas Party in a couple of weeks time which I'm really looking forward to.

Jo's just had her own book published - The Dating Game - which is a top book. Very funny but full of practical advice too as she has a psychology background.

I still had that weird sensation when I was sitting in their reception waiting for Jo and seeing the posters for Men and Sheds (their surprise bestseller last year) and what looks like is going to be their new Xmas bestseller Extreme Ironing, thinking maybe this time next year there'll be a poster for my book on the wall.

Extreme Ironing, is getting shedloads of publicity (excuse mentioning "shed" in two paragraphs), was in the Sunday Times recommended books last week and is on a Waterstone's special offer and on their posters for Xmas gifts.