The Book Launch of Our Doris

On the 20th June 2015 I released my first book Our Doris at Macclesfield Library. I arrived with my mother half an hour early to set up the room, meeting my good friend Lindsey on the way. (She crossed the country for me and proved just how good a friend she is.) Incredibly nervous, I envisaged no one arriving, and being left to share cakes and books with my family.

I had spent the best part of Friday baking in preparation. I made a Victoria sponge, a lemon sponge, a chocolate gateau and a carrot cake, mentioned only because I want bragging rights. They were rather thin sponges and I question the use of 1970’s cook books, but folk offered compliments on them.

Once we reached the library we embarked upon a quest to get the Meeting Room ready in the half hour I had before my guests arrived. There was something of a mad dash in my mind because the tables weren’t as I had envisaged and there weren’t enough chairs – I’d asked for fifty and there were only about ten but we found a caretaker and he was kind and fantastic and he took the book I was donating to the library and honestly I wish I’d found out his name because he was kind enough to help an incredibly nervous writer and not complain.

My earlier torment that folk wouldn’t arrive was non-founded when a lot of people arrived. Well thirty-seven, but since I was only allowed fifty people in the room I was happy. Rosie and Liz, my uni friends came to see me, as did more friends and family and folk from work and Weight Watchers – I count them amongst friends as well but I wanted more space to brag.

Then the launch began.

I introduced Our Doris and thanked everyone for helping me. I know that writing is a solitary pursuit but the actual act of putting a book together takes a whole host of planning and preparation and without my friends I would be nowhere. The people that I wanted to thank were there – I’ve mentioned them on the blog before, and they know that I thank them. Some people I thanked because I saw them around the room and I wanted to thank everyone individually but a lot of the time it’s just being grateful for support.

Once my rambling speech was over I chose to read the first monologue from the book ‘Slugs’. I developed a nervous dry mouth and was exceptionally glad for my glass of water. And fortunately enough I used full stops so had chance to breathe. The reading seemed to go well.

Alas, I didn’t have enough time to mingle as I sold out of books and had to sign them, but this is not a complaint. Folk managed to speak to me and being amongst friends no one wants you to fail. Questions were asked and answered – there’s a question that’s plaguing me at the moment, but I’m planning on answering it in a later blog post so that won’t be answered here.

Honestly, the launch went as well I had hoped and then some. There was this wealth and depth of support I hadn’t expected. I’ve always had this anxiety that people expect me to fail, or want me to fail in some way and I sold out of books and was able to celebrate a book that I have released myself. Our Doris is self-published and that meant having a lot of faith in my own work and my own ability as a writer.

I’m twenty-two, I have a lot more to learn about the publishing world and writing in general and it’s a world I want to be part of. Our Doris is a book I am incredibly proud of and I am prepared for bad reviews and for it not to sell but it doesn’t stop the aching hope I have in my chest that we will be successful. I want to show to the world that I can write and I can write well.

Whether I can or not is up to you, now.

Until next time, that is all.

Doris Front Cover

Our Doris £6.99

ISBN-13: 978-0993234903



Our Doris Book Launch

It’s been too long since I announced that Our Doris was coming out this year. So much so that it now has a Goodreads page, and I’ve booked a few events – check out the Events page to find all the glorious things – and I’ve read my proof copy. Although it’s not completely ready and my rather awesome friend Imelda is going through the book once more for me.

I made a list of posts to write for you and didn’t write them. I’ve spent a lot of time reading and planning another book.

I’m just going to say that Our Doris will launch on the 20th June 2015.

The Macclesfield Creative Writing Group has met at Macclesfield Library since it began in 2011. Since Our Doris was first conceived in a workshop there it seemed only fitting that I host the book launch there as well.

The event runs from 10:30am – 12:30pm. I will read passages from the book, and as only befits Doris there will be tea and cakes and a Q&A session. Tickets cost £2.00 – and each ticket holder will be placed in a raffle to win a copy of the book.

You can pre-order the book on Waterstones and Foyles, and I need to figure out how to create a pre-order button on this site.

I hope there won’t be too much of a delay between posts this time. If you start to question where I am follow me on Twitter where you can lambast me to remember to say hello to folk every now and then.

Until next time, that is all.

On Self-Publishing Our Doris

It’s no secret that self-publishing has taken off in a big way in recent years.

A lot of books are self-published daily, some say it’s due to the easiness – uploading a book to one of many POD sites and hoping for the best – and indie writers losing faith in mainstream publishing. There are arguments for and against self-publishing and there are those who still stigmatise the industry as being nothing more than vanity at its worst.

When I was younger I did not believe I would self-publish a book. Completely against the idea, I listened to everything Writing Magazine said – I would not read self-published books, would not entertain the idea that they could possibly be good.

I’m not sure when I changed my mind.

When I began to write Our Doris I did not plan on anyone else in the world seeing them. During writing bursts at the Macclesfield Creative Writing Group, I would scribble down a short anecdote about Doris and forget about it until the next week. Over time the stories grew, characters appeared, characters stayed and folk commented that they’d like to see a book about Doris.

The group have a few writers who have self-published their own books, purchasing ISBNs from Nielsens and using printers to get their books out there. I’ve helped create two anthologies that we’ve sold to local people.

I had a conversation with Margaret Holbrook, local indie author, and the idea to create a book of monologues grew from there. I would ten monologues to a set amount of words, similar to a radio series, in that each should take half an hour to be performed. I didn’t think there would be any place in mainstream publishing for the book and had grown accustomed to the idea of doing all the work myself.

I’m a bit possessive of my work so this meant I could do the cover design and book design myself. I knew that the work would most likely be difficult – I’d have to ask book shops if they would take my book and although Waterstones will accept self-published books you have to go through Gardners.

I had the backlog of material to go through and thought I could spend a month on the book, bring it out and hope the writers’ group would purchase copies. After that I envisaged nothing more happening. With Nielsens you have to buy ten ISBNs right off the bat, and I thought I’ve got about sixty years left on the planet, I could use them in that time.

I’ve researched my options – considered posting the monologues to this blog – but I like the idea of a physical book. As I finish the book, I hope to arrange some readings and have spoken to a librarian already about possibly launching my book at their library.

There’s a lot going on; I imagine it’s going to get busier because I bought a diary – I’ve not made many appointments yet – only the odd open mic, but I’m getting there.

Until next time, that is all.

The Novel Ways of Our Doris

In April 2011 I joined the Macclesfield Creative Writing Group, a new writer’s group in my hometown. Over the last years I have written various snippets of prose that have arisen from the writing bursts we embark upon each week. I used to find writing freely for fifteen minutes incredibly difficult and one week in a burst of inspiration I started one of the writing bursts with the line, ‘Our Doris has developed an unhealthy obsession with slugs’ and wrote a page about a long-suffering husband who is relating his experiences in the form of a dramatic monologue. Over the next few weeks I began to write about Doris and her husband as she went about her day-to-day life, usually with the story relating to the writing burst we were given that week.

Doris grew into a character similar to Hyacinth Bucket with more curse words and the wherewithal to throw dictionaries at reporters who don’t stay on topic. A regular cast of characters grew and as time went on I had created an entire village of characters. These characters stick in my head like family as I remember each story they’ve related through Doris.

The first flash monologue was published in the group’s anthology Macc Writes back in 2012. Bread can be viewed on Youtube, and on this blog. Since that first monologue, I have performed more monologues around Cheshire, at chapels and libraries, Seven Miles Out in Stockport and most recently at Knutsford Library as part of their Writer’s Forum where I shared the floor with Madeleine Keefe, Mollie Blake, Zara Stoneley and Joy Winkler.

Now after almost four years of living with these characters, I am exceptionally pleased to announce that Our Doris will be a book.

In summer 2015, you will be able to read all about Doris’s endeavours to become fifth house in the local garden safari. You’ll get to meet Violet Grey, husband to the philandering Doug Grey. Doris’s mortal enemy, Janice Dooley of Little Street. And at the heart of it all you’ll meet ‘arold, the gentleman who tells of his wife’s endeavours; after fifty years he’s got a bit of an idea how to deal with her.

The monologues have been expanded, characters have been added and the plot has grown beyond anything I could have hoped for when I first wrote that paragraph of ‘Slugs’ back in 2011.

The book will be available to purchase via and from certain independent book shops throughout Cheshire. Closer to the time of publication, I will hold readings where you’ll hear the monologues in action and have the opportunity to buy the book there and then.

Next week I will write about my decision to self-publish the book, but for now I want you to know that I am incredibly excited for the future. I hope that you all enjoy Our Doris because although the book has been difficult at times, and I have worried about my own skills, and despite the fact that life can so often get in the way, it has been an absolute pleasure to write.

Until next time that is all.

Doris Green Crooked Coming-page-001