2011 - How to Write a Bestseller
Written by
Helen Smith
January 2011
Written by
Helen Smith
January 2011
How has 2011 been for you?

The year 2010 ended on a high for me when I received a cheque in the post for £207.37 on 31st December. It was totally unexpected; a foreshadowing of good things to come, I hope, rather than an indication of my net worth for 2010.

This year has started well:

I signed up to donate 48 copies of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark on World Book Night, 5th March. (I won't know until 28th January if I have been selected for this honour.)

I admired the photos of Detroit in ruins by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffe that were published in the Observer on 2nd January.

I bought lots of ebooks and started reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks in paperback. It was a Christmas present and it's very good so far.

I went on my first expedition as a time travel aviatrix, which was modestly successful, although I suffered some ill effects: I hallucinated when I reached the future, and part of one of my back teeth shattered on my return.

I'm friends with the magician David Copperfield (on YouTube). He was the one who got in touch with me, actually. I don't know what first attracted him to my channel - my superhero haiku trade-off made with Xtranormal software, my tribute video to my dead dog or the comic timing of my god-children. Perhaps he liked my ill-conceived Dream Detectives episodes. Anyway, I accepted.

I haven't written anything AT ALL. But I don't mind too much because, after many years of trying unsuccessfully to generate a suitable pen name by combining favourite flowers with the first names of men I have slept with (Hyacinth Damon, Peony Paul, Jasmine Notsure), I abandoned that method and used a brand new secret formula to come up with one I like: Araminta Claremont. What do you think?

Never mind, I love it. Now I just have to write something that lives up to the name. A mystery? Something with sex in it? Perhaps a sexy mystery book about my time-travelling experiences. Yes, that's it. I'll get on to it right away.

Let's be friends

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