I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has left comments on this blog, sent me messages via Facebook or email, or have pledged their support via Patreon.
I appreciate all your kind words – and fantastic images, like this incredible sketch from Liam Findlay…
It is truly humbling to know that I have so many people thinking of me, praying for me, and even donating to receive exclusive content in order to help me out.
I’ll be honest with you, the fact that I’m about to go through six months or more of reduced earnings is just as scary to me as the thought of the cancer or its treatment.
You see, the VAST majority of authors are not millionaires. They’re not even rich. In fact, a recent study by the Society of Authors claimed that the average annual income of authors in the UK was just £11,000.
And that’s not good.
So, what we do (children’s authors especially) is visit schools, libraries and book festivals where we give talks, provide advice and run workshops in order to spread a love of reading for pleasure, and help pupils with their own creative writing.
It’s an extremely satisfying part of the job and, I’ll be honest here, if you can visit enough schools in a month, it can really help bump up your earnings and put you in a position where both of your children can have shoes.
Of course, in order to visit schools, libraries and book festivals – you have to be able to talk. And that’s where this damned disease has got me cornered.
I’ve had to cancel dozens of visits already booked in for schools, and I won’t be able to take any new bookings until I’m 100% well again.
I was due to be appearing at this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Those events have now been cancelled.
I’m the writer-in residence at three separate primary schools, including my younger son’s school. I also Patron of Reading to a secondary school. All my visits and video links to those pupils are now impossible.
All I’ve got left is my writing – and only then until the treatment doesn’t leave me in too much of a state of fatigue to get any meaningful work done.
Which is why I arranged to have advertising on this site, and why I set up my Patreon account.
But please, let me be clear…
I HATE asking for help, especially financially. I don’t want to be a charity case. If I’m going to ask people to donate, I’m going to give them value for money in return.
Which is the great thing about Patreon.
If you pledge anything from $1 (around 70p) per month, I’ll send unique content such as stories, articles, poems, jokes and much more direct to your inbox.
And, the more you are able to pledge, the more I can send you in return. There will be story starters, writing tips, info on how to create characters, build worlds, develop plots and more.
There will be advice on submitting your work to agents and publishers, and how to self-publish your work for the Kindle and other e-readers like the Nook and iBooks. Some of you will even get the no-holds barred low-down on the publishing industry – including real world facts and figures.
As I said – I want to give value for money!
So, if you would like to help or support me – please consider becoming my patron. If you can’t do that, please don’t worry. Perhaps you could share this blog post with your family and friends. That would be amazing.
If you know anyone in the media who might be able to get my story out there – please tell them about this blog. Do you know someone on Twitter with a large following who may be able to pass on details about my situation?
Or – hell, why not – maybe you could tweet your favourite celebrities and ask them to re-tweet the link to this site…
The more visitors I get (and I’m averaging around 600 per day at the moment, which isn’t bad), the more I can support my family through this difficult time, the more great stuff my patrons get sent directly to their email accounts…
…and the more I can help people who have just heard those terrifying words from their own doctor.