Sylva Fae

You’re Not Alone

20150429_150609When I created ‘Sylva Fae’ (no that’s not my real name) I ventured out into the weird world of social media in a business-like fashion. My intention was to build up useful contacts and learn how to self publish my stories. I have definitely learnt a lot but what I wasn’t expecting was these ‘connections’ would become genuine friends. One of my first Twitter followers was the lovely Lesley Hayes, author of some of my favourite books, and now someone I consider to be a dear friend. She introduced me to an Indie Author group, and there I made yet more friends.

I am in an almost unique position, being one of the only writers in the Indie Author group without a published book. As such, I have had the pleasure to read their books for fun and write reviews on a ‘pay it forward’ basis. The group’s founder Paul Ruddock has gathered together an amazing group of talented authors and genuinely nice people. All authors want to promote their work, but in this group the love of a good story and the supporting of each other, seems to take precedence over the ruthless self promotion you see elsewhere. The group covers such a wide range of skills and experience that any questions asked solicit a flood of advice and support within minutes. It makes me smile to see these connections between strangers from around the world growing into friendships.

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You'reNotAloneA short while ago, Ian D. Moore, author of Salby Damned, put out a call for help. He wanted to put together an anthology of short stories to raise money for charity. Without really knowing much more, people volunteered, lots of people! Another example of the kindness of strangers coming together to support another. The anthology was to be in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and dedicated to the memory of his mother-in-law Pamela Winton. I never got to meet Pamela, but she has become symbolic of all the friends and relatives the group members have lost to cancer. This project, while very personal to Ian, has become a chance for each of us to give thanks to all the healthcare professionals who cared for our loved ones, but in particular to honour the Macmillan nurses.

I was honoured to take my place on the team with such a talented group of authors. It was decided that the theme would be ‘relationships’ and that any genre linked to this theme would be included. In addition to writing my own story for the anthology, I have worked with the editing team and been part of the decision making processes. Reading through all the stories submitted, made me realise just how proud I am to be a part of this venture.

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I asked my mum, artist Christine Southworth, if she would design a cover and she was happy to help. Ian and I gave mum a vague idea of our vision for the cover and that it needed to convey a feeling of hope. Mum set to work and quickly produced a few sketches. One stood out as perfect. Nico Laeser, author, artist, technical wizard and all round nice guy, worked his magic to turn mum’s sketch into a cover. The result was better than we could have hoped for.

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Coming up with a title was probably the hardest part of the process. Picture a group of outspoken, creative minds all trying to agree on one thing – at one point I thought it would never be resolved. While reading about the work Macmillan do, I discovered their ‘Not Alone‘ campaign and suggested it to the team. Ian changed it to You’re Not Alone and our anthology had its title. It connects the relationships theme with the cover image and the Macmillan campaign, and also conveys hope – perfect!

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youre-not-alone-43d1And so, the book is almost ready for publishing; it’s really exciting to be this close to seeing all the many hours of hard work reaching completion. But this is only the start of the story. To support and raise money for Macmillan we now need to promote and sell our book.

Please show your support by liking and following the You’re Not Alone Facebook page. We will shortly be posting a link showing where you can buy You’re Not Alone. 100% of the net royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Pamela Winton Fund, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

If you would like to donate directly to The Pamela Mary Winton Tribute fund the link is on the You’re Not Alone Facebook page. This fund is in Pamela’s name but all donations go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Any kind donations will be gratefully received.

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For me this project has not really been about creating a book, it has been about the kindness of others, all the authors and artists who shared their talents and time to create something good. It is a reminder that in giving we receive far more in return. These connections we make are special, and when we work together, we can achieve great things. In this faceless world of social media it’s nice to remember You’re Not Alone.


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16 thoughts on “You’re Not Alone

  1. AvatarLesley Hayes

    What an incredible blog post! You have written it so well, and explained so carefully the unfolding process that led to the book and to the post of almost publication that we’ve reached now. And thank you for your kind words about me. The universe brought us together and nothing but good has come of that. It’s lovely for me to see how you continue to blossom. 🙂

  2. AvatarTom Benson

    This is a wonderful blog post and tribute in its own right. I agree with Lesley about your explanation. To the uninitiated, it would not be clear just how much effort and support you and your mother have personally given to the idea of the anthology, but rest assured – it is recognised by all of us.
    I’m looking forward to the finished article and like many others I’ll be promoting the title and all the efforts that have gone into the production.
    I look forward to the day when I see your name in our ranks promoting a title of your own.
    All the best.

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Thank you Tom, what a lovely thing to say. We have a good team and everyone’s contribution is valuable.

  3. AvatarSallyann

    Very well said Sylva! You’ve covered every point from opinionated artists, right up to donations. It’s been an honour to work with the group, and now to consider them friends. Seeing so many people, from so far and wide, come together for such a cause, makes you realise anything is possible.
    Best wishes to you.

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Opinionated, me? Surely not. I am genuinely proud to be a part of it all, my late night crime fighting partner. Xxx

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      We have the amazing talents of Christine Southworth and Nico Laeser to thank for the AWESOME cover. Thank you for your support Michelle.

  4. AvatarStephanie

    What a lovely post about an amazing group of people and a wonderful idea becoming a reality. Thanks for sharing this and I’ll be sure to help spread the word.

    All the best,
    Stephanie

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Thank you Stephanie for your kind words and support. The more people who spread the word, the more we can raise for this great cause. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.
      All the best to you too
      Sylva x

  5. AvatarAnni Stewart

    I have so much admiration for all of you folks who have worked on this amazing project. I look forward to reading the anthology and will encourage friends to do so.

  6. AvatarIan D Moore

    I loved this post, very passionate, heartfelt and genuine. The creation of the anthology has certainly been testing at times and in a way, the ultimate test of what were really only ever newly formed friendships when the first call was sent out. This collection from around the world represents the power of good that the internet can be put to, it shows the compassion that people have, even if we never get to shake their hands or give them a squeezey hug. For us all it has been an experience to be remembered, producing something that we can be proud of for generations to come. It is a gift that keeps on giving in so many ways and I for one am indebted to each and every soul involved in the creation of this work. In you, I found the voice of reason, a voice of calm negotiation and an underlying sense of commitment despite our often wild differences of opinion. Often as not, the outside is never all there is, it takes a special kind of person to see what’s inside, and an even rarer person to continue on that path to see if it was worth it. It will be a fine day when I get to review your first work and with luck, not too far into the future when it arrives. My sincere thanks for your help, guidance and tenacity 🙂

    1. Sylva FaeSylva Fae Post author

      Thanks Ian. Being involved in this project has been a fantastic experience and one I hope to repeat next year. In the meantime, I hope this anthology is successful and raises lots of money for Macmillan.

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