March 31, 2012

So long

The decision has been made to allow this blog to be reborn.

Times change and to mark this you will now find my musings on my website:
http://www.barbaraford-hammond.com/

Please come along and join in.

See you there x

September 29, 2011

The Conditions of the Writer

Book idea – check

Propose – check

Contract, write, publish – check, check, check.


What then? The bit that is kept quiet. This is the time you sell your soul to anyone that makes eye contact: in the virtual or the real world.


It involves pestering contacting: often after stalking searching for, various editors, journalists, reviewers, bloggers, radio hosts, TV peeps and people in general who you think might say nice things or even write about you and/or your book.


Many authors suffer with the heebie jeebies before they’ve even made a scratch on the slate. They want to write to be published but manage to fill themselves with fear. There are those who take 23 years to complete a novel. Unlikely it took that long, that was the time spent getting up some bravery to do something with it.


The process of selling yourself is the same whether you have a publisher or do it yourself – it just happens at different stages.

The neurotic writer is also a bit schizophrenic and the other personality is paranoid. Interestingly this can happen all at once while they worry about pitching to journalists. Why is that?

Because they might laugh?

Because they will ignore your emails or they are always in a meeting if you call?


Because all you really want to say is, ‘Please write about me. Go on. Please. Pick me. Pick me. Just do it, damn you!'


If no reply you decide they don’t like you. You make this assumption about someone when you don’t even know what they look like. It’s easy.


What can be done?

Do not take things personally

Do not get flouncy and defensive

Remember everything is about timing. If one ignores you or doesn’t respond the next one might not. They probably will but the one after…


As the RAF officer shouted to the cadets in the rain, ‘Man up! Skin is waterproof!”


Are all writers neurotic? No, but it might help.


The answer really is to ‘let it go’. Try not to stress about the outcome. Keep smiling and carry on.


Thanks for reading. Now buy my book. Go on. No, really go on :)


It's called The Psychic Way and people have said nice things!


September 24, 2011

Reading, Writing and Many Red Ticks


Two of the things I love in life; apart from my family, the sea, being warm and, of course, very dark chocolate, is to write and read.

Can you therefore imagine my excitement and the sound of my squealing at having another fabulous imprint to run and my new book accepted for publication before the one I’ve just about finished?

I already have 6th Books, which covers investigations, explanations and deliberations on the paranormal, supernatural, explainable or unexplainable.

Drum roll, fanfare, clash of the cymbals… please allow me to introduce my shiny new imprint:-

Psyche Books - The study of the mind: interactions, behaviours, functions. Developing and learning our understanding of self.

Psyche covers all aspects of psychology and matters relating to the head.

How very brilliant is that? I am most pleased. The publisher website redesign will launch in October and I’ll let you know the moment it happens.

Now, about my new book. It is about hypnosis: what it is, what it isn’t, how to and why. I hope it will be entrancing! Two books in the pipeline? Get me :)

So, the opportunity to write for publication is coupled with getting to read book proposals and partner with other authors in the world of books.

If your knowledge or work falls into either 6th or Psyche you know where I am. But, please don’t send me nonsense or start your message with, ‘Can you tell me how to get published? I am desperate to be in print and make millions.’

Also, it doesn’t bode well if your enquiry email is strewn with typos. We all make mistakes. I often end up in a giggly heap reading back my own work but it is shocking how people don’t bother. This shows lack of care and it makes the red pen twitch.

There is a self-destruct mechanism in many published and would-be authors (not just authors, this happens in many careers and experiences) whereby people don’t really want to get successful in their career/relationships or life in general because they thrive on the process, the martyrdom and particularly the woe is me drama. Self-sabotage is very much the norm for many. Fear of failure goes hand-in-hand with the fear of success. Ha ha, listen to me being all Freudian, can you feel a book coming on…

I have a piece on The Psychic way on Watkins Review blog

Thank you for reading x

August 30, 2011

The Risk of Typecast or What’s in a Name?

Who are you? What do you do?

Who am I? What do I do?

How do you describe yourself? By your name, role in life or your job? How do we define ourselves? Do we even need to?

There are books written (usually for women) about finding yourself. The strap is something like; daughter, sister, wife, mother… now it’s time to be you. But, who are you? As the Caterpillar asked Alice.

When I became a hypnotherapist in the early nineties I happily called myself that even though I usually had to follow it with a description or listen to comments like, ‘oh best not look into your eyes,’ or ‘bet you can’t hypnotise me.’ Because that's what people say to hypnotists. Still!

As my practice grew I added in other things ranging from coaching and speaking to hosting workshops, teaching, to being involved in the more esoteric subjects. Later on I became an author and now also a publisher. So many job titles to list on a business card I decided to bundle them. Holistic therapist and muse seemed to cover it. Or, so I thought until Jane Alexander wrote, ‘she describes herself as ‘a holistic therapist and muse’ which would, under normal circumstances, make me narrow my eyes and pick up my foot.’ Oh! She does go on to say I’m alright but…

Back to the list or pick one and stick to it? Therein lies the problem. It isn’t about feathers in my cap. The fear of rut, habit or repetitive behaviour is rife. I am the mistress of job reinvention. Today Matthew I’m a writer and blogger. Tomorrow I’ll be off to London for a media event so will take on the role of luvvie.

While we’re at it think about actors. How do they manage? They may well just say, ‘I act’ but think of, Barbara Windsor, for example. Depending on your age she is either the booby blonde with the pinging bikini top in Carry on Camping or she is mother to the Mitchell brothers and lived in the Queen Vic on Albert Square.

Elizabeth Taylor. For all of her beauty and brilliance she is either coupled with horses or pyramids.

Type Daniel Radcliffe into Google and you are instantly informed of his role as Harry Potter. It’s not a role. He is him!

Names become typecast in different generations. We have old people names: Doris, Wilbur. We judge people on their name as if that is who they are, their identity. I’m not mentioning any because I know some have already jumped into your head.

Mandy is always a popular girl even though, ‘I’m Mandy fly me’ isn’t about a high-heeled red-lipped cabin crew hottie welcoming into you on board a 747.

This train of thought burst out when I was adding the finishing flourishes to my next book, Past Life Regression Made Easy. Last week I decided to make Past Life Tourism free as an app and on Smashwords.

Now, I love past life work and everything to do with it but felt a little sick at the thought that that is what I would be known as. I've written about this before but travel back in time with me 12 years or so to when I signed with the delicious literary agent, Serafina Clarke, who at the time represented Joanne Harris. Her of Chocolat fame. See, how easy it is to label.

My book then was about breast enhancement using hypnosis. Fortunately no-one wanted it. I feel relief to this day at that result. I would have forever been known as the Hypno-tit.

What to do? I think the answer is to propose another book to be popped in-between The Psychic Way and Past Life Regression Made Easy.

And, hope jolly hard my publisher understands my logic.

August 03, 2011

Early Days

I mentioned before that the book was here but without the gory details. Now I’ve recovered I can speak properly!

Birth date equals publication date if we are keeping with the birthing theme. And, what’s in a date? Babies, books and buses all come when they are ready.

O books/John Hunt Publishing is run with an open database system, meaning all authors can check (obsess) (moi?) stages of their creation, gestation and delivery progress.

My labour pains started when I saw that my book had been delivered to the warehouse. In reality those oh so familiar twinges, that you only recall when they begin again, had kicked off long before that but I have forgotten already.

How long would I need to breathe slowly and deeply until I received my copies and saw them in the flesh? Not long at all.

A gentle tap at the door coupled with a flip of the tummy heralded the moment of truth and there they were. In my hands. My beautiful books. I know I’m probably a little biased but they really are! There is no fear of anyone taking a sharp intake of breath when they first clap eyes on one. No worry of embarrassment as they try not to make eye contact while thinking ‘wtf’.

Whether or not the reader will enjoy the contents is another matter. It’s like having the best-behaved child at home who turns into a monster when out of sight. We never really know. So far nice things have been said. Jane Alexander, she of many books, features, columns and blogs tweeted that she was, ‘INHALING it’ while ‘nodding lots’ and then added, ‘You are so brilliantly sane about stuff.’

Never ever been called sane before. That’s definitely going on my cv.

The next phase is one of stalking. Finding people to say and write nice things. In my excitement yesterday I thought I’d email the Grazia Book Club. Sorted out the address clicked save but it turned out to be send. So, before anything else a blank email from me whizzed to them followed by an apologetic squirmy one and if I wasn’t rendered into spam they probably think I’m a clueless numptie.

Well, I’m not. I’ve got it in writing… sane I tell you!

One of the plans to celebrate the release is a retreat in September/October. I’ll share more in a few days.

In the meantime if you buy the book you may have a free meditation. Details here The Psychic Way

I also emailed O, the Oprah Magazine. What’s the worst that can happen?

July 21, 2011

Roll up! Roll up! It’s only 6 degrees

My copies of, The Psychic Way have arrived. The feeling is amazing when you see your creation ‘in the flesh’ and I want to tell the world.

So, I’m telling you and I’d be very grateful if you tell everyone you know. And if they tell everyone they know within 6 teeny tiny degrees of interconnectivity the world will indeed know.

Then, all everyone has to do is buy a copy. There! Simples!

If you read the last entry, I’ll wait in case you haven’t … … you’ll know all about the emotional roller-coaster authors are on. You might think it bit dramatic but I can assure you it isn’t.

When you write a book and then put it out there it is like sticking your heart to your forehead and saying, ‘poke me’. No, really. Poke. A little harder if you like. This is one of the things many authors find hard.

I’ve been getting emails, proposals and a variety of messages from authors for 6th Books: some brand new and some already published, and it is clear that they need to toughen up. I know that there are people (admittedly strange folk) who won’t like my book. I don’t like all the books I read and it would be a dull old world if we all agreed about everything so it is important to not take things personally.

This must be balanced with graciously accepting praise to allow the ego to be massaged, as in, “It’s like a bible of psychic stuff.” Thank you Andy Jackson from Wave 105. I like that, a lot.

Stephen King, in his fantastic book, On Writing, talks about the, ‘Ideal Reader’ (IR) and it made me think about who is my IR. I’m pretty sure it’s you! And, if it isn’t you it may well be someone you know.

If you’d like more information on The Psychic Way please visit the website. Link on right.

A final thought - these days it isn’t even necessary for any of us to roll up. All we need is the button and the order made. If you are a clicky button person may I recommend The Book Depository, link to the right. All books have free postage.

Thank you. Looking forward to feedback (so long as it’s nice :)) x

July 07, 2011

Book Birth



The Book Depository tells me there are 50 days until The Psychic Way is released. That’s not long, is it?


The process of writing and having a book published is like giving birth with all the same feelings. True, you can be a bit calmer after surviving the first as you know how the process works but although each experience is unique the similarities are there. As labour starts you get an instant wave of, 'Oh, I remember now!'


It goes something like this:

Foreplay – I want to write a book
Climax – I’m going to write a book. Are you with me ;)
Conception – The idea for a book has gelled
Incubation – I’m writing a book
1st trimester – I’m good at Solitaire
Worries – My book is rubbish
Recovery – My book is brilliant
2nd trimester – I’m also good at online Mahjong
Worries – What if they say no, get a real job
Mid-way – The publisher said yes
3rd trimester – My book is being edited, proofed and printed
Worries – What if they change their mind
Close to due date – Excitement and fear in a bundle
Closer still - Little shows and teasers
Labour – Might come early. Keep breathing
Birth – Push it out there and hope no one thinks it’s ugly…

As I near the birth of my 2nd book I am excited. I tweeted the other day that the book is at the printers and the happy butterflies are so manic I think I’m having Braxton Hicks.

I’ll keep you posted should I get any twinges x

June 18, 2011

Getting Down and Lucky

"It just shows what can be done by taking a little trouble," said Eeyore. "Do you see, Pooh? Do you see, Piglet? Brains first and then Hard Work."
The House at Pooh Corner


Yet another person has told me how lucky I am because my husband and I have just returned from a Greek island.
Many times luck is mentioned when I talk about writing. One person actually said, “You have a publisher? A real one? Gosh, you are lucky!”
I, apparently, have tons of luck that has resulted in my wonderful family, delightful friends, flourishing career and beautiful home in the country. How did it all happen?

Well, I was strolling about one day minding my own business when ‘wham’ it all fell out of the sky at my feet! Imagine that. Yes, dream on.
There are differing kinds of luck: “With my luck I’ll probably get run over” or “I never win anything” or, “He always comes up smelling of roses” and, “Lucky bitch.”
Is it luck when someone wins a gold medal or lifts aloft the shiny cup? What about when you pitch for business and get the contract?

Arnold Palmer once said, “It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.”

I have all that I’ve got through hard work and making choices. I have had bad things happen and gone through very bad times. However, I have survived to tell the tale.
This shows that luck is a state of mind. Everything you, and I, do comes from thought, self-belief and action. So often clients tell me they can’t do something. Their evidence is that they tried before but weren’t successful. They start everything new thing from old programming. It’s like trying to cook a meal on a cooker that doesn’t really work. You end up hungry so bin it and get a takeout. You then announce you can’t cook. Or, someone says, “I’ve been cosmic ordering. It doesn’t work, I’m still poor.”

When I question my clients it turns out, that they got exactly what they believed they would. Every time. It’s no good having the thought and planning your dream if you are shaking your head on the inside. Well, I’ll put it in the pan and on the stove but it won’t cook!
All this does is waste energy and burrow deep into the confirmation of negativity. I expect to succeed. I expect to win. Sometimes the path is rocky but that only adds to the fun and challenge.
Imagine how your life might be if you had all the luck in the world. What would be happening and how would you feel? It is good or worrying?
Surprisingly many people decide they aren’t worthy and that is the pattern of failure they repeat. Change that now. You are worthy, gorgeous, successful and good fortune is your right.
While we are at it we must also be grateful and count our blessings.
Love from me – the one living a charmed life!


New book, The Psychic Way, Fine-tuning Your Intuition, will be out in August.

March 01, 2011

Sticky and Spooky

Only 5 months since last update - I'm doing well. All is good in Ford Towers. Charlie, ancient tomorrow as she hits 32, is busy incubating her 3rd baby due in May. The little boys are very excited as are the rest of us. Charlie has started a new business called Pretty Delights, link on the left if you're interested. It is an online shop selling many things and they all come beautifully wrapped.

Talking of births... my new book, The Psychic Way will be out in August and I am now writing my next one, Past Life Regression Made Easy.
And, in other birth news: the stick insects are now numbering 15. They don't do a lot except hang about being stick-like and eating everything in sight as long as it's privet. Privet used to be everywhere but not now it seems and our one bush is itself looking very stick-like too.

Right, so I said I'd share the ghost story. I stayed in a gite all alone while I was in France and in the night woke up because I thought the bedroom door had opened. When I looked though it was still shut. The following night it happened again and I 'felt' someone looking at me from the other side of the bed. Now, I'm not afraid of spooks or things that go bump in the night but I don't like it if something makes me jump.

So I said out loud, 'if anyone is there please don't make me leap out of my skin.' I said it in english as I don't know the french for such a dilema but I couldn't see anyone even though I continued to feel someone looking at me intently. It actually made me feel cozy and comfortable, and I dozed back off with that lovely feeling of being safe and nurtured.
When I mentioned it to Jackie, the owner, she smiled sweetly and said, 'oh yes that's what she does.'
Apparently an old lady visits and likes to just look. She is particularly fond of children and some of the owners' relatives asked them to ask her to not stand at the end of the bed as they found it a little disturbing! Jackie also mentioned the bum imprint that is sometimes left on the sofa in the living room. This time however she restricted her visit to my bedroom.

Lastly, for now, my imprint within John Hunt Publishing is up and running. It is called 6th Books and the link to the details are under the O.



Details through here

If you are a potential author please get in touch.

Thanks for reading x

October 15, 2010

I have had a few urges to update this blog and then I think oh I'll just tweet or facebook.
This time though ...

Right then. What shall I share? Trips?
Mick and I have been to Greece twice this year. The first time we island hopped without anything pre-booked and had a good if hectic time. The second visit was to Skala Eressos Lesvos. We had the best time and spent a whole week dossing interspersed with sleeping (lots), reading (lots), moving from one taverna to the next (exhausting and resulting in the need for more sleep) and swimming every day in the warm Aegean. Bliss is an understatement. We had the obligatory bus journey across the mountains - it has to be done to test one's bravery. On the previous holiday we ended up on Syros and stayed in a little bay called Kini. The driver on that bus was able to roll a cigarette, read a paper, read and send text messages and talk on his mobile. The buses seem to magically stay on the edge of the mountains where our only protection is the occasional gorse bush or goat.

I have been to France recently and hosted a salon that was organised by the intrepid Maria at O Books. I stayed in a fabulous gite all alone apart from the ghost. If anyone is interested in my ghostly encounter I'll share the story another time. Maria took me to meet Catherine, Jim and Moriarty at Grue Demoiselle and I am thrilled to announce that I will be teaching there sometime on a residential training retreat.

Back home for a week before Mick and I popped to Jersey and stepped back into the eighties. The only thing missing was Basil! The hotel had a business centre with a fax machine ... when I mentioned wifi they almost made the sign of the cross in terror.
We haven't anything else planned as yet but are thinking of whizzing to Cornwall sometime.

The other bit of exciting news - actually there is a lot more but I'll drip it rather than bombard you - is that not only do I now have a beautiful room to see clients at Pure in Alton we are hosting workshops there. Please visit the link on left for more information.

Right then back to work. I know I've said it before (many times) but I will do my best to update this blog.

Take care and thanks for reading.
x