It took me 50 years to write my first novel… and six months to write my second. No. 3 is ready for editing… 4 & 5 will follow shortly afterwards. My only regret? Waiting so long to write the first.
I started my first novel, not the one I published in 2013, back in 1986. Unfortunately life got in the way and I never finished it. No wait… that’s just an excuse I use to explain why I didn’t finish it. I do just as much, if not more, with my life now as I did then but back then I didn’t have the impetus that getting older gives you. Back then I had more important things to worry about… like going to the pub (to work), like going to the pub (to socialize), like raising my family (infinitely more important than any book I might add), like dating, coffee mornings and Indian takeaways. Now I just have a full time job, three show dogs, judging appointments (canine), Dog Show Manager duties twice yearly, my grown up family and Facebook to occupy me!
I’m not sure where I get the energy from these days, in fact some days I think I must be borrowing it from years to come as I can’t ever remember having two full time hobbies (my dogs and my writing) and a full time job. Perhaps it’s energy retrieved from too many late lie in’s. Whatever it is I’m grateful for it. I promised myself more than 30 years ago that I would write a book and whatever the ‘kick up the arse’ was in 2013, three books down the line I’m glad of it.
To be truthful though I never intended publishing my first book, The Tin Man. It wasn’t until I finally plucked up the courage to show it to someone that getting it published was considered. This was a demoralizing and somewhat soul destroying process. At times it took me back to my school days when ‘you’ll never amount to anything, you can’t do that, don’t be ridiculous you’re not good enough’ were staple comments from both students and teachers alike. Being told ‘no thank you’ to something you’ve put your heart and soul into was every bit as painful as any youthful aside I ever received. In the end I couldn’t bear the rejection any longer and my daughters, sensing my ‘damaged drive’ persuaded me to go down the route of self publishing. It took no more than a couple of hours to format the final manuscript to make it compatible with Createspace’s online publishing tool. Getting the book cover done was also quite easy. However that had less to do with me and more to do with Jacalyn Eggett to whom I’m eternally grateful.
Book 2 Four Seasons: Winter of Discontent was an entirely different experience both as a writer and as a published author. This time the theme can from my daughters who suggested something a little more commercial, a little more supernatural… Again I got encouraging comments from both friends and family and it caused no end of amusement when my friend Victoria said she would ‘judge Blackpool Championship Dog show in the nude if it doesn’t get picked up’. Well to be honest I only sent it to one publisher, Accent Press. I couldn’t bear the thought of endless rejections so figured if they didn’t want it I’d go down the self-published route. It was three weeks before Blackpool Dog Show when I received an email from David Powell saying that Accent Press would like publish for me. 24 May 2014, the day my life turned around…