It's funny how things turn out. It has taken me sixteen years to write Rob's story. Sixteen years of writing a little, leaving it for months, then writing some more, only to end up having FUTURE CONFRONTED published on Rob's birthday. It wasn't my plan to be published on his birthday, but as everything started coming together it seemed a real possibility that this date could be achieved.
I have the good fortune of having made some very special friends on a Facebook group to which I happily belong - https://www.facebook.com/thereviewgroup - A fabulous group of like-minded people. It was here that I received great encouragement, as I had started to doubt that I could ever get the book published at all. One person in particular, Paula Lofting, historical author and B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree for her book Sons of the Wolf, has helped me immensely, and I am going to use this blog to sincerely thank her for her faith in me. She offered to read the first two chapters. She came back and said that she loved it. The confidence that this gave me was immeasurable. Later on she asked me if I had a proof-reader yet, or an editor, which I hadn't. My thoughts hadn't strayed that far as I doubted that my book would ever come to fruition.
Paula introduced me to Michelle Gent of http://www.gingernutbooks.co.uk/., who, apart from being a published author and film-maker, is a proof-reader and editor. She is another special lady, who has now become a special friend. Paula, Michelle and I had a three-way conversation on Facebook PM. Well, all I can say is this: it was the most interesting and exciting conversation that I have had in a long time. At the end of our conversation I not only had two proof-readers, Michelle and Paula, I also had my editor, Michelle.
The editing process for me was extremely difficult. I found that the only way that I could cope with it was to put my ego on the shelf and leave it there. The revelation was, that after I had accepted the edits, my work read so much better, smoother. It had been improved.
I knew that I wanted to go the independent publishing route, and had planned to go with Amazon's KDP. I had even downloaded the free books that Amazon provide for those wishing to do this. Yes, they were very instructional. Yes, the books take you through stage by stage, with pictures for those (like me) who need to see what it is that they have to do. Great. Well, it is if you have the confidence to take the leap. I, on the other hand had not the confidence. I would have been happier if there had been someone beside me showing me what to do. I learn better that way. During our three way conversation on Facebook PM, Michelle said that they were an independent publishing company and could publish my book if I didn't want to go down the KDP route. Well, over the next few days I gave it great consideration, and decided to go with Michelle's company Gingernut Books. I am so pleased that I did. Straight away all the stress that I had been experiencing had gone. I handed my manuscript over to Michelle and Paula lock stock and barrel. After they had gone through it, and I had accepted the changes, it was down to Trevor Gent of Gingernut Books to do the publishing. Although Gingernut Books do book cover designs, I had already had my cover designed by a special person whose impressive work I had seen earlier in the year, Dave Slaney. He made me a beautiful cover, and I am totally overjoyed with it.
4th December drew closer and closer, I was getting not only excited but apprehensive. A few telephone calls, and Facebook PMs and things were settled, et voila, magically FUTURE CONFRONTED was published. It was totally painless, in fact it was an amazing feeling.
Paula Lofting arranged an amazing book launch for me through The Review Group. It was outstanding. There were shared posts throughout the day, messages of encouragement, messages from people who had experienced the same devastation as we had. There were also messages from people just to tell me that they had purchased my book. I was so overwhelmed, and humbled. I had a message in the early evening from someone who had bought it earlier in the day, and had finished it in one sitting simply because he found it difficult to put down.
What a week it has been already, and it is only Thursday. By the end of the week I shall have some paperback editions of my book delivered to me. That will be the tangible evidence, for me, that I indeed have had my book published. I will be able to hold it, flick through it, and place it on my bookshelf. For me it will be the full stop to all the hard work over the years to get Rob's book written and then published. All the tears, all the crises, all my doubts came to an end on 4th December 2013.
Thank you to everyone who made this mammoth task possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.