Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I'm published!

On Sunday afternoon I held my very own book in my hands for the first time!
It's called Taranor; a fantasy Faerie story for young adults of all ages, where girl rescues boy and animals talk, where magic abounds and goblins create art, where love blooms and courage prevails.

A year ago I went to the Swanwick Writers' Summer School for the first time. I was in awe of the published writers, they were a breed apart. They seemed superior beings, who sat with the rest of us at the dining table surrounded by an aura of mystery. This year, in August, I will be among their ranks. Well, kind of. John and I haven't done the long haul through publishers and agents. Taranor is self-published on amazon, in paperback and on kindle. It was surprisingly easy to do. Sales are slow and steady. I hope when people have read it, they will recommend it to their friends.

To be honest, even if it doesn't catch on, I'll still continue to write, as I love doing it so much. I love diving into a new world and seeing where it takes me. It would be great if I ended up in a huge house by the sea. For now, Dolly and I will be content with what we have.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Is there an undo save button?

You've finished your first novel.  You ask a friend to look through with a Big Red Pen for errors and you spend the next month eating take-aways, and ignoring everyone except the cat, while you correct the mistakes.  

You agree with your co-writer that it’s time for one last read through.  With a sinking heart you notice a continuity error fairly near the beginning of the plot.  That's OK you think, it shouldn't take long.

You’ve re-written the scene and it's so much better now.  You carry on, tidying up sentences and correcting typos, until it's time for lunch.  You go out to a warm cafe with a friend to deal with the last badly placed commas. As you boot up your laptop, a file opens from a previous session.  You insert your memory stick - in my case, called Wingless Duck.  

Wingless Duck
You order a pot of tea and laugh with your friend gaily, without a care in the world. Your book is almost finished. You join an infinitive to a straying verb and press save.

Screeching sound of brakes.

You've just saved the uncorrected copy on the screen, over your corrected one on Wingless Duck.  The morning’s precious rewrite is gone.  You search in vain for a way back, scrabbling with your cyber fingernails at the cliff-face of Word 2000.  You gasp, clap your hands to your forehead and spew a string of expletives across your pot of tea for two. 

You look at your friend - your eyes wide and lost.
"Is there an undo save button?" you ask.
Your friend slowly shakes his head.  You stare at the screen together, searching for temporary files and other magical beasts.  Your quest is in vain. You take a deep breath, order an entire chocolate cake, and start again.

Taranor, a Faerie Fantasy story for young adults of all ages, is due to be published on Amazon mid-May.