cover design by Olivia Frisbie
For those of you who have been following me for a little while, you will know that I am on the brink of self publishing my novel, ‘Playing Along’.
Well actually I’ve been on the brink of self publishing my novel for the last six months. My husband will tell you that I became distracted, like when I’m folding the laundry, only to stop mid fold and wander off to write an email or wash up one or two dishes. I can’t actually tolerate doing all the dishes at the same time. The truth is – some of the dishes annoy me. Especially the wooden spoons whose cracking faces encrusted with dried up scrambled egg stare at me doltishly. I’m ashamed to admit I often ignore the wooden spoons.
“You see,” says my husband, “You’ve done it again. You began by talking about the book, but now you’re onto eggs and spoons.”
And he’s right. I do wander. When life tries to squeeze me into a rigid framework, I internally rebel. I meander through fields in my head threading daisy chains and gazing at the clouds making shapes in the sky – ice cream cones, sleeping hippos, floating binoculars. I might be driving around the city looking relatively organised and together, conversing with teachers and cashiers, brushing my hair, but inside I’m laconic. Messy. A little bit looney. Inside I’m lazy in a lovely sort of way.
Stitching stories from bits and pieces. Missing steps.
Ahh yes, my book. I’m almost there. I promise. Even as I type this, the manuscript sits beside me waiting to be proofread – again. I’ve proofread this bloody book so many times that I no longer see the mistakes. They have become the fabric of the text -little lurking blemishes.
But every time I re-read it I still have to physically restrain myself from tweezing and tweaking. Nipping and tucking. Adding and subtracting. It’s hell. At this stage of formatting, if I make any more changes I pay for them. So all I really need to do is sign it off and deliver it into the ready and waiting arms of Amazon.
It’s that simple right? I let it go. With love and trust.
Like sending an eighteen year old off on his gap year.
“Don’t lose your back pack!”
“Come back altered…”
Because that’s what happens when you let something go. It changes. Once my book leaves my clutches it becomes less about me and more about you – the reader. I’m entrusting you to take an interest. To write a kind review. To be bothered. To be amused. And in doing so, my book is no longer ‘my’ book but it hopefully becomes one of ‘your’ books. A story that you drink up and enjoy. A path to a smile.
I keep reading scary self publishing articles telling me I need to know exactly who my reader is. I need to be extremely clear about who this book was written for. I need to target my tribe and deliver the goods – or else. Or else what? If I’m lucky I sell twenty copies, maybe twenty-one if the receptionist at my dentist is feeling sorry for me and buys two – one for her and one for her daughter who is also the receptionist at my dentist.
The pressure is suffocating. No wonder I’m still glancing guiltily at my manuscript and writing about eggs instead.
Who did I write the book for?
For me. For my sister who is a sucker for a good old fashioned romance and went to a Keane concert and came home convinced that the Tom Chaplin was singing a song directly to her. She planted the seed. George and Lexi were born and I delivered them to her in short email installments every week. Except for the weeks when I became distracted by spoons, or eggs, or daisy chains.
So if I do in fact have a tribe ‘out there’ I don’t yet know who they are.
Maybe you can help. Maybe you can read ‘Playing Along’ when I eventually send it on its way with clean socks and underwear and a disposable camera. I’m really truly hoping that I’ll be done being distracted very soon and that will result in you being able to buy my book in January. Please do!
Be part of this adventure. Be the friend that my book meets on that infamous gap year. Take a picture of yourself reading it. Send it to me. Tell another friend to do the same.
I’ll be here writing the sequel. Once the washing up is finished. Well – some of it – anyway.
At this point it only seems fair to give you (drum roll please!) THE BLURB!
Meet George and Lexi. They’ve been waiting…
Two Lives. Two Continents. One Song…
Then: George Bryce was an awkward, English schoolboy fantasizing about being in a band.
Now: George is frontman of Thesis, an overnight indie scene sensation. Intense, creative and self-deprecating, his childhood dreams have all been fulfilled – so why does George still feel so lost?
Then: Lexi Jacobs was a confident Californian high school cheerleader, planning her future marriage and a meaningful career.
Now: Lexi is searching for substance in a life full of mishaps. Cautious, bemused and rapidly losing the control she used to rely on, none of her teenage dreams have delivered and she’s left wondering, “What next?”
Follow George and Lexi as they navigate their days thousands of miles apart. Fly with them from London to LA and back again, as George copes with the dynamics of his tight knit band and loose knit family, while Lexi juggles her eccentric new boss, bored best friend and smother mother.
Even though there’s an ocean between them and their worlds couldn’t be further apart, George and Lexi are pulled together through music, and their paths appear determined to cross.
The question is – when?
At the end of this delightfully quirky, irresitable book, you too will be left wondering which of your fantasies are destined to come true…
Do you have a seed that needs planting? What distracts you? Reflect on setting your mind to something and see what feelings come up.
We all have wonderful imaginations, but often they play the biggest role in attempting to stop us from watering our precious seeds. We become professionals at inventing all the reasons why our seed will never grow, before we’ve even begun tending it.
Write for 10 minutes. See what sprouts!
I’d love to hear from you…