“I’m so excited! I am published, have a spot on Amazon, an e-book, ISBN, a beautiful copy of my book (cover and all) to hold in my hands and attend book fairs where I’m the one standing behind the banner signing copies.
This is what I wanted, this is what I dreamed of and there isn’t a big, intimidating publishing house in sight!”
The answer’s in the question – “How should I publish my book?” Hand over my life’s work (well, the past six years anyway) to an agent, ergo a publisher with their interfering financiers, salespeople, marketers and targets? I’d worked hard on my novel, juggled my life and my treasured characters; found my voice, lost my voice, dragged my family into research and then (leaving them out) wrestled it into the story. It is my novel and I believe it is the best novel ever written. I am going to self-publish my book.
Thank the land for the help and perseverance of Douglas, Charlotte and designers at SPP. When I set out on this self-publishing mission, I knew nothing about what I needed to do – and it showed! I’m not sure how many times the manuscript, the cover and the internals went back and forth. Poor Charlotte was ready to go to print with the internals, when I sent her twenty pages worth of amendments. Still, nobody twitched. Thank you, chaps.
The inspiration and creation of the book
Greenday, yes the American punk band, Last Night on Earth slunk out of my playlist the other day. I found myself smiling, it was a jaw aching three-by-niner. Along with, I Will, Tubthumping, Life of Riley; Last Night on Earth is one of my favourite songs. At a recent meeting of the Hampshire Writers Society, of which I am a member, we discussed song lyrics.
But, it’s not just the lyrics, is it? There’s a memory connected to that song. That memory coupled with the emotions that it gives rise to, brings on that three-by-nine smile. It’s the same with smells – we all love the baking day scent or the smell of Sunday morning coffee brewing.
So, as most writers do, I exploited this ephemeral find.
I took away the memories of my protagonist, Teddy. With them, his feelings went as well, as did his emotions leaving him totally under the control of László who remained completely compos mentis. Determined to get those good times back, Teddy has to re-explore this fantastic, cerebral link. Being the adorable character that he is, it is left to his body to see just how strong the bond between mind and matter is.
Possibly it is luck, but I love research. I think of it as a reason to be a pedestrian rather than take the car, walk in the rain, trek through the woods or along the beach, gaze at the night sky, the morning sky or the architecture. For less aesthetic times, there’s the library or the internet. My beloved Teddy speaks old west slang and this research was the most fun of all – discovering the wonderful, surprisingly clean words and sayings used by the folks of the 1800s frontier.
At a recent talk by Simon Hall, the TV Detective, he mentioned that characters were his inspiration. So, I suppose I think of A Bite of the Past as Teddy’s story. Teddy tops the inexhaustible list of favourites about this novel. I enjoyed creating and writing his nemesis László too though. And Teddy’s father, his girlfriend, his sisters and even the cowpokes.
A Bite of the Past is available now on Amazon.
“Teddy, mein Schatzi, this is the Wild West, isn’t it? Murder is what people do to each other here…no one will notice.” Over one hundred years later, Teddy lives in a manor house on the south coast of England, knowing nothing but the senses, emotions and memories allowed to him by his only friend, László. Because László knows best… A misplaced stumble into the empty stable sparks a memory that is fresh, fortuitous and precious; Teddy is hooked. He determines to escape László and recapture his place in time, his inheritance and his family. But love and his internal demon have plans of their own for him. The question is: can he control them? Does he want to take another BITE OF THE PAST?