That is the name of my upcoming book. It was going to be God Bothering but when people saw my cover and the title they assumed it was a tract on theology. So with a little help from my friends it has a new name.
Today, well very late yesterday, it was sent to my editor (doesn’t that sounds presumptuous?) for a final read through and tidy up. My darling beta readers have had their comments adopted (or rejected, but everso nicely) and it is finished. When I get it back I will then be read through one more time and then I publish. Coo! A second book.
I love writing books; it really floats my boat. It’s why I tap at a keyboard at all sorts of daft hours. But now I’m excited by this whole publishing malarkey. So I fell to thinking about why I wanted to publish. Was there one reason? And I concluded, no, there are several.
1. I’ve said it before but by publishing, it stops me from tinkering. My first book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, went through countless edits and, by the end, I was changing things around without ever saying anything new. Just finding a new form of words to say the same thing. I hoped publishing – letting the child go out into the world on his own – would put a stop to that and it has. Huzzah!
2. Several people wanted to read it, when they had heard I’d written it. I could have let them have a pdf but that seemed a bit scrappy so offering them a real tangible thing felt like the best way to meet that need.
3. While I try and disown it and do my best to curtail its worst excesses, as the previous paragraph will have highlighted, I have an ENORMOUS EGO. So seeing my name in print made me glow just a tad. Who am I kidding? I BURST WITH PRIDE!
4. I did not expect to make money. I knew it would almost certainly cost me more to launch it that not. I was determined to keep the outgoings to the minimum but even so. So I thought publication should do some good and I decided to offer all the proceeds to charity – in this case The Streatham Youth and Community Trust. I recently received some £200 in royalties. No, not big money but it will all help. And it felt good!
5. Getting a book up in lights has definitely stimulated me to do more; I came to this writing lark late in life (and was suitably chastised by an article in today’s paper that said David Lodge and Kazuo Ishiguro believe writer’s peaks are in their mid forties – hmm) and set off like a train. I have a siding full of manuscripts in various stages of completion so I’m not stopping any time soon. It is a consequence of publishing however that I am now fully engaged in getting the next one released and so on.
6. Publication has been vindication. I wrote but I wasn’t a writer. That silliness stayed until I published when I became ‘an author’. In my head. Somewhere between my heart and my bowel I know I am a fraud to think that, but logic says, if you’ve published a book you can call yourself an author. Of course you can call yourself that a long time before publication but, for me, it has been the tipping point. Even if, when you tell people, in response the utterly and ineffably tedious ‘and what do you do?’ question at a dinner or party you reply, ‘I am an author’ they ask ‘who published your book?’ Cretins. Visigoths. Bashi-Bazouks. Rumpelstiltskins. The worst offenders don’t even ask: ‘ what have you written?’
7. It stops my children nagging me to publish and friends asking ‘when will you publish?’.
8. I have a source of ready made birthday, anniversary, wedding and Christmas gifts.
9. One hopes that in some small way my actions and impact will be remembered by those who knew me after I’m gone but I have no illusions that my name will linger beyond actual memories. Until now. Now there will be a tangible bit of me left. A small piece of me-tritus, washed up on the shores of the future. Maybe it doesn’t tell anyone much about me, other than I had the spare time to put 100,000 words into a laptop. But I will linger on someone’s bookshelf perhaps; and even if that person doesn’t much care for the book, thinks of it as the literary equivalent of herpes, I will still be there. Ego again, see.
10. Lists have to have 10 to be a proper list. This one doesn’t and isn’t.
If anyone thought they might like to read my book so they could post a review soon after it goes live then I’d love to hear from you. This is the current blurb, which may (or may not) tempt you
When British freelancer Maurice Oldham saves American scientist Lori-Ann Beaumont from a pack of journalists at a ProLife conference in San Francisco, neither expects to see the other again. But six months on, Lori-Ann is on Maurice’s doorstep, bruised, penniless and desperate to find her boyfriend, Peterson, who has gone missing in England. Maurice soon realises nothing is as it seems with Lori-Ann. Why is she really chasing Peterson; why has her father, Pastor of the Church of Science and Development sent people to bring her home; what is behind the Federal Agency who is investigating Lori-Ann’s workplace in connection with its use of human embryos; and what happened in Nicaragua a quarter of a century ago that is echoing down the years? For Maurice and Lori-Ann the answers lie somewhere in their Fathers’ pasts. Finding those answers will take Lori-Ann and Maurice from England via America to Nicaragua; in so doing they will have to confront some uncomfortable truths about their Fathers and themselves.