In this blog I celebrated, nearly a month ago now, the completion of the first draft of my manuscript, Daughters of Eden, which had turned out to be the bona fide finale of the science/climate fiction series I’ve been working on for the past three years. Today I’m celebrating the completion of the packaging side. It takes quite a lot of work to package one’s words into a useful book format, even though the Scrivener software does help a great deal.
Writing is only a part of the story of creating a novel. I didn’t realise this when I started, and if I had, perhaps I would not have embarked on this odyssey. But, naif that I am, I launched my few (15k) words into a Writers Workshop at the Arvon Foundation in Lumb Bank, Yorkshire, for a week during August, 2019. I said then that I was trying to write a science fiction novel with literary aspirations. The encouragement I received there from two established novelists has helped to keep me going through the entire trilogy of this science/climate fiction story, which I guess now totals upwards of 300k words.
I simply couldn’t persevere down the traditional agent>publisher>printing route, which just felt so thankless and debilitating, so in order to see my words in actual ‘print’ I joined the endless ranks of writers who’ve chosen to go the self-publishing, aka ‘direct publishing’ way. That doesn’t mean I’ve not been trying, daily, to become a better writer, far from it. But it does mean that I get to celebrate the successes along the way, rather than wallowing in abject despair over this and that rejection slip. I’ve always tried to be practical, instead of pursuing a quixotic adventure. Of course, I do have boundless respect for those like JK Rowling who manage to persevere with the traditional route, but there’s no tilting at windmills for me. Even though, often, the formatting requirements of the Amazon platform can feel like endlessly circling sails caught in an unremitting wind.
And now, whew! . . . it’s available, served at last and intact on the Amazon platform in the UK and the USA. Amazing to behold. Actually, I’ve held the publication date of the new, relaunched series, back to the 1st of May for the eBook versions, as I hope that some early readers of the Advance Review Copies, expected to be distributed in a fortnight through HiddenGemsBooks, might have some reviews ready by then. But I’ve got author’s copies of the paperbacks, just a couple each, coming to me so that I can hold the books in my hands, a tangible feeling that I can hardly wait to experience.
And that’s my simple joy this morning as a challenging task completed, I breathe a deep sigh and possibly, just possibly, say goodbye to the ‘hard science fiction’ genre. New writing horizons beckon, and there’s a lot more grist for the mill yet to be ground for a different kind of joy.