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Today has not been my birthday; its not been an un-birthday; but it has been my book’s birthday.
When I first visited Iceland in the summer of 2001 I fell in love with the landscape, the people, the history, the folklore – everything about the country, and I knew that I had to write a story set there. I didn’t know what the story would be. Then in August 2001 there was a story in the news about a girl who was lost whilst hiking in the Peruvian mountains. I can’t remember what happened now, and I fear to find out, but the idea got lodged in my brain and together with ideas surrounding Iceland, the seeds of the story was born.
So, it was conceived in August 2001. 110,000 words; 430 pages; 250 days in the writing; 5 years in the making. Blood & Fire, as it then was called, was finished on Tuesday 19 September 2006. Another three years of revising later, and I started subbing it to agents and editors but, as is so often, these days I only got the classic ‘our lists are full’ or ‘we like your writing but you as a writer are not quite right’…
I got married, and started writing Mr Tumnal and left The End Of All Worlds as its now called on the shelf for two more years. In that time technology changed and self-publication – Indie publishing – became something that actually worked. With the the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 other events since then, some of the themes of The End Of All Worlds have become increasingly topical. I decided that ten years is a long time to live with a novel. I needed to let it go free and for other people to read it.
I will write about the process of getting the novel to this point, today in future articles, but it has been a journey these last few months. But today I have reached it. I have published a novel out there, to the world and I will wait, if nervously and with large amounts of trepidation, to see what the world will think (if indeed they notice).
All day, friends have been posting messages of congratulations on my facebook and twitter accounts. I feel a bit of a fraud about it really because yes my book is published, but I published it. Surely congratulations would best be saved for when a publisher decides to publish my book… And then I thought, no. Lots of people can claim to be writing a book, still more to wanting to write a book, but only the few actually complete the book, and then work to make it in some shape or form half-decent. To publish a book, even by the self, is still no mean feet. It’s still something to be congratulated.
And so to those who have congratulated, I thank you, if humbly and diffidently… 🙂