My second novel, The Everywhen Angels, is now published!
Image © Millie Ho
It has taken some time for me to realise this particular ambition, but at last my second novel – my first specifically written for younger readers – is now published. It’s available in eBook format direct from the publisher at present, but as soon as it becomes available elsewhere I’ll let you all know. The timing is pretty good, as you can buy it to top up someone’s electronic stocking this Christmas.
A few years ago I was having a lively discussion with a bunch of on-line friends who were all devoted fans of a certain Scottish author and her growing series of books about a boy-wizard. I have to confess that I was being less than charitable, and the argument was getting circular (They’re not well-written – That’s because they’re for kids – But you’re reading them and you’re adults – That’s because they’re great! – But they’re not well-written…). Eventually they told me that as I styled myself an author, I should either write a fantasy set in a school and make it at least as good as one of my compatriot’s novels, or I should shut up. Well you know me, I don’t shut up that easily, so I buckled down and wrote the book. It was tried out on the thirteen-year-old daughter of a friend; the deal was that the daughter would do her homework and tidy her room, and the mum would read one chapter aloud to her every evening. Well, never has homework been so assiduously completed and never has a room been tidier. I realised I had a hit on my hands. The next task would be to convince a publisher.
The manuscript did the rounds. Head of Zeus showed interest in it but eventually declined it, at which point it was snapped up by P’kaboo, who had already published my first novel Lupa. Although P’kaboo is a comparatively small publisher, the feeling one gets from having a novel published commercially – twice! – is very pleasant. I’m not knocking successful self-publishing – that’s now an established thing with its own degree of satisfaction – but to be taken on by a publisher because they have faith in your writing does feel very special indeed. As regular readers here will know, the cover illustration was provided by Millie Ho. I’m hoping that this will mark the first of several collaborations with Millie, who is very gifted at putting ideas into images.
So what next for The Everywhen Angels? Well, of course we – P’kaboo and I – are hoping for sales. And of course I’m looking forward to reviews and to readers’ comments, from which I will quote here.
Some more publication news came my way today. The Milk of Female Kindness is subtitled ‘An Anthology of Honest Motherhood’. Edited and published by Kasia James, it is a collection of prose and poetry on the subject of motherhood. The title is a quotation from Woolf’s Orlando. I’m pleased to say that I provided three poems for the anthology and also contributed a little ‘editorial consultancy’ work towards it. I have therefore had the opportunity to read through it already, and I have to say it is an exceptional collection. Some of the writers are known to me, most are not, and all have views on motherhood which do not necessarily reflect the image at first conjured up by the word. It is available on Createspace and I recommend it highly.
Also today I was paying a visit to the excellent blog of San Snoek-Brown, and I found his list of recommended books for the coming holiday season. Sam has amassed a big haul of books by writers he knows, one way or another, and whose work he seems only too happy to draw to readers’ attention. My poetry collection from earlier this year, I am not a fish, is included in his list. Thank you, Sam!
It is no heavy obligation for me to reciprocate. As regular readers here will know, I’ve been raving about Sam’s fiction ever since I first came across it. So please accept my recommendation of his chapbook of short fiction Boxcutters, available from Sunnyoutside.