Two months into our twelve-month journey around Australia in ‘Priscilla’ the caravan, with my husband Rick and dog Millie, I have had time to reflect on my writing journey.
I was a ‘late starter.’ In 2016 I independently published my first book, at the ripe old age of 70 years. “McAllister’ was a story I always knew I wanted to share, and, I always wanted to write a book.
What took me so long?
I never prioritised my writing, I felt it was an indulgence. Big mistake! Looking back, I wish I had taken the time in my busy life to focus on doing what I was passionate about and achieving something that would have been very rewarding to me personally, by lighting the fire of creativity in me that work, cooking, housework, meetings, certainly did NOT!
Everything is easy to understand in retrospect, however, I’m excited and delighted that I have launched into this new and exciting world that I knew nothing about! ‘Mama mia’ ……….is there a lot to learn and it’s not all about the writing!
I began to write my story, my precious, personal story which had been bottled up in my brain for years. I sieved through diaries and letters and wrote copious notes, told the world I was writing a book THEN life go int the way AGAIN!
Through a series of events which led to us moving to the Gold Coast with an enormous change in our way of life and plans for the future, I found I had the time to write. It was therapy on steroids for me! I tapped away on my laptop. The words flowed, mainly in a jumble, but I let them flow.
In twelve months time I found I had an enormous, wad of typewritten pages of ‘stuff,’ all written from the heart.
I had no idea about the world of publishing. I was extremely lucky to meet an amazing man who mentioned to me that he was an author and actor. I told him about my desire to write a book. He immediately offered to help.
Then the editing began. Oh my…..he slashed pieces from my precious manuscript, changed things, much to my horror! This was my precious story, every word was important, to me! I now understand the importance of editing. As authors we became emotionally attached to our story, but it’s vital to have professional input.
This process took twelve months, with a few tears along the way.
I never believed that my book would be ‘big’ enough, or I would be tough enough to cope with the rejection of traditional publishers. Self-publishing was the way to go for me.
How does one find these people?
Dr Google wasn’t going to offer me a personal relationship with a publisher. I knew I was going to need my hand held through this process of negotiating my way through the ‘unknown.’
I was given a recommendation but when I had finally plucked up the courage to call, he listened to my spiel and then informed me he was selling his business, and would I be interested in purchasing it? Mmmmmm…….I don’t think so!
I disappeared back into my cave.
Where to now?
I remembered a lady I knew who had published a book. With a little gentle (?) persuasion, my husband suggested I phone her. That was my turning point. She told me not to look any further as she had done all the research and met a man called Ocean Reeve.
‘He is amazing, ethical, honest, caring and totally professional,’ she claimed.
With a sigh of relief, I booked an appointment to meet this man with the strange name. I pictured a surfie type with tattoos, maybe wearing thongs, a bit hippie.
How wrong I was.
I will tell all in my next blog!
Author Jenny Old
Author on Board
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