At long last, my adventure novel for young adults is to be published. It has been a long road and there were times when I just didn't think it was going to happen. (How it all came about has been documented in the blogs below this one.) What has happened since is a tale of delays and frustration, but the time has finally come.
It all started in 2010. We were having a drink to celebrate the birthday of Bob Lewis, and that was when I agreed to have a go at writing this book (or, put another way, a series of 5 theme-related chapbooks). As you know, a few people saw its potential and we decided to go for it. A facebook page was set up for people to like and keep up with our progress, and an artist produced a wonderful front cover. We were good to go, but as I have said, it's been a long road.
First, hats off to Bob Lewis, who has worked so hard to bring this about. He has pushed this project in a way that I never could, and he never once compromised - which I would have done. Some time ago, a publisher asked to meet us with a view to publication and Bob turned him down. At first, I couldn't believe it. Publishers rarely throw themselves at first-time authors. However, Bob didn't like the way he tried to 'own' it. Yes, he would have published it (for 90% of the profits), run a website, controlled the image of the central character and more or less left us with the crumbs; but in publishing, that's the norm. Bob, however, had the contacts and was determined to go it alone; this was our project, after all. Now it's all ready, and The Quest for the 5 Keys' has already gained a lot of attention.
Of course, I was still in favour of looking for a publisher, but that idea was finally knocked on the head when we met up with a well-known writer and television critic. Not only did she take a keen interest in the book, she actively encouraged us to self publish. Finally, I came around to this way of thinking; after all, there were over 240 likes on the facebook page, and Bob had already produced some merchandise (fridge magnets, but it was a start). Now, finally, it looks as though publication is just around the corner.
Certainly, our original plan to release it in time for the 2012 Olympics seems almost ridiculously optimistic now. Still, it's all done and dusted, I've entered the world of self-publishing (something I'd never had any intention of doing) and thanks to the advance of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, we can really go to town on the publicity. We'll soon see if I've written a best seller or not.