Sign: Now entering Convoluted Central.
Ext shot of train slowing gently before stopping. Steam comes from the wheels. Slightly confused orange haired person steps off train and onto platform, watching and waiting and wondering what’s out there in the cold, dark, city he’s stepped onto…
Ahem, by which I mean, yet another step of the bizarrely tortuous journey of the third Dr Sylver book is upon me and therefore you, as I’m going to blog it to pieces.
So, the story so far. Five years ago (really only that short a time? Yowsa) I write a book, give it to youth groupers and enjoy the fact that they like it. Weekly they end up nagging me to get it published (because, yes, it is as easy as that) and in the end, after sending it to a number of places, Highland books publishes Dr Sylver and the Library of Everything. Reviews are better than I can ever have hoped for, especially as I only expected people to have a go at me for clumsy writing and typos (‘better than GP Taylor’ one lovely person said, ignoring the fact that it probably wasn’t – but thanks Phil, it was a high point – and sales wise I don’t think I was ever anything other than an amusement between the camps).
Then, over the next four years I write the sequel, Dr Sylver and the Repository of the Past – which again is reviewed well but less so as a sequel rather than as a computer games artists first book – create the Exile Road for Spring Harvest and Messenger for DLT. Somehow I manage to accidentally begin a fight with Bear Grylls in the pages of a religious newspaper which fortunately never spilled into the realm of him burying me up to my eyelids in limestone. It’s been an interesting journey and I can now exit my house without looking out into the bushes to check for movement before I start running off to work, just in case.
And then I wrote Dr Sylver book 3: The Tapestry of Time.
Oh boy has this project not been smooth. Not really any one fault per se, problems with the ending here, missed print windows there, distributor goes bust, original cover files lost in a hard disc explosion, incorrect files sent to print etc etc. Highland sent off for a sample collection of books before Christmas and, one way or the other, they turned up this week. Not to mention life in all its fullness distracting events. From serious illness in the family to redundancies and so on it’s been… Well, it’s a book all on its own.
But today I picked up a box of advance copies of Dr Sylver 3 and it’s fun to just see them in the flesh. They’re not the final FINAL copies – one more scan through has shown of about 100 areas where a couple of trimmed words make a much larger impact than would be first thought but this time it’s tangible, in my hands. DSTT exists and is getting there.
Anyhow, three hour meeting today was… interesting. We’ll send copies out and beg reviews here and there, write articles and all that jazz. All the stuff a micro publisher and a barely known author have to do to make themselves noticed in a world of louder loudspeakers and marketing budgets that don’t resemble a coffee budget. Hopefully DSTT will be read and enjoyed and all that work and hassle and issue and upset will have been worth it. The first couple of reviews have already been lovely and, personally, I think it’s the best ending I’ve written… So we’ll see.
Anyhow, if anyone lives next to Simon Mayo and doesn’t mind delivering a cake and copy of the book then by all means pop me a mail (some things I’d love to achieve in life – though I suspect I never will – including having Mayo and Kermode saying ‘and hallo to Paul Kercal, loved the book,’ having something linked on Adbuzeedo’s Daily inspiration site and having the Wombat comic liked by any of the guys I admire and respect in the comic book field. I am to dreams and hopeful fantasy what Icarus was for altitude…)
Righto, onwards, loads to do and times a wasting.