Today it’s been a whole year since the publication of my first novel, A Savage Art.
I know how much of a thrill publication is for every writer – but the last couple of years have been so difficult for me that it’s impossible to overstate how much I needed this, and how much I’ve appreciated everything about it.
From the first email response from the fabulous Chris McVeigh at Fahrenheit Press, the sheer delight of seeing the gorgeous cover design, the day of publication and then later holding an actual paperback copy in my hands, each new first was a joy.
Best of all, though, was the realisation that people were actually reading my novel and enjoying it.
(My darling Ryan is peering over my shoulder and pointing out that he’s a person, and I should mention that some people previously HAD to read it…)
People I know, and people I don’t know.
I keep pondering a quotation from Kurt Vonnegut – his first rule for writing fiction, in fact.
Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
I’m not much of a one for rules, but that’s one I hope I’ve not broken!
Thank you so much to everyone who has read the novel, and to everyone who has taken the time to review – on their blog, or on Amazon or Goodreads. It is very much appreciated. And thank you also to those who shared their responses with me and even their criticisms – that is also very much welcomed.
It’s a funny thing but I was actually quite well prepared for criticism – critiquing and being critiqued helps to develop a thick skin. What I wasn’t prepared for was how I’d feel when readers loved my novel and said so. So strange a feeling – I come over all emotional every time.
The difficult things about this past year – I’ll spare you most of it, don’t fret – have been a series of misadventures with my health. I am beginning to feel much better now, after three surgeries in twelve months, even though there’s still plenty of healing to be done, but the hernia is fixed, the ovarian cyst gone and the wonderful doctors and nurses of our NHS have done a pretty good job of putting me back together.
There’s still the lupus flare to get through, but I am almost myself again.
I’m back to my writing. I’ve written a short story. I’m working on editing my second novel, which I have neglected for too long. I am excited about it again, and that’s a good sign.
It’s been a very eventful time and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me get through it.
And an extra special thank you to Chris McVeigh, Mr Fahrenheit himself, for making my dream come true – and for publishing some fabulous novels which have kept me entertained while I’ve not been up to much else. I am in such good company, it has to be said!