Book in Hand

I absolutely do not regard myself as an envious kind of person but I have to say this is often put to the test during low moments. On social media I (as the case for most people) am bombarded with seeing people I know traveling to the far reaches of the planet, doing exciting things, looking healthy and tanned, finding out that they have just ran the desert marathon, jumped out of a plane, sailed across the Atlantic or just built a bloody great house or their son or daughter has got into Cambridge. On a cold dark night in Helsinki when the temperature outside is bloo..y freezing my natural ability to ward off envy is at times taken to the limit.

So, in an age when they tell me that every Tom, Dick and Harry and their mothers have written books and had them published my achievement of getting my first book published may seem let's say, a modest one.

Although my story about the story is modest, I feel the need to share it. From having the idea to write something, to piquing the interest of  a dear friend from the best part of my childhood, to writing the story, to getting the story published, to trying to remain patient with what seemed a highly inefficient process, to the disappointment of the standard of illustration and not getting what I wanted, all in all was quite a ride. (I won't say 'journey' as it is such a cliche)

Overall the best part up to now was the experience of writing a story with a dear friend from childhood. However, to reach the point where the story becomes something physical that one can hold in one's hand has been a long one. The 50 copies that I ordered to use for promotional purposes, to try to get the book 'out there,' arrived yesterday.

There are highs and lows during the whole process. The writing phase was a pure high but what has followed, have been experiences filling a broad spectrum. Waiting patiently for replies from the publisher, trying to get the characters illustrated by just the right hand at a reasonable price, quickening up all of the processes which one has no power over can really eat away at that initial great feeling generated by the writing process.

People have asked whether it was difficult to have a co-author and the answer to that is a definite 'no it was an absolute joy.' Norman and I had a formula. The story was my idea and I would write a chapter and then send it off to Norman who would Normanize it and sprinkle a little bit of magic into it which I believe he was incredibly successful in doing so. There were no artistic differences, I would write and Norman would sprinkle his magic dust. Norman's learned nature came through with making connections with ancient Greek when naming the  characters and using his affinity with epic poetry to include things from the Kaleva (Finnish national epic.)

Pictures of the two of us getting the 'The Ghost of Crow Cavern' in our paws for the first time. Faces perfect for radio! As my dad used to say, 'bless their little cotton socks!'


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