It's been a long time coming but, after several false starts and dead ends, I've finally got my book into print.
When we visited the beautiful Greek island of Symi a number of years ago I was fascinated by its beautiful architecture, its amazing history and its dependence on the sponge diving industry. It sparked me into finally getting down to write the novel I had always said that I had in me.
I had three or four characters floating around in my head along with an idea for the novel's ending and the island created a perfect setting for them all to get together. So I started to write and found myself following my creations as their lives unfolded in front of me and they showed me their story.
I changed the island's name from Symi to Symos as a number of the locations were fictitious but some of Symi's history and all of its sunshine went into the book. Symi artist Cobi Saunder's watercolours which we had bought as souvenirs served as a constant reminder of the location and I eventually used one of them as the basis for my cover. I had a professional edit done and printed twenty copies for family and friends.
This is how the novel looked in that first edition. I wasn't completely happy with the book and, after taking professional advice and criticism from the brilliant Scott Pack (see link to meandmybigmouth blog over on the right) I rewrote it and rewrote it again and then did precisely................nothing.
A year or so later, shortly after moving to Framlingham, I met up with Caroline Goldsmith of Red Button Publishing and she encouraged me to persevere and go down the self-publishing route. So I rewrote the book once again and employed Red Button to do a copy edit to correct my punctuation and my grammatical mistakes as well as to provide ideas for improvement and criticism of passages that didn't work.
Pleased with the final version I asked Caroline to develop an updated cover based on the original. I changed the title from Give Your Tomorrow to Give Me Your Tomorrow as readers considered it more suitable. At the end of May it was ready and I launched it as an e-book on Amazon.
Encouraged by the initial response and feedback from readers I decided that, whilst Caroline had done a great job on my instructions, the cover didn't really capture the spirit of the book so I asked Spiffing Covers to design a new one for me. Spiffing Covers were brilliant in their approach and understood the book fully before sending me their ideas.
This was their original mock up. I was extremely pleased with their grasp of the book's content in providing this cover which, I believe, captures the novel's true spirit.
After a few minor tweaks we were ready to launch and, after approving the proofs, my first twenty copies arrived yesterday.
So I held my first impromptu book signing in the dining room (self-publishing is so no frills) and have sent copies to those who helped. The remainder will be available (while stocks last) at Framlingham Book Shop and you can order from Amazon by clicking here.
Here is the "blurb"
"A compelling story set in 1969 against the background of the Apollo Moon missions and filled with sunshine, fireworks and pop music, Give Me Your Tomorrow is funny, romantic and moving. Maggie Johnson and her son Alfie arrive on the beautiful Greek island of Symos. She's aiming to save Alfie from an oppressive existence in their home city of Liverpool and to develop a holiday business in the fledgling tourism industry . A family tragedy has confined Nicos Karteras to a lonely life on the island. When Maggie rents his idyllic cottage Nico sees a possible opportunity for friendship and perhaps an end to his loneliness but a simple misunderstanding threatens to blow everything off course"
Now it's all done and dusted I'm getting ready to start the next one while I wait for the royalties to flood in.