It’s make or break time for my Unbound book. As of today (Friday 12th) Ghosts of Chechnya is 49% funded. I have raised around £1900 - but I must raise the same amount again in order to reach 100%.
I have until 22nd February to get there, or a significant part of the way - if not, the pages of my half-materialised book will be scattered unceremoniously/consigned to the deepest vaults at the Unbound offices, labelled ‘Nearly made it’.
Rather than give up on this daunting challenge (tempting though it has been on many occasions) I am going to give it my very best shot. I am going to take the bull by the horns and f***ing kick ass.
A good deal of the past month has been spent in a frantic surge of activity to organise an Unbound author event at a Highgate pub. The readings with my fellow funding authors went well - Ian Skewis (A Murder of Crows), Martine McDonagh (Things We Can’t Undo) and Phyllis Richardson (House of Fiction) with the suavely unflappable Bill Colegrave as MC for the night (his enticing travel anthology, Scraps of Wool, has recently embarked on the process of publication). Despite the technical hiccups, the event generated extra pledges for most of us and generated a surge of support for my book.
A big big thank you to my latest supporters:
A special thanks to Liz Tucker, Kate Murdoch and Nicole Gotch, who have all recently dug into their pockets twice by topping up their pledges or pledging again.
My book has got nearly 100 supporters so far, which is pretty good going, and I will be pulling out all the stops to get the rest of the funds I need. I’ve been working all hours to get support from local businesses, well known actors, Russia-related groups, enquiring about items in newsletters and local papers, etc etc. (Why are there only 24 hours in a day?)
Yesterday I added a new £250 level reward ‘Lunch with author’, which should help me to get to my target a bit quicker. Unbound didn’t add my suggested phrase ‘within 100 miles of London’, so I may be off to John o’ Groats, the US, Singapore or even Australia in the near future :) This could be the excuse I need to catch up with some far-flung friends.
I’d better sign off now and get on with my next letter... An important point to note: all pledges are returned should the book not get to its target, which I very much hope won’t have to happen. I’m going to go all out to get to 100% by the 22nd. If I’m nearly there by then I may get a bit longer to finish the job, we will have to wait and see.
One last thing - I’ll be talking about and reading from Ghosts of Chechnya in Glasgow on Sunday 21st February at a special event organised by fellow Unbound author Ian Skewis. He'll be reading from his crime thriller A Murder of Crows. Guest speaker is Gavin Mitchell from TV’s Still Game, who will also read from our books... I must try to tone down my English accent and remember the intricacies of Mr C’s Scottish heritage. If anyone can make it over there, I’d love to see you.
Details: 1.30-2.30pm, Sunday 21st February.
Hillhead Library, 348 Byres Road, Glasgow G12 8AP. Free tea and coffee.
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