Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Lockdown and Legends
Amid the grief, the confusion and the fear set off by a pandemic, the prospect of crowdfunding a book about houseplants has provided me with a wonderful distraction and a concrete goal. Now that the book is almost half way to its target, I am itching to get writing (confession: I have already started. Is that bare-face optimism or what?).
I must offer my heartfelt thanks to the dozens of people who have already pledged to support Legends of the Leaf. The joy of crowdfunding is that you can feel the warm glow that comes from helping someone you believe in to write a book you want to read - and I know, because I have pledged my support for other Unbound authors in the past, including Alys Fowler and Lia Leendertz.
When I first wrote down my working title, Legends of the Leaf, back in July 2019, I kept hearing that the houseplant book market was saturated. But I knew that the book I wanted to write would offer something unique: treating each iconic species not as random greenery or as cute static pets, but as rich and complex plants with a tale to tell, as well as the odd superpower. It has been incredibly hard to narrow down the 25 iconic species I am going to profile: someone pointed out a lack of cacti in my original list, so that's now been rectified (can you guess which species I am adding in?) The list is still, well, fluid to say the least, so if you have a plant you would like me to include, do let me know.
And I have a solution for the plants that don't quite make the cut - you guessed it, another book! My son, who is 10, has come up with a name for a sequel to Legends of the Leaf - 'Secrets of the Stem'.
But for the moment, I am focusing on getting Legends of the Leaf funded. And that's where you come in. As someone who makes a weekly podcast, it's easy to think that you've reached every houseplant lover in the world, but there are plenty of people who still need to hear about this book. So please tweet about it, tell a friend or stick the link on Facebook. The quicker the book reaches its target, the sooner you get a copy in your hands. I promise it will be worth the wait.