Moving off with the Great Bear

Thursday, 19 November 2015

This is a new venture for me, crowdfunding a novel in this way. It's exciting too, not really knowing the outcome, hopeful but cautious. During the five years or so that I spent working on the novel I didn't really give too much though to the end game, the publishing of it. Having written that, I realise it's not quite true. When I began working on it I had publishing very much in mind - I'd written and published four novels already, all of them for young people, so I was very much in the business of writing to be published. But then, as the novel progressed, and I became more involved in it, as it grew further away from those previous novels, took on its own life, then just being in its world, becoming more and more engrossed by it, consumed by it, became far more important.

I do have to say though, that those five years weren't spent entirely on the novel. I make my living chiefly as a playwright, and so there were times when I had to put the novel aside, often for quite long periods, to work on a play, writing it, working on towards production and performance. And working on other projects too, community arts projects, writing residencies. All those things were absorbing too, and took me away from the novel. Yet whenever I came back to it, the world and its characters were still there, as fresh and alive as when I'd left them, ready to take up their journey again.

But now that particular journey is over, and this other one has begun - this unique experience, for me, of crowdfunding the novel, creating a relationship with potential readers, which is what I think is one of the most valuable things about the whole process, not unlike the kind of relationship you hope to make with an audience for a play. And, as you hope for a full house for every performance, so I'm hoping to attract a full house for the novel, and see it through that final stage of its journey into publication.

But as I say, it's early days. That journey's only just started. But at least it's begun,

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