Monday, 1 June 2015
Hello, and welcome to my ‘shed’. It’s a lot more crowded in here than it was when I first broadcast five days ago. You are all most incredibly welcome.
What have our newest arrivals missed? Well, we concluded that you have all funded a book that can be classed already (in the most tenuous way yet ventured) as an international best seller. We also discovered that funding percentage 29 hung around like a curse. (You wouldn’t have wanted to be around me for percentage 64 either.) The truth is that endlessly refreshing your funding percentage slows down time in a way that it is only now, after you glorious people pushed me over 100%, that it’s sunk in that you funded me in under a week. Under a week. You deserve these virtual star badges I’m handing out to you right now- and I don’t give them out to just anybody.
So… my shed. What the hell are we doing in here?
Unbound are brilliant for many things, one of them being the way they seek to bring author and reader closer together- and the shed is where this theoretical magic will happen. Over the coming months I will keep you informed as to publication progress. I may venture into some how I wrote The Serendipity Foundation process. (This will revolve around many different ways of saying really slowly.) I will share some occasional brain food/ ramblings. This is basically therapy for me, but luckily you appear to be some high-class listeners.
So- I walk out the back door of my house, through the garden, into my shed, where you join me. We talk about ideas, and writing, and craft, because that’s what you do in sheds.
But I also use my shed as a retreat- where in enclosed privacy, with giddiness in my chest and moisture in the eye, I scream yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssss.
And that is the general theme of today’s post.
I’ve spent three years on this novel. I’ve culled over 300,000 words. I have slept on over a hundred and fifty different beds, and filled in countless immigration forms that have asked for my occupation; I wrote novelist on one of them, felt like a fraud and vowed never to do it again. I have described countless times the Private Eye cartoon where two men shake hands, one saying to the other “I’m writing a novel”, and the other replies “Neither am I”. And in return I am told about how often JK Rowling got turned down. (That’s not to take away from how grateful I was for the attempts to cheer me up.) Like thousands before me, I have grown used to the slight ambiguity in the expressions of strangers when I tell them I am working on my debut novel.
And this is in no way fishing for sympathy. I am far from a creative martyr: the last three years have been a ball and I know how privileged I am to be in a position to have done it. I am blessed with a truly phenomenal support base who have encouraged, inspired, read, fed and edited. A large number of you in this hallowed shed should really be receiving free copies rather than supporting me yet again. And those of you who don’t know me, who have invested (in what I should add, is now a rather good book) deserve a free copy because of your leap of faith. But that would really mess with Unbound’s business model.
I have often wondered about how I would feel today- the day I knew my book would be published- and wondered how I might feel: vindication, relief, a certain screw-you swagger. And as I write these words, it is none of the above. It is just happiness. You 266 people and counting did this.
And you are magic.
Now go collect your star badges.