The Sewing Machine

By Natalie Fergie

3 secrets. 27 notebooks. 4 generations. 1 blog. Millions of stitches.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

100% and counting

I'm delighted to be able to say that we have done it, you and me, and a hundred and seventy other people. 

We have coaxed, shuffled and in the final hour, wheeeeeeee'd this book over the funding finish line, like a child on a bike with legs stuck out on either side as they barrel down the most exciting hill EVER.

It took 33 days from the time it went live on the Unbound website, to move it from 0% to being completely funded. I don't think this is an Unbound record or anything, but it is rather splendid, isn't it?

Some of the questions Unbound ask when they first consider taking on a book are about whether the writer has a network of friends and colleagues and family who may be interested enough in it enough to make a pledge. This is, of course, after the nervewracking submission process which assesses whether the novel is any good in the first place. 

Everyone is different, so every writer's network will be unique to them. It's a bit hazy now, but I think I may have said something along the lines of "I know quite a lot of knitters". 

Looking at all the names in the list of pledgers is humbling. I know many of you personally or we have met online, or maybe you are a friend of a friend. The girl who was my Best Friend at high school is there in the list, and seeing her name brings back memories of standing under "our tree" in all weathers (because we weren't allowed into the school building at break time, no matter how wild it was) and our endless circular discussions about teachers and boys and the injustice of having to wear long socks instead of tights until third year.

What happens to the book next?

Well, at the moment Unbound are deciding who should be my editor. An editor is a VIP in the process of getting the book as good as it can possibly be. They look at the structure of the novel, at the timelines and the pace. They look at the characters and their motivation. And they make sure there are a few quieter spaces in the storytelling to allow the reader to draw breath for a moment, otherwise it ends up being a one sided monologue.

'This happened and then this and this and then he said that and she said this and they went out and came back and then this really awful thing happened and that's the end.'

At the moment I don't know who this person will be, but in the meantime I'm making sure all my characters are wearing the right clothes for the time of year (no sandals in December), that their trains arrive at the right stations, and that their names don't all begin with A - which would be very confusing.

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone, and in particular to the new people who have pledged since the last Shed Update, who are - 

Annette Squire, Kirstyn Smith, Jeanette Carlyle, Lucy Harkins, Marie Leadbetter, Joshua LaPorte, Deborah Metters, John Auckland, Helena Russell, Ruth Turner, Jill Shaw, Mary Donaldson, Stephen McGowan, Nan Gibbons, Ann Brooker, Sharon Dennett, Simon Mather, Debbie Tomkies, Moira Dunworth, Madeleine Shepherd, Ollie Hulme, Ruth MacFarlane, Denise MacFarlane, Maddie harvey, anonymous, Andrea Carr, James and Moira Fergie, John Munro, Alison Gibson, Marianne Cant, Christine Walton, Marina Moscowitz, Brian Bilston, Susan Hanlon, Fleur Parker, Mary Paulson-Ellis, Mairead Harvey, Karen Howlett, Michelle Lincoln, Patty Foggo, Arianne Donoghue, Katherine Grant, Louise Walters, Caroline Turner, Wendy Hough, Sue Margolis, Anna Louise Walker, Rose Marie Weerdenburg, SarahLouise McDonald, Julie Hall, Louiz Hutchings, Karyn McMurray, Virginia Moffatt, Adam Fergie, Rebecca Prentice, Sharon Etheridge, Fiona Hunter, Kathleen Gibb, Alexandra Wingate, Mandy Brimble, Kaye Hudson, Jacky Cooper, Karen Wanke, Robyn Roscoe, Marie Philip, Sarah Gee, Katherine Pungitore, Susan Crawford, Ann Leadbetter, Gavin Fergie, David Munday, Maureen Adam, SJ Farrell, Jenni Buhr and Melinda Jackson.

It's a lovely sunny day outside (and we are apprently due for an Arctic Blast this weekend) so I'm going out for a walk and I'll work out the last few tweaks as I breathe in the fresh air. It's the best way, I find.


Best wishes,


PS - Pledging is not over yet, it continues up to the point when the PUBLISH button is pressed, so please keep telling everyone about the book. Thank you! 

Back to project page
Share on social


Susan Eiseman Levitin
 Susan Eiseman Levitin says:

Congratulations! So pleased for you and for all of us who are eagerly awaiting the novel.

posted 21st April 2016

Fiona Whiteside
 Fiona Whiteside says:

Well done, Nat!! I hope I'm the best friend from High School you mention because I remember that tree! :-) Couldn't be more proud of you and really looking forward to reading your book (the first of many I'm sure!)

posted 26th April 2016

Natalie Fergie
 Natalie Fergie says:

Thank you Susan, I'm doing final bits and pieces before it goes for professional editing, and I really want to get the book out there and into the hands of readers.

posted 26th April 2016

Natalie Fergie
 Natalie Fergie says:

Fiona, who else would it be?
We spent HOURS under that tree, putting the school and the world to rights, didn't we?

posted 26th April 2016

Top rewards

163 pledges

Ebook Only

E-book edition. DRM free, in three formats: PDF, mobi and epub

Buy now
25 pledges

Super Patron

Ebook edition and your name in list of Super Patrons in the front of the ebook