So, a while ago I blogged about writing a book and getting a Publisher. Well, it was published over a week ago. I’ve not made a noise about it as yet though; I’m still wondering who would want to read it. My friends say things like “I can’t wait to read it” and I think, “well you would say that, you’re my friend”
I know I have gone on about how much I love words, be it reading or writing and I know I have said may times “It’s just something I do” because, well, it is and maybe that is why I am so underwhelmed by the whole thing. I write because I don’t know how not to.
Many many moons ago, a friend’s Indian sister in law, Aruna, collared me at a soirée, took me by the hand and sat me down for three hours while she looked at said hand and told me my past, present and future. Three hours! I hear you say (complete with exclamation mark) – well yes but they flew by and I was quite frankly gobsmacked at what she was telling me (about the past). I’m not going to say things like “she told me things no-one could know” because everyone says that don’t they?………But, she did. In the future, she mentioned there was writing. Hmmmmmmmm
Anyway, before I eventually left Blighty, many moons after that, a work friend convinced me to let her fiddle with some tarot type cards. The outcome was “you will write your own destiny.” Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I come here to Turkey and I do indeed end up writing. I write lots of copy for websites and say things like “The Aegean is a sparkling jewel in the Turkish Crown” – I make up frilly sentences, use double meanings and play on words so that they are not easily forgotten. A couple of years after I arrive, I am approached by a newspaper. They ask “would you write a column for us?” I agree and spend two years sharing my transitional period and my ‘Brit Abroad meets Muslim Culture’ stories. It seems the local paper reading public like it. They send me nice emails and say things like “why don’t you write a book. I would buy it.” I think that’s very nice of them.
And here’s the thing, I had already written one. For sublime setting I sat on my roof terrace for hours, gazing at white frothy sea spray crashing against sand coloured rock and when it got dark, I would gaze at the night sky and its cloak of stars. Those views allowed me to sit and write with inspiration. That was the easy part. When it was done I thought “now what?” Being a research kind of person, I’d already had a little mooch around the internet and read various “recommended” books about getting published. It was horrifically hard by all accounts; there were thousands of publishers and each of those had different submission guidelines. Some said “no unsolicited manuscripts” and some said “we will only send your manuscript back if you include a self-addressed envelope (with stamp).” I read personal experiences by Authors and wannabe Authors who all said “get used to rejection” and even more disturbing, “get used to being ignored”…… I gathered it was going to be difficult.
Lazy me looked only for publishers that accepted email submissions. I think I must have sent it out to around ten in the end. Out of those ten I got two “thank you but not for us” and the rest ignored me. Silly as it may sound, getting those two responses made me happy as I knew, I was lucky to get any kind of response at all. I know I lacked the drive and ambition to pursue this particular road and I know I am a bit (ok a bit more than a bit) lazy and so, I just left it sitting there. I think it was a year later that I had the bright idea of trying a Turkish publisher, found one, checked out their submission guidelines and learned they required a bit of bio and a brief overview to start with. I emailed. They got back to me and asked for three chapters. I sent them. They then came back to me and suggested I continue “cutting my teeth” as it were, by doing some article writing. Again, I was just pleased to get any response.
Eventually, I started this blog. It is yet to contain all of the articles, thoughts, travel trips and stories that sit in files on my hard drive though. I’m not sure I would ever have the time to include everything as I simply don’t stop writing. I am always doing it…perhaps it’s a disease?
By blogging terms, I think it’s a little bit successful as some people do follow it and, from the stats, I can see I am read all over the world. This amazes me. I also get some lovely feedback and still people say “you should write a book. I’d buy it” – Well people……I did and if you read my earlier blog, it tells you how that all came about. Just to add though, when I dug out that manuscript and re-read it, I thought “this is crap” and edited much of it. My writing has obviously evolved.
I’d just like to say……I am now a published author. I know you can’t hear me but I just gave a little squeal…..a sort of eeek. It wasn’t a great big “shout it from the rooftops” squeal but more of a “gosh, I did that so now what?” squeak. I know that now I need to do some self-promotion, although I’d much rather sit here drinking wine as I write more blogs on travels and family and anything else that my memory dredges up.
Having achieved a lifetime goal, I’m not sure it has sunk in yet. Or worse still, it has and this is my reaction? If that is the case then I really need a kick up the arse.
Anyway, I did it. Me, a girl from the East End that graduated from the School of Hard Knocks and the University of Life. My Grandparents would be proud.
And now I need to tell you a little secret……….I have no qualifications. While the rest of my school year was sitting exams, I was working in an office. It’s a long story as to why and, one I’m not prepared to give air time to, just yet…. maybe I never will. The only thing I will say is, it’s not because I didn’t want to sit my exams but because I’d reached the age limit to stay any longer at the children’s home and I had to leave and support myself. By the way, if anyone that ever employed me is reading this then sorry. I did indeed manipulate my CV BUT; you are only allowed to complain if you think I was not up to the job!
Next time I blog, I will do some of that self-promotion malarkey and give you a link to the book. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the bio and the blurb from the cover…….
Kym was born in London’s East End & was raised by her Grandparents until the age of 13. After that her life became a series of disasters. A dalliance with a Persian Playboy resulted in a son and eventually, by sheer will, she clawed her way up the corporate ladder in high heels & plenty of lippy, carving a career & a decent life for them both.
Waking up in hospital, covered in drips and drains, Kym realises that life really is too short. Turning down a great opportunity and saying goodbye to the rat race, she ups sticks with her 18 year old son and throws herself headfirst into pastures new without the slightest bit of research and breaks all the rules by doing the don’ts and ignoring the do’s. When she finds herself freezing, without electricity and the sole inhabitant of a Turkish complex, she wonders if it has all been a very big mistake? Her search for company leads to a fall and in the darkness of night she is taken to a witch doctor whose methods are rather unusual. Surviving that, she finds a job with an aging lothario and his dancing caterpillar and ends up miles from home and fearful for her sanity. Summer returns breathing life back into the town and she meets a man who may just be her reason to stay. Introduced to his large family and their culture, she wades deeper into his Kurdish village life of subservient females, raw food & sacrifices and much to her surprise feels a sense of belonging. Can she find a balance between this and her expat life or has she really bitten off more than she can chew this time?