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What Was I Thinking?

So that’s that then, I published my book on Monday. No more tweaks, no more last minute new ending. Changing the Subject cannot be changed. It’s out in the world and will have to sink or swim in the fiction ocean. And I will have to take the consequences of being so presumptuous as to publish a book on the last day of September 2019, when it is set in the last week of October 2019. What was I thinking?

Oh yes; some romantic notion about a return to the immediate days of the serialised novel a century and a half ago, a desire to work with the shrinking of the space between writer and reader since we can just walk round the ‘gatekeepers’ nowadays, Something about experimentation? And of course a blind disregard for the daily tumults of contemporary British politics, that’s what. Oh well, what’s done is done and I’ll be the Queen of Scotland or somewhere by Christmas.

I know, if it all goes non-binary-tits-up I can take a lead from our illustrious leaders and blame someone else. I’ve had some great support from my friends and family and they should not have done that. They should have stopped me.

And I am going to find out what strangers think too. I know I should be careful what I wish for, but some feedback will be appreciated whatever happens. What’s the point otherwise? Oh yes, I can tell myself I’m on a journey of some kind, that sounds contemporary.

And I am proud of the actual story, Sue, a nice lady from Chingford, goes on all sorts of journeys; spiritual, temporal and actual. I think I have made a good job of what would actually happen to a normal woman if she did wake up in a body that was thirty years younger. Her friends and family are good too.

I had taken the launch day off so that I could do the enthralling self-publisher tasks like send out the print review copies, add myself to Nielson’s List and so forth. I couldn’t send out print copies until Changing the Subject was published, I couldn’t sign up for Nielson’s List, so that bookshops and libraries can order a book, until it was published. A well-meaning ghost crept into the Amazon machine and hinted heavily by delaying the availability of the print version until 9 O’clock in the evening. I clicked on my emails every hour and monitored the inactivity with my full attention.

In between times I changed the colour scheme on my website to green, pink and purple to match my 55 year-old hands, did some filing and made lunch for my in-laws who decided to pop round to give back a chest of drawers that had been to Bradley Stoke for a few months. But I got to read a book, in the daytime. Self-publishing is so exciting.

Some lovely bloggers have agreed to review my book, in the fullness of their very busy time, and a few more have allowed me a Spotlight or an author interview. I suppose their comments will inspire the content of my diary in a few weeks.

Learning to accept strangers’ opinions will no doubt be tricky. I have written about ego before and egos can scream like toddlers when they don’t get their way. I wonder what self-justifications I will be thinking up? I could do a politician and say that the reviewers are poorly educated, ill-informed or stupid. Or I could say that a book I started writing in 2015 and set in 2019 is ahead of its time somehow?

I will need to be pretty creative over the next month or so. Not just because I will be working on my next book, Hauser Blue, but because I also need to dwell on the additional self-justifications I’ll need for why I wrote a book that assumed Brexit is probably not going to happen on October 31st. I was warned, but did I listen?

Oh well. If you want to join in the laughter at an aptly named vanity publisher you could always buy it, read it and work out for yourself in how many ways and levels I was wrong. Then, at least I can buy my inner toddler a whisky. And it is actually a pretty good story. Go on, buy it here


It seemed like a good idea at the time

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©2019 by kate abley.

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