Words, dreams, voices, places, personalities and ideas – and a decade to bring it all together. This novel was not only a labour of love but a call to action. This story left me no choice, I had carried it forever. Now dispatched and thrown out into the world, ‘Leila’ I wish you well.
Publishing an ebook? What a crazy idea that would have sounded when I sat with my lead pencil and government issued exercise book so very long ago. Do you believe me when I say that our lead pencils and exercise books were handed out free in the 1950s and 60s?
I loved those books, especially the pleasure of opening that first page, so fresh and clean. I loved bending back the crimson soft cover and seeing the rounded edge of those pages folded into the staples. Was it 36pp? 48pp? With every passing school year, the space between the lines was pressed tighter together and we slowly graduated to 64pp. Being chosen as a class monitor was a highlight. We had the task of filling the shelves in the class storeroom with supplies that I knew then as treasure.
And now, my writing is solitary and pounded out on a treasured Mac. I’m not sure I could sustain writing in long hand for more than a paragraph before it would start to unravel.
Are all first novels places where you weave in yourself, your friends and family, and someone you met on a train and the one who sits in your head? Where you hope to better understand all experience to date by letting the Freudian slips do the work for you?
I suspect it does not matter, it is just good to have it done, and to know that my new title of author is only six letters away.