How wrong I was! What actually happened was the book was all but overlooked by the public, despite a couple of high-profile news articles and a couple of mentions on local radio and TV across the UK. I didn't do much else.
Of course, it didn't help that it had a terrible cover (see above!). Also, during the latter stages of writing the book I was undergoing treatment for cancer, and within the weeks and months of launching the book I had lost my appetite for writing. The editorial stage of producing the book was arduous and painstaking (for various reasons), and my perspectives on life had changed.
The book sold a couple of thousand, not enough to cover the advance money, and didn't live up to my high expectations, or my ambitions. I thought to use the book to springboard my career in writing, but with a lack of motivation, that goal was temporarily put aside. I thought that in a couple of years I would find the 'writing bug', but that wasn't going to happen. Another near death experience in 2005 (car accident that should have seen me at the Pearly Gates) and, against the odds (and doctors advice), my wife and I had a child, Rebecca in 2006. We had another 'miracle' in 2008 when Sophie was born. With my life taking a more domestic, routine direction, I invested most my time in building a career and supporting my family. In 2009 I was cursed with cancer again (unrelated to my first) which, with an operation and a heavy course of chemotherapy, which ended in 2010; I am happy to say that I came through the victor once again. My perspectives once again changed. In my mind I'd managed to stave-off death three times (cancer twice, a car accident once). The film 'Unbreakable' springs to mind... which is surprising, as it's a terrible film. I think the only reason I remember it is because the actual print of the film 'broke' during the showing I attended at the local multiplex... but I digress. I decided then that I would return to my writing, but when was the question? Finding time was a factor that seemed too much of an obstacle to overcome. In 2011, once again against medical reasoning, my wife and I had another child. Matthew was born, and seeing him, so small in his cot, I felt so lucky and blessed. With my job (in a junior managerial role) I found that I was away at work a lot (a fact that had meant that I hadn't really seen my girls grow up), and I was tired and feeling ill most the time, a side-effect from the chemotherapy, which still bothers me today. I couldn't go on like this. Why survive death so many times to just plod through life and not enjoy it? I wanted to enjoy my children. I wanted to enjoy life. I wanted my life to have a purpose, and I wanted to be unique. Above all else, I desperately wanted to write again.
Towards the end of 2011 I made the decision that early the following year I would take a sabbatical from my day job to help look after Matthew, and to begin working on my first novel. I'd been developing an idea for a while and wanted to progress it. My wife was fully supportive, and the following April I completed my months' notice and began May a full-time 'house-husband' and soon-to-be, a part-time (unpaid) writer. I began writing the difficult first novel in September 2012 after the fun of the London Olympics, and when the kids had returned to school from their summer break.
Now, after more than two years, the book is ready for publication. As I go through the throes of getting it 'into print', I thought it was time to resurrect the website. What will follow on my blog will be a series of commentaries highlighting my trials in getting the book published, as well as some ramblings on unrelated matters. Maybe I'll publish a handful of short stories too.
I hope you stay with me, buy my books and enjoy the blog.