Well, the day is finally here! The wait is over!
(My hands are trembling a little with nervous excitement as I write this.)
Book Baby has been born!
Stronger Within, my debut novel (eek!) is live in the Kindle Store on Amazon for the all the world to see. (Takes deep breath…..)
Actually seeing it on there, with my name and a price tag beside it, has stirred a plethora of emotions within me – a bit like childbirth does, to continue with that analogy.
The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. Despite my best laid plans – I had the whole week off work to complete the final edit and preparations – Mother Nature threw a spanner in the works. For the first time in almost twenty years, I was ill and spent two days in bed and another under a blanket on the couch – flu! It cost me three precious days of calm, organised preparation time. Easter Monday was a write off too as I spent most of it in floods of tears, mourning the loss of my beloved white cat, Gandalf. One of the toughest days of my life but at least he’s not suffering anymore.
By Tuesday I felt semi-human again and, four days later than planned, the final edit began.
This final spelling, grammar and punctuation check truly was a long, laborious process (yes- pain relief and Lemsips were required – no natural birth for Book Baby I’m afraid!) Finally with one almighty push, I had my completed word document.
It was stark naked but Stronger Within was ready to be uploaded onto my Kindle Direct Publishing account.
This proved a little tricky and fiddly. It was a bit like trying to wrestle a baby into an all-in-one sleep suit. Bits kept wriggling free! Some of the legal disclaimer page didn’t sit quite right. Some of the title fonts were too big. My author’s note and biography pages (the two hardest bits to write, by the way) also tried to escape. However, like all new mothers, I persevered and soon had it all snuggly dressed.
I sat in the kitchen, on my own, music blaring as usual, staring at the screen before reaching out to hit submit.
There were no fanfares. No fireworks. No party streamers. No champagne corks flying.
Just me, a half-drunk glass of Lucozade and Myles Kennedy singing in the background.
I’d done it! I’d really done it!
Book Baby had become Stronger Within.
The four handwritten A4 notebooks had been transformed into a Kindle e-book.
Even now, several days later, it’s still not quite sunk in.
As a child, I was always scribbling stories in notebooks, seldom finishing any of them.
As a teenager, writing was my escape from the bullying I was subjected to in school. Most lunch hours were spent huddled in a quiet corner, safely lost in my own creative bubble.
Marriage and children came along and for years I never wrote at all. I still kept my diary but that was about it until five or six years ago. I found myself with an hour and a half to myself once a week while Girl Child was at dance class. While she pirouetted and tapped upstairs, I sat in the local theatre’s café writing poetry. It was a start.
Almost two years ago I couldn’t keep the characters in my imagination quiet any longer and, in true Coral fashion, bought a new A4 notebook and a new pen and began to write. The end result is Stronger Within.
Some of you are possibly wondering – “Why launch a book on a Wednesday?”
The 15th April was chosen as Book Baby’s birthday a few months ago. It’s a date that means a lot to me personally. It was my Wee Gran’s birthday (she would have been 113 today if she was still with us). She discovered the joy of reading late in life. Like most of us, she began with Enid Blyton. The only difference was that she was in her late seventies at the time! My mum suggested that she join the local library and my Wee Gran soon developed a love of a good doctor/nurse romance. I wonder what she would have made of Stronger Within?
There’s a second reason for choosing the 15th April. Twenty one years ago today the Big Green Gummi Bear asked me to marry him. Yes, I’m a romantic fool at heart!
So what’s next?
Well, there’s no rest for the wicked! I’m planning to spend the next few weeks writing, promoting Stronger Within and trying to re-charge my batteries then I’ll start typing up Book Baby 2. It’s already written (well the first draft is) and fills another four A4 notebooks.
None of this would have been possible without the support and encouragement of my “infamous five” alpha readers. (Have you each worked out who the other four are yet?) Without their love and friendship, Stronger Within would still just be a story in four notebooks in a box under my kitchen table. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough here.
A huge thank you to my beta readers who arrived like the cavalry a few weeks ago to read over the final drafts.
To my artist friend who gifted me the Celtic dragon design – thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s perfect.
And a final thank you to my “writing fairy godmother” for waving her Photoshop magic wand for me!
So all that’s left to say is make yourself a coffee or pour a glass of wine, sit back, relax and enjoy Stronger Within.
Love and hugs to you all