Had one of those days yesterday you wait a decade for. I signed a three book contract with Pan MacMillan’s digital publishing arm Momentum Books. Early next year they’re re-releasing my first fantasy trilogy “Shadow Through Time” into a worldwide market. My first eBooks. My first time as an International author.
Back in 2001 when those novels were first released as print books into the Australian territories, eBooks were a novelty and I had no idea that a decade later the world would be awash with eReaders, and that you could walk into BigW and buy a Kindle. Of course I’d dreamt of an International readership. I think most authors do. But the print books hadn’t sold overseas, and after a while they went out of print.
Am I allowed to give myself credit for never giving up on them? For loving those characters and knowing that readers who’d never met them would love them too? I’m sure you’ll give me permission for that. In a way this deal is like being a mother and watching your child fulfil their potential, because it’s painful for a writer (or a mother) to give up on people they’ve created, and it usually only happens when it hurts too much to hang on. Here I can thank my mother for my perseverance. From a young age I saw her dealing with our out-there family and I realised she simply would not allow herself to give up on a child, no matter how badly they might behave, how they might disappoint her or not live up to her expectations. I grew up with the example that you love them still, dammit! And you hope.
So I loved my characters. And I hoped. And I dreamed. I kept dog-eared printouts of fan emails, and when I felt low I’d read them and think, “These guys loved my characters. It’s not fair to give up on them.” I shared my despairs and my moments of inspiration and elation with my writing buddies while I wrote more books and tried to get them published, and I weathered the well meaning inquiries of family and friends wondering “Whatever happened to those books? And when are new ones coming out?”
Well now I can answer that question. The trilogy that was so well received in Australia is about to step onto the world stage and within six months I’ll be getting fan emails from readers in countries I’ve never even been to. Exciting doesn’t begin to describe, and the books I’ve written in between are now lined up ready to slot into various publishing markets. In a weird way it’s like water behind a dam wall. It just takes one breach to let everything behind it flow out.
So yesterday was significant for me. Not just because I signed a contract for the first time in a decade, but because it taught me probably the most valuable lesson in my life so far: faith is rewarded.
Never give up.