Needless to say, I did nothing, until, for Christmas, she bought me a journal, and challenged me to write her a story. Now a lot of people would have written a little piece, shared it, shared a smile, and moved on. Not me. I planned characters, plot points, and timelines. I wrote bits and pieces based on ideas I'd held in my mind for years, and tried to find a way to make these fragments a viable whole. I carried the journal around with me like a kid with a favourite teddy. Ten months later the first draft of Discoredia, at 90,000+ words, was complete. For someone with no experience of this type of thing I was quite proud of myself.
My "masterpiece" was first read, by my better half, of course, whilst on holiday in Mexico and, while praising the plot, my grammar and punctuation was slated. So much so that after the first read through she declared that she had no option but to edit it, so as to make it readable, and also show me how to write technically, as well as imaginatively.
By the time the first edit was complete we were into 2008, and, just for fun, we had a copy printed through Lulu. Receiving that first book in my hand was an amazing feeling, and in a rush of positivity I clicked the "make available to the public" button and waited for the millions, and movie deals, to roll in.
Fast forward four years and Discoredia still languished on Lulu. To say sales were few and far between would be an understatement. I'd written a sequel but a new job was giving me less time to write, and, with the birth of our son in 2011, I had even less spare time.
Having said that, becoming a father gave me a fresh impetus to try to do more with my life than just plod through the 9-5. And Discoredia seemed to be an untapped resource, an asset that deserved more attention than I'd given it after self-publishing. More in hope than expectation, I put the first few chapters on Authonomy, and an obsession began.
Authonomy has a lot of plus points. You meet some interesting people, and, approached in the right way you can learn a hell of a lot, I know I did. But, if you want to hit that desk, it takes a lot of time and effort. At one point I was reviewing half a dozen openings, 3 or 4 chapters of each book, a day. Every day. And I still owe a lot of reads now (you're all on a list, and I will get back to it).
Come October I hit the top spot and held it for most of the month before slipping back to 3rd. Fittingly, on Halloween, I received an Authonomy medal, and qualified for a Harper Collins review. I knew that Discoredia was now a vastly improved piece of work, but it was still a pleasant surprise when a positive review came through. It wasn't accompanied by a mega-contract with HC but still, my confidence was lifted, and I decided to abandon the self-publishing model, for a time at least, and start submitting to agents and publishers.
It's now May 2013, a seven year journey so far. It's a long time, but suddenly the pace has picked up. This week alone I've set up the website, started the blog, and set up a couple of basic designs on cafepress giving the public the chance to buy Discoredia merchandise.
Hang on though. A website? Merchandise? For a book that isn't even available? Well there's a reason for that, but this post is about the past, the story so far, and the reason for this weeks burst of activity belongs in the future. All will be revealed soon.