I know, I know. It’s a schmaltzy title for a post. Look, it’s Sunday morning. What do you expect, literary gold?
So, a moment to pause and consider – or selah, as both the Hebrew Bible and Babylon 5 would put it. As of last month, the Traveller Series is two years old (at least, in terms of release). For two years the story and characters that have been bubbling away in my head since the age of 17 have been given form and have been available to the public via the Kindle Store. Now, self-publication might not carry the same lustre or kudos enjoyed by traditional publication but it was (and still is) a big deal to me; deep down I knew I wanted to write in my late teens but lacked the confidence to even begin. The Traveller project was started and discarded so many times I actually lost count. And yet here we are, almost eighteen years later, and I can show you this:
This is the cover to Traveller’s Sorrow, my third book. I’ve written three actual, honest-to-God, read-by-other-people books. That kid full of self-doubt and fear has written three books. I never get used to that feeling – and it’s strange now, going back to those older books and seeing how far I’ve come. You can see the change in my prose as I grew more confident, more certain of my story and where I wanted to take it. Re-editing that work, as I’m doing now to return the story to novel form, feels like plagiarising somebody else’s story and yet I also feel pride at what I’ve accomplished. Such a strange amalgam of emotions.
So I’d like to take the opportunity to do two things. Firstly I’d like to say to anybody who wants to be a writer, no matter how old they are and no matter what story they have to tell, to write it. Don’t be afraid or even concerned with what over people will say. Become the storyteller. And you know what? Your first attempt will be awful. Honestly, it will. So you’ll write it again, and again. You’ll ask the opinions of those you trust – not those who you know will say nice things whether they’re true or not – and you’ll listen carefully to all types of criticism. You’ll pick your story apart at the seams and stitch it back together again. You’ll get better. And most importantly? You’ll keep writing. Do it. DO IT. Be a writer. WRITE.
Secondly, I’d like to thank everybody that’s bought my books and everybody that’s been kind enough to leave a review on Amazon or elsewhere. Whether you liked the book or not, the fact that you were reading it encouraged me to keep writing. Trust me, there were days when I really, really needed that. I’d also like to thank my beta readers past and present for lending their time and opinions to my writing process. You’ve helped me make a better story and I wouldn’t (couldn’t) have managed that without you. And finally, I’d like to thank somebody who shares a name with one of my protagonists. Sarah, you once sat with me in a pub and told me that Traveller’s Duty was one of your favourite books of all time. You have no idea how much I needed to hear that, at that time on that day. Traveller’s Promise got finished because your kind words convinced me to dust myself off and continue writing. Thank you for that. Thank you for reading.
Traveller’s Sorrow is on schedule for release next month. I can’t wait to share it with all of you.