I received an e-mail from my publisher yesterday to say they had completed the final edit of the book and are now finishing off the formatting and cover design. I’m hopeful the proofs will be forwarded to me next week for final checks. I’m particularly excited to see what the artists come up with for the cover based on the suggestions I sent them. It feels like Christmas Eve and I’m seven years old all over again.
Although the book is called ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square,’ I’m rooting for Meredith Starc to be the cover star. I’m starting to seriously think about Book 2 but can’t commit to it until ‘Skelly’s Square’ is birthed. Being a typical man, I can’t multi task. The launch excites and terrifies me in equal measure. It’s all bubbling to the surface, about to burst through and become as real as real can be.
Believe it or not I’m painfully shy and take social awkwardness to a whole new level. WordPress is one of the safe places where I can expose myself through my writing. ‘Skelly’s Square’ is the pinnacle of that dream, where I’ve poured my heart and soul into a story which I hope many of you will read and enjoy. The support I receive on this blog never ceases to amaze me. If it weren’t for my fellow bloggers there would be no book.
Exposure is scary, isn’t it? Right now I’m starting to tell ‘real’ people I’ve written a book. Friends, work colleagues, the community I immerse myself in every time I step out the front door. The response has been er…..interesting. While many have been genuinely delighted, others have viewed me as if I had two heads. A few responses have been largely indifferent which I’ve found hurtful.
It’s at times like that I’ve understood how some writers prefer to maintain their anonymity under a pseudonym. Why reveal yourself and your art to the world to be greeted by a blanket of apathy and ridicule? Maybe I’m being a tad paranoid and overtly sensitive but I dread the thought of being mocked. Authors take the bravest of steps when they face the world head on and announce, ‘I’ve written a book.’
Take my author photo. I was deeply embarrassed having it taken in a public place, the Belfast backstreet I was walking through where I first had the idea for ‘Skelly’s Square.’ Passers by eyed me curiously as I tried to follow the instructions of my photographer, Peter, and look natural. Easier said than done, let me tell you. I hate getting my photograph taken at the best of times.
You need to be brave to write, to bare all, to reveal the real you to the judging eyes of others. The book is two years of my life. I want you all to love it, but what if you don’t? You need to be braver to write and publish. The process is daunting and discouragement lurks around every corner. Author photos, interviews and reviews are just parts of that process. So….deep breath:…here goes nothing.
Here’s my official author photo. This is me. Warts and all. Looking awkward in a Belfast alley. Although, just to clarify, I don’t actually have any warts. Kirkwood would be so proud of me. The book is imminent, a whole new chapter in my life. Watch this space for more details next week. Hopefully the long wait will be over soon. Thank you all again for your unceasing support. I will always be grateful.