Holy crap – is it nearly a year since I updated this blog? What the heck have I been doing? Aside from editing my novel, changing jobs, buying a house and getting engaged, that is. Still, all that’s no excuse. It’s about time I got back to what I love and what I should be doing. And that is writing.

I’ve done a lot of reading, got through a fair amount of books, and performed many hours editing 26 Miles to the Moon, but none of it is writing – the creative process. I’m supposed to be a writer, therefore I write. Being one and not writing is like saying you’re a runner when you haven’t even taken your new trainers out of the box. So the rebooting of this blog is my way of starting writing again.

The story so far
26 Miles to the Moon is close to be sent out into the big, bad world. It’s ventured tentatively out a few times and has come back fairly unscathed. But it still needs some work, some flaws to fix, some strengthening of characters. It has to be street-wise, equipped with everything it needs to fend off the wolves that may attack it. I’m just weeks away from unleashing it into the wild, for it to stride out into the world, make its mark and say, “Come take me!”
Or, in other words, I’m nearly done editing it and will soon send it to agents.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

ABNA2I should name drop Nick Whiteley here for informing me of a competition for authors who were looking for opportunities for their unsung novels. My first thought in January was, “Yeah right. A still-in-progress first novel competing with completed, even self-published books in a pool of 10,000? No chance.” But then I thought of a phrase another friend used to always say to me (usually when he wanted me to ask a girl out): “What have I got to lose?” So I entered into my category of 2000…got past round 1…stormed into the quarters and only lost out when they whittled the 100 left down to 5. Quarter finals! I’m like the Sven Goran Eriksson of writers. Except with a slimmer bank account. It was an exciting journey with some industry feedback to boot, and to read comments from someone who didn’t know me saying  they liked my book was an experience I won’t forget.

(Nick has his own book, Business Innovation: A Little Book of Big Ideas)

It’s a suitable point to thank everyone who has read the draft of my book and has fed back to me. Taking time to read it when you didn’t have to, when you didn’t owe me anything and then feeding back was simply amazing. Your comments are golden – and by that I mean in their value to me. Sure, the praise gave me a nice warm feeling, but then I also understand that it’s a writers’ cliché saying “but my friends loved it!” whenever the professionals reject a manuscript. No, the main takeaway from me were the comments made about characters, things that didn’t work and even perceptions of the last couple of chapters. Not only has it given me confidence and belief in my book, but has also shown me the areas I need to work on, which was always my main aim. I know the odds of publishing success are laughably small, but this all helps in my battle. And if I win, you’d have had a hand in its success.

What next?
As I’ve said, I aim to finish my edits over the next few weeks and start sending it out to agents in the hope to find one to take me on and approach my book to publishers. It all sounds exciting, but is likely to be a long process and I’m under no illusion is one statistically likely to fail. But you can bet that I’ll give it the best shot I’ve got. As Han Solo once said, “Never tell me the odds!

A new hope

2But that’s not all – I’m going to write another novel! Whilst 26 Miles to the Moon is doing the rounds, I shall start on the second novel by Andrew Males. What’s it going to be about? Where’s it set? Who’s the protagonist?
You know what? I haven’t a clue…but I’m on the case. Follow my journey of creation on this very blog – feel free to join in even – and see if I can discover another idea worthy of a novel.

And as I have the next blog entry prepared already, I won’t make you wait a year for the next update!


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