Marking My Book’s Second Birthday
Two years ago, I made the decision to self-publish my little fantasy book, The Shield Road. We were still at the height of the Covid pandemic, locked inside for months at a time.
I can hardly believe it’s been so long! It’s been a wild journey — the best and worst time of my life, without doubt.
Do you have time for a story?
Are you sitting comfortably?
When I moved back from Portsmouth in late 2019, just before Covid came along to throw all our lives off kilter, I hadn’t written any fiction for over a year. I’d given up on pursuing it after several years learning the craft at uni.
When Covid happened I figured, “this is my best chance.” I printed out a little three-page booklet with a mock cover on it to motivate me and as the entire world locked down, I set about writing my personal antidote — a book about adventure, about people travelling the length and breadth of their world, solving problems and getting into scrapes and just generally living. Over a year passed between the first words on the page and the final thing going on sale in March 2021.
I was floored by the response.
The book is sitting pretty on 75 reviews on Amazon as I write this, which is more than I could ever have dared to hope for. Someone wrote an absolutely glowing review on their blog which I still have saved so I can read it on bad days. I’d come a long way since the interview, where the idea of being an author first cemented in my head.
While I was living in Portsmouth, I scraped by selling top 10 list articles. (I know, I know, but somebody has to write them!) I was desperately hunting for another job, hoping to put my year of volunteer work to use by finding a paying library job. I had an interview lined up at a school library in Eastleigh. On the day of the interview I headed to the train station… to find it was entirely closed down for repairs. After a frantic phone call with the school, my interview was rearranged for the next day.
I got on the train, but not much farther. As I settled into my seat, already buzzing with nerves…