If you haven't seen The Prologue - take a 'butchers' as they say in Cockney rhyming slang:
This whole publishing venture has been a family affair from the very start. In 2011, I completed Roadrage, having finally overcome my reluctance to put pen to paper ever again after my painful experience with Niedermayer & Hart, when, some years before, it had for several months attracted the interest of a major publishing house. Judith convinced me that I now had two decent books up my sleeve, and that we should bring them both out through our little publishing business Odd Dog Press. We'd formed this back in 2009 to produce Judith's non-fiction, local history book, Southborough War Memorial. The development of the internet, Amazon, Smashwords, e-books and digital printing, not to mention Twitter, Facebook etc has made everything possible for the self-published/indie writer. I wouldn't say it's become a level playing-field exactly - but then, how could it possibly be? Personally, I don't expect people to rush out and buy my books just because I tell them they're okay. I do hope however that they'll read the reviews, listen to their friends' recommendations and decide to buy it because it sounds like something they might enjoy. However, like all books, Niedermayer & Hart (and Roadrage when it arrives shortly) is not to everyone's taste. But, if you're thinking is in line with the eighteen different reviewers who have praised it over various internet sites, then I suspect you're in for an enjoyable time reading.
I am very lucky, my wife and son have been my bulwark, and have remained an unerring source of encouragement and support throughout. I suspect I'd have stumbled and fallen out of the race already without their belief in me. Everyone should have a Judith and a Tom Johnson!
I anticipated spending no more than a month setting myself up on social networking sites and e-formatting Niedermayer & Hart to complement the beautiful trade-sized paperback printed for us by MPG Biddles (very professional and highly recommended!). Ahem! If you're a would be self-publishing/indie writer - I suggest you plan on a timescale of more like six months to get all this stuff established for yourself. I never had to worry about a book cover, because Tom produced a beautiful design for it and did all the clever stuff on Photoshop that was required. He also, despite having a busy full-time job, has made three animations to promote my book (and completed two excellent portraits for his own personal satisfaction as an artist! Take a look - www.tomjohnsonart.com ). He has most recently almost finalised the cover for Roadrage - it's stunning!
Apart from my weekly blog, I started actually writing again in June and found by following a fairly disciplined daily workplan was able to produce 2,000 words a day. I'd completed 74,000 words of the first draft of my next book when my dear mother took a fall at her sheltered home in south-west Wales. She should by rights have recovered, but I suspect she found the increasing dependency of her life too difficult to go on with, her condition continued to deteriorate and on 20 November she died. I was fortunate enough to be with her at the time of her 'passing'.
I'd been awake, apart from a brief nap for over thirty hours by the time I finally took to my bed that evening and fully expected to have quite a disturbed night. I was telling my wife just the other day how I woke up in the hotel the next morning from one of the sweetest night's sleep I can ever recall. I had no memory of any dreams, just a great feeling of well-being, and I actually had a smile on my face when I opened my eyes! The words of the 14th Century Anchorite Nun, Julian of Norwich, immediately sprang to my mind, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
The funeral has now passed but I find the grieving process goes on and I daresay will do for a while longer. My wife was only eighteen when she met my parents; she and my son both feel the loss deeply too. When something commonplace occurs in my daily life I catch myself thinking to myself, "I must remember to tell Mam that when I ring her next," - sadly not to be! I am slowly getting used to this.
So, as we approach the end of the year (I'm sticking my neck out here and assuming the Mayans got it wrong!) I find myself already in the mood for reflection. Roadrage will be published in the early part of 2013. Niedermayer & Hart is of course already out in the big wide world and I hope that more and more people will continue to discover and enjoy it in 2013. Amazon have recently reduced the cost of the paperback by 10%, and I have dropped the price of the Kindle version by 30%.until 7 January (normally £3.24 ($4.99) now only £2.22 ($3.49)). If you'd prefer to buy the book from Smashwords with the same 30% reduction then use this code when purchasing at their checkout: KD25R
Don't eat too many mince pies!