The best thing about my new career as a blogger is instant gratification. Push Publish and hey presto – my words are beamed out over the entire planet. They can probably be read by a team of astronauts en route to Mars. Publishing Kaleidoscope was an entirely different ball-game.
A blog is short. You can skim through for errors in the flash of an eye – it’s much more user-friendly than ploughing through a manuscript. Again. And again. I began to hate the story more every time I read it. I couldn’t make up my mind about the commas. Or the colons. The characters were even worse. Would they have said that? Could they have done this? When I could bear it no longer, I pressed print …
This unleashed a new panoply of problems. My printer was used to short snappy instructions. Print the electricity bill. Maybe an email from the children for me to read again before I went to sleep. It had never been expected to print an entire novel. It took DAYS . It couldn’t deliver more than about ten pages at a time without going into seizure. The paper jammed. The ink ran out. One chapter heading started half way down the page which threw all subsequent pages out of alignment. I was tempted to throw the entire project into the garbage but eventually – there it was! Two hundred and fifty pages! Double spacing! Single-sided!
But then what?
I didn’t have an agent. Penguin’s offices were down the road in Rosebank. I’ve been reading Penguin books since the days when all their covers were orange and white. Imagine if there was a penguin on the cover of Kaleidoscope? I fed the pages into a brown manila envelope and drove down to Penguin. I left my envelope at reception.
It was nearly a year before I heard from them. You can understand why I love to push Publish on my blog…
blog on, Barbara!
I have read all Barbara’s book and I found with each one she just grows and improves . Apart from them being interesting, absorbing fiction one learns so much from her books relating to Autism and Alzheimer’s plus the different characters ‘ personalities having to deal with the challenges they face. Most of all I enjoyed her Below Luck level – so well researched as are all her topics in her books . I think that Below luck Level struck a chord with me having watched my mother fall prey to the sad disease. All Barbara’s books are extremely readable .
It is particularly encouraging to get positive feedback from someone who has personal experience with Alzheimer’s. Thank you so much Carole!