8 minute read (this blog, not the book)
When I sit down to start writing a book, the task is not in the least bit daunting, I just open the diary that contains the journey I’m about to share: the memories stir, the feelings come back and the words flow.
Every book I’ve ever written is a diary, I simply retell a page a day, it’s not daunting to write nor to read, just take it a day at a time, like life, as that’s what the books are, a journey through life.
However once complete the production starts, and that is laborious: the copyedit, proofread, cover design, recording, typeset and finally to print; then worst bit of all, the bloody promoting – getting the word out.
The trilogy coincided with the shed build and was all a bit overwhelming. Completing the book was like pouring the concrete base. Then the real work started
There were a lot of similarities in the two projects.
I’m not sure I realised what I was taking on, creating a 63 square meter shed with 4 rooms – garage, workshop, writing studio and recording booth and a 220,000-word, 4 story journey covering a 2-year period which was condensed into 3 books.
With the roof on I didn’t have to bring power tools in at the end of every day – the initial cover concept was complete.
When the electrics became live, there was no need to keep running extension leads – proof read and approved, independent power handed back to me.
Then the flooring went down and the dust was eliminated- track changes accepted, spell checked and correct.
Now dust free I could set up the recording booth, mic, audio interface and other fragile components came out of their boxes and the book gets the ultimate read through by the author.
Then all that’s left is refinements, flagstone entrance – a dedication for the inside cover, hard but inviting, the first tried to be funny but tripped and fell flat, the second too wordy, clever but cumbersome, then I came up with a brilliant one.
With the log burner relocated in the corner to sit and consider – a few poignant quotes were needed to ease the reader in.
All that was left to do was aesthetics, the positioning of the bikes, bring in the tools and marvel at the creation – my 5th shed is complete and the 7th book goes to print.
This has been all-consuming, that’s why there has been no newsletters and little social media. I enjoyed the process so much I didn’t want to share it, least of all get bogged down in posts and scrolling and I’d had enough of screen staring.
But it’s done now, the bikes have a place to spent the winter and I’ve been invited to Motorcycle Live to launch part 2 of the Rambling On trilogy. ‘I Could Have Been a Dreamer’
Another reason why the June release was postponed was because: the privileged few who had seen the manuscript returned it with a recurring comment – ‘this is the one, this is the book that will break you’ I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean the last of the book fund bank account will be depleted. More accurately, they were implying that this is in a league of its own. A captivating read, independently pushing limits through the frozen mountains of southern China in winter, on a 2000-year-old route towards Tibet, into the remote, the uninhabited and ultimately into the breathtakingly spectacular; easier read than done.
However the book is not all endurance and hardships, more a basic survival, finding a balance between my abilities, utter unprepared idiocy and a need for achievement. Which to some degree I got right, as I’m still here to tell the tale, but before the journey home there was a descent, a run off down into Thailand, a much-anticipated rest before going back to work and that’s where the realisation occurred. So, a travel book of inspiration, insight, humour, achievement and ending in a big fat epiphany.
You don’t have to have read part one, this book, like me on a frozen Himalaya trail, stands alone, but if you want to set the scene, and stage the journey there is a special 2 book offer. Alternatively book one ‘I Should Have Left the Whiskey’ is now available as an audio book, so if you prefer, I’ll read it for you.
I am very proud of this book, like the shed it called upon upcycled material, memories from 20 years ago. The shed is built of locally sourced recycled materials for a long-lost time of oak beams and mud bricks and the book is also from a time when travel was far more pure, less diluted, not shared with virtual interaction, and dictated by social media, blogs, and sav nav coordinates. This makes the solitude all the more liberating, the occasional company more appreciated, and the immersion more captivating.
This is a diary of brutal truth, determination, serendipity, and a lot of underestimated situations, that on a daily basis, like the journey, got me deeper and deeper into an ill-conceived dream until it became a reality.
A personally signed copy of I Could Have Been a Dreamer, is now available for pre-order.
Oh, and European orders will be distributed from Bulgaria so no import taxes and cheaper postage.
It’s gives me a deep euphoric feeling to finally announce this.
My work here is done…onto book 3.