Book Number IV: Reveal #1

This is the first blog post of a series that will reveal information about my fourth book, to be published by Sandstone Press in 2020. Initially this is just to update on progress, but will explore some of the content as we go along.

The first email in my folder for Book IV is dated 20 February 2018, and I submitted the manuscript to the publisher on 7 October 2019. So, approximately 1 year and 7 months of the researching and writing. Although to be fair, I see from other correspondence that I had the initial idea almost a year earlier. But things didn’t go too well at first. I contacted the main subject (it is biographical) and got this delaying reply on 8 March 2017:

He’s considering your proposal about writing your next book about him and will get back to you when he decides.

I followed this up at the end of May and got his reply on 31 May 2017:

He won’t say yes or he won’t say no till he’s had a chat with you.

I set about arranging a one-to-one conversation, but things overtook me (including booking and doing some talks for Book III) and that conversation didn’t happen until the end of January 2018. The chat was friendly and instructive – and nearly put me off the project completely! Some of the aspects of the story that was already unfolding began to worry me and I took a timeout to think about, and to discuss it with a fellow author.

Grasmere_small

TEASE: the subject of the book is in this photo

Receiving encouraging comments on the synopsis from my friend, I was now determined to forge ahead, thinking I would deal with any ‘issues’ as I went along. A slightly revised synopsis was sent to my publisher on 3 July 2018, by which time I had done a good 4 months of research. The synopsis was well received and I was away at full speed now.

The next blog will give a feel for the researching and writing process that I have been through – including finding sources, contacting interviewees, collecting facts and opinions, sorting themes, scheduling chapter breaks, and starting to write.

I will leave you with a snapshot of a recent conversation with my editor: He may have just likened my manuscript to a symphony. Or he may have been referring to all books. Anyway, if I have got this right, he was making a point about similarities between the two, with the movements in symphonies being mirrored by themes in books. His point in my case was that the author of a book such as mine should be more like the conductor, rather than a player (as in an orchestra). Positive suggestions for achieving that followed.

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