Waiting for your new novel to be published is a bit like the late stages of pregnancy. You know it’s coming, you’ve told people about it, but the little bugger still hasn’t shown their face.
It’s not like this is my first experience of ‘novel birth’. The two others were delivered by another publisher, but the process is pretty much the same. Months after you finish the energetic stuff, the actual writing, a little bundle of joy arrives on your doorstep. Unlike with babies, and if I’m honest I’m not sure why you can’t do this with them, other people get to have it and keep it on their bookshelves. Novels then develop a bit further and after a while they learn to talk, also known as getting reviews, and before you know it they have a life of their own.
Then the questions come. Are you trying for another? That’s quite intrusive really, I mean when your cousin turns up at your house with the new bambino you don’t look at her and immediately ask, is she planning to go through the whole process again? I mean, you might, but that’s probably why she always manages to spill red wine on your new carpet and scratches your car every time she parks nearby. The other question that people ask is ‘What’s it really about?’ I’m pretty sure that people never ask new parents this one. Nobody says, ‘Baby Jasper is lovely, but what does ‘Jasper’ mean in this context?’
‘Playing the Pools’ is, however, not a baby. It started life being called ‘First Divi’, as a play on words. First Dividend is the term that used to be applied to a big win on the pools, and on Merseyside a ‘Divvy’ is slang for ‘idiot’. The lovely people at my publishers thought that wasn’t appealing enough, so it’s now called ‘Playing the Pools’, and probably better for it.
As with all new born’s people will want to know what I want for it. A simple wish really, that people enjoy it as an entertaining and at times thought provoking read. Longer term, it would make a cracking film, but dreams of Stephen Graham & Jodie Comer playing the lead roles will have to remain just that, a bit like hoping your kid grows up to score a hat-trick for Tranmere in the Champions League final.
Soon attention will turn to the next project. COVID-19 has put paid to theatre audiences but I’m hoping that it won’t be long before ‘The Journey’ is seen by audiences. There is a new novel in gestation, but not much more than that at the moment, and a screenplay that I’ve started to write, but again, time will tell.
Until then I’ll just have to concentrate on getting the novel in front of as many readers as possible and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Until next time.