So, you’ve finished writing your novel. Now what? Perhaps you ask your friends and family to read it. And there’s nothing wrong that. But if your friends are anything like mine, they’re probably not professionals. Some of them may not even read, let alone read for pleasure. Whilst they may have some valuable feedback, I have now come to believe that they should never be the ones you look to for advice. So where does one go?
Once I finished writing my first fantasy novel, I decided that it was time to try and get it published. And I tried doing it the ‘traditional way’. Why? In hindsight, I have no idea why I attempted such madness.
We live in a world where people have mastered the art of managing impressions. There’s fake news everywhere. Fake followers. Fake lives. Fake well… everything. The filters and perfected poses make our lives look better than they really are. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the things I encounter on social media.
I first read Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba in Melbourne some eight years ago. The graphic novel was a gift from my friend Tal for my birthday. The images stuck with me. This morning, I remembered the novel and re-read it. It awakened in me something that I hadn’t felt for a long time. Their story inspired me to write my own.
One of my main takeaways from attending the London Book Fair earlier this year was that: yes, we have to do all we can to ensure that the book gets out there, but at the end of the day, we have no idea if (or when!) the book will take off. Some books manage to fetch a hefty advance and end up tanking; whilst other books seem to succeed for unfathomable reasons; whereas other books lay dormant on the shelves till one day things suddenly take off.
For sometime now, there’s been a gentle voice inside me that’s been urging me on to go forth on my venture wholeheartedly. I heard it. Believe me, I did. But like many people, I was caught up in a life that didn’t fully fulfil me. It wasn’t good enough to stay or bad enough to leave. And then crisis came down on me. Not once, not twice, but over and over again. It emptied out my life and burnt everything to the ground.
Mr Ten of Wands has come a long long way from where he first started. When he first began, he had only a burning desire. A gift from the element of fire. He knew that there was something he wanted to do. And unlike many others, who are afraid to go after what their heart’s desire, Mr. Wands went forth. He had courage. He had ambition. And above everything, he had a burning desire.