Sunday, 21 June 2015

Taking a break from Sci-Fi

This month’s Camping and Caravanning Magazine has an interview with me on its Club People page. I’m really pleased with it. I met Sheila Kiggins at the CCC offices, in Coventry, a couple of months ago. We chatted about caravanning and science fiction and just about everything else in between (there’s quite a lot in between) and she has written a really nice article. I’m so pleased about it. I’m not much of a talker, but as I mentioned in a earlier post, get me onto one of my passions, caravanning or science fiction, and I open up a bit. Talk to me about both at the same time, and well, be prepared to tie me up and gag me.

So, in the interview, the cat is out of the bag. I talk about something I’m about to do that would give any traditional publisher a hissy fit. I’m a Science Fiction and Fantasy writer; I have stories published in some pretty cool magazines, and I have awards and stuff. Now I’m about to release my first book. But here’s the thing: It’s a Travel Book. It’s memoir. I don’t even get to travel anywhere all that exotic, at least not in the eyes of your modern, jet-setting, bucket-listing, far-flung travel guru of the twenty-first century. It certainly isn't Science Fiction. 

'Travelling in a Box' will not make me a millionaire. I'll be lucky to even earn back some of the editing and cover-design costs. And you know what? I really don’t care. I just wanted to write it. I loved writing it. This is the joy of indie publishing. I can do this mad thing. There’s nobody to go all red-faced and finger-pointy and say, ‘you can’t do that!

Don’t get me wrong, a traditional publishing deal would be nice. You get money and stuff. You get to sit on panels at conventions without feeling like some kind of gatecrasher. To be an indie, though, is kind of freeing. I am the one who calls the shots. I shortlisted and picked the cover design (and it's gorgeous). I got to pick my own editor (who has been brilliant). Later, when I’m ready, I get to switch genres back to Science Fiction, or Fantasy, or horror, or even Urban Bakelite Punk with pink unicorns if I want to. I’ve always written because I enjoy doing it, and if someone else gets to enjoy reading my stuff then that is a big plus. It’s good, now, to be able to bring that same sense of freedom to the publishing process, and so far I’m enjoying the ride.
Travelling in a Box will be launched in mid July as an e-book and a paperback. There will be a book launch party, and staying true to the indie spirit I will do the catering myself. Most of it. Well, some of it. Maybe I’ll get my wife (aka sounding board, beta-reader and co-protagonist) to make the cheese sandwiches. I’ll buy the bottle of pop.

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