My novel Time Does Not Stop wasn’t always a “novel”.
For many years it was an unfinished short story that I had been working on in my spare time during my youth (circa 2011). I did a lot of scribbling in notebooks until late at night (sorry mum).I made tonnes of lists of names I liked for the characters and places. I did lots of googling and scribbling for inspiration. I also got busy reading other novels. I had a few terrible hand drawn images of characters and locations to accompany it all. Whenever I came up with something new I would make time to get it on paper and contemplate if it would work in the story or not. It’s still all in one giant lever arch file (and is still a mess).
Fun fact: originally Indiana was going to be called Kari because I liked the name so much at the time. The town and layout of Ludlet (Royal Ludlet to the north, Lower Ludlet to the south, separated by the railway line) was one of the earliest elements of the story I came up with. The characters of posh boy Alex and poor girl Indiana were brought out next. I wanted them to connect and see things from each other’s perspectives and not be so narrow-minded and blind to how others perceive the world around them.
I also did a bit of scrapping of parts that I liked but didn’t seem to fit in the story and seemed a bit too dark. Alex was going to have a side story of when he had a shy young manservant working for him who had been poorly treated in his last job. It made him skittish and scared to get close to new employees (including Alex). Alex confronted him and got the boy talking. Alex decided that this servant doesn’t deserve to be waiting on people who could use him for their own benefit while treading all over him. Alex let’s him go and the servant boy ends up working in a flower market and is much happier. This just didn’t fit and I felt it was unnecessarily emotional.
I often came up with the concepts of characters by browsing DeviantArt and Pinterest for ideas. Alex and Indiana aren’t based on any real people, but pieces of their personalities were borrowed from all over the place (perhaps I did base some of Indiana’s resilience and Alex’s arrogance on myself but that’s just a theory).
Only about two years ago did I become serious about publishing this story as it progressed. I had nearly finished writing it all out on note paper in my folder. I looked online for some ways to publish it and thought about approaching some publishing houses. Upon reading that I would have to email the first three chapters of my typed manuscript to them and that they may take up to 9 months to even read it (and not replying if they rejected it) was a huge blow that almost stopped me in my tracks. This was going to be HARD! I did some more googling and started reading about SELF-PUBLISHING. I’d never read a self-published book but then perhaps I had and never realised it? I’ve been realising that self-publishing is a great option for aspiring writers. You get more freedom in choice and you get to be the boss of your book (unlike at publishing houses where they are the boss instead).
In the beginning of 2018 I got in touch with Green Hill Publishing and they asked me for my completed typed manuscript. The first thing I thought was “You mean I have to type it now?”. I gave myself a time line, guessing it would take me a few months to digitise my work. 12 months later I’d finally put it all into Microsoft Word. Upon reading through it I realised that it seriously needed editing. Since I’d been staring at it for the last 12 months I figured another pair of eyes to look it over might be good. Since my mother is a teacher I figured she’d be able to proofread it in no time. 6 months later that was done (thanks mum!). After 18 months I was finally ready to submit my manuscript to Green Hill Publishing and I’m grateful for them being so patient with me (when sometimes I wasn’t). The next step was the cover. I showed them many photos I’d pinned to various Pinterest boards and we talked several different ideas. I’m very happy with the cover and it looks beautiful. My book looks like a real book BECAUSE IT IS A REAL BOOK!!
I have several more stories (ranging from a few pages long to over 100 pages) that could potentially become a published book one day but only time will tell what will make it and what will remain on the cutting room floor. The future is always exciting because you never truly know what will happen!