I’d entered this competition on a bit of a whim last summer and, having sent my book off, had pretty much forgotten about it. Then out of the blue in February, I got an email saying that they’d lost my entry and could I send a PDF copy as a replacement. I hummed and hawed about this because I’m always wary about sending out unprotected electronic copies of books in case they somehow end up getting posted online, but I decided I’d do it anyway. As it happened, there were a few missed typos in the original first edition I submitted, and it was actually quite good to have the opportunity to send in a new version where these had been corrected.
So, I sent in the new copy, as requested, and promptly forgot about it again, that was until yesterday when I got an email which looked, from the subject, very much like spam. Now, I’ll be the first to say I’m a bit weird because while I usually delete spam straight away, if it looks like it’s some new scam, I’ll open and read it just to see what’s going on. This is in part so that I can deal with the phone calls I occasionally get from my mum asking whether a request from a bank to follow a link and enter her password is real or not. Despite the fact I always tell her never to click on any links in emails supposedly from banks, I still get the phone calls from time to time so I like to keep up with whatever new trick the spammers have started doing.
Anyway, just out of curiosity about the latest scam, I opened what I thought was a spam email to be greeted by the following text:
‘I am writing with some fabulous news! Your book has been named the Winner in the FIRST NOVEL (Over 80,000 words) category of the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Congratulations!’
I had to read it a couple of times before the news finally sank it, but needless to say I was both amazed and delighted. As someone who grew up being told by their teachers at school (especially my English teachers) that I couldn’t write anything properly, I still bear some of the psychological scars, and it took me a long time to realise that proper writing isn’t about getting the grammar exactly right, or spelling things perfectly, but rather that it’s about being able to craft a compelling story (after all, editors are there to sort out any of the boring bits you might have missed!). Now, many years after I left school, it’s nice to get some recognition for a skill I was always told I lacked, but that I knew was buried somewhere deep inside me. It just took several decades to finally uncover it.
Anyway, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped make For Those In Peril On The Sea the success it has been so far. This includes Stephen, Michele, Gregor, Barry, Jennifer, Emily, my editor Gale Winskill, and of course my long-suffering girlfriend, Sarah, who has to put up with my ongoing zombie obsession on a daily basis, as well as reading through early drafts of all my work and providing editorial advice.
For those of you who are interested to see what happens next in the world of For Those In Peril On The Sea, the follow-up book (The Outbreak) is scheduled to be published towards the end of July of this year. While it follows a new cast of characters, it builds the overall story so that the people in both books can finally be brought together in the third book in the series. I’ll post more about this in a few weeks time, including how you can have the opportunity to win a preview copy so you can read it before anyone else gets the chance, once I have a definite publication date.
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.