Fourth book’s just gone to print. Heart is in my mouth. Feel caught between fear and tremendous excitement. This one’s been a long one, a fascinating process of collaboration with primary school children, Ian Troup at Hampshire County Council, Pauline Patterson a G&T Consultant and Elaine Platzer at Selborne Primary School. We’ve been lucky enough to have worked with Rosemary Lanning, a former editor, who has helped the children to come up with a great piece of blurb for the back cover. She pointed to many inconsistencies in our draft. We will be eternally grateful to her. Friends have read the book. It’s called The Secret Scroll. It’s not the fourth book in the snail series, popular with 7-11 year olds. This one’s different. It’s the children’s story. It’s their plot. The characters are their own. It has a Roman theme. There are over 24,000 words, 40 illustrations and 110 pages. At £4.99 it’s great value! Guy Nicholson has worked with the children and come up with a fantastic jacket design. We’ve had kind words from Quentin Blake.
There’s so much riding on this book. There are many people who have made such a massive contribution to it, at the heart of which are the children. The Secret Scroll is their book. I want them to be proud of it. I really do think that they still don’t believe it’s an actual book that’s going to be on bookshelves, on Amazon, pickable up from the local shop, available from any book shop all they have to do is order it and it can be obtained from any book shop in the world! It’s wonderful. I just can’t wait for them to get the delivery … to open the box … to see their work in PRINT … to watch their faces as the reality sinks in!
So here I am in this no man’s land, this land of expectation, this land of fear. Will it all work out?