‘Feather’ is Published

Well, let’s see.  I can’t remember how long ago it was that I first told the world that this book of linked stories existed – several years at least.  But even before that, it has been sitting there at the back of my brain for almost as long as I can remember.  At least 10 years.  And now, just today the proof copy of the book finally landed in my hands.  I will leave my reaction to that moment to your imagination.

It is scheduled for launch at FantasyCon 2011 alongside Nina Allan’s book The Silver Wind – also a linked collection.  The two titles make a great pair I think – both located in the quiet and haunting suburbs of slipstream.

Feather is a follow-on from my earlier book What the Giants were Saying, also from Eibonvale Press, though I am stunned just how much water we have all passed since those days (*ahem*).  Feather is a very different book in just about every way.  Where Giants was a lively and showy fable, these stories are much more emotionally-centred – which to me is more successful since that is what the act of writing should be about.  These are stories that have been with me through a lot of living – slowly developing over the years, not to make some cerebral point but to explore the bittersweet blend of pain and magic that is living life – encountering people, interacting with people, visiting new places, loneliness, love . . .  In Giants, Feather was a didact, wanting to show the world something that the world seems to have forgotten – but in Feather she is much more human and fragile.  Much more real.  During the course of writing this book, Feather the person developed from being a puppet I could use to enact a role to an expression of true human innocence, at least to me – someone who could stand for the essence of humanity, which I could then collide with the real world, hopefully revealing things about both.  So while Giants was an almost fun romp, Feather is an emotional journey – a deeply personal exploration that still hurts me, in spite of the levels of writers imagination that separates me from the stories.

It was with some appropriateness that Pete Tennant got in touch recently with an Interview for me and Eibonvale Press (read it here), among other things including the almost inevitable question on self-publishing.  That is not the first time I have discussed that matter, but this gave me a welcome chance to make my views known in the run up to releasing Feather and why I chose to let my own press handle the book.  Essentially the problem people have with self-publishing is the lack of a verification process, but I don’t believe for a second that that renders the act inevitably negative.  It all depends on the writer’s attitude, I think.  In the case of Feather, it was read, picked over, criticised and edited by three people involved with the press and several others as well – all of whom played a very valuable role in preparing the book for release and encouraging me to get my arse in gear and actually do this.  In essence, this means that Feather was ‘accepted’ three times – which probably makes it a more verified book than many published in the normal way.

With the book actually in my hands, I feel quite stunned.  Almost ready to cry for some reason.  I think that until this moment, you never quite believe that this thing is real – that you are creating a book as opposed to some weird thing inside your head.  And that’s another marvellous thing about being directly involved with the printing – the fact that you can see your creation all the way through to a physical object that you can hold.  Like a sculptor maybe.

But anyway – here it is at last.  Feather.  My own piece of bleeding heart nicely framed and nailed up on the wall for you all . . .

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm  Comments (1)