I have moaned about this before but now I feel I must offer you a health warning. Perhaps you are sat at home this evening, laptop on your knee, a cup of hot steaming cocoa beside you and you think to yourself: I know what I should do, I should write a short story collection and sell it for my most favourite charity ever. The idea comes to you like a flash of inspiration from on high. You’re tingling! But oh people. Put on an old Celine Dion album and baby, think twice.
I could tell you how much blood, sweat and tears has gone into each story. I could tell you about week upon week of stressing out over page breaks and section breaks (eventually, praise God, a wonderful woman at Completely Novel has relieved me of this task and is sorting my mess out for me for the delightful fee of a tenner– THANK YOU!!!!) I could tell you about marketing, when marketing is scary but you know what, even as I’m writing this I know that it will all seem like nothing when I send my first cheque to Tearfund.
Because then I think about the amazing people I met when I was on my gap year with the organisation, in the UK and abroad. The people who give up their every day to make strangers lives better. To revolutionize their communities, their whole nation even. And I feel amazed and privileged and very, very excited to be doing this. To actually have people who want to spend their hard earned cash on my stories and to be able to do the most wonderful work in the world with that cash.
I think happily about Pastor Nelson whose family I stayed with in Zambia. How he rolled out his plans for me on his kitchen table of a new church with a medical centre above it and a workshop below. Plans that he had drawn up with his own money and that he really believed in. A place to train and to heal. And I think of his youngest daughter Taylor who wants to be a teacher and then this all feels really wonderful, to be part of making that happen. Page break dilemmas and all.
So I’m going to do my best to have it ready to order for Christmas. The files will be going this week for sure. And when it’s ready, you’ll be the first to know. Please bear with me and above all I hope you like it. It means the world to me and will hopefully change the whole world for someone else.