A novel about being queer and Christian at university – about faith, love, doubt and integrity. Read more here, or scroll to the bottom of the post for the giveaway.
Self-publishing in the nineties was grim. I know because both my parents did it. ‘Nobody’ wants to read about queer Christians now, and ‘nobody’ wanted to read about the physiological aspect of childbirth, or look at pictures of buses with passers-by getting in the way of the fleet number then. Doing It Yourself runs in the family. The kitchen table was perpetually shrouded in pencilled layouts for the next coffee table bus book, or hand-drawn diagrams of the hormone process in childbirth.
There was a corridor you couldn’t get through because of the huge bale of bubble wrap. There was a stack of corrugated cardboard that was taller than I was.
And there were books. There were books in the shed; there were books under the stairs. I’m pretty sure there were books in my brother’s bedroom.
There are still books. My parents have moved house four times between them since the last self-published book came out, and I have tripped over cardboard boxes of The Girl In The Street or shrink-wrapped bales of Childbirth Unmasked in every one of those houses.
The lovely thing about Lulu is not having to bother with all that. So far as I’m concerned, everything involved in the publishing process has happened within a square metre footprint. There’s me, and there’s my computer. If someone wants a book, they order it from Lulu (or, as of this lunchtime, Amazon) and someone who isn’t me gets it printed and posts it. It doesn’t go anywhere near me, and I have no boxes to deal with.
(The writing is a different matter, happening as it quite often does at seventy miles an hour, or in a park, or, for one blissful week, in a huge dormitory that I had all to myself. But the exercise books and the archaic Asus Eee on which I actually do the writing take up a lot less space.)
Having said all that, I discovered today that possessing a modest stack of books with my name on is a very good feeling. A lot of the books in the picture have been posted to the people named on the acknowledgements page, and the British Library, and other worthies. But not all of them. For a start, one of them is destined for one of you blog readers.
Leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway. On 19 February I will use a random number generator to select one of the comments, and I will send a paperback copy of Speak Its Name to the person who left it. No matter where they are in the world.
And the winner is… madhat2014! Congratulations!