It's been a long road - a hard one - and perhaps one of the most rewarding journeys of my life. When I started at ten, I thought everything would be simple. I worked hard and produced a 55,000 word manuscript that year. But I was under the impression that that was all a writer did. Afterwards, publication just sort of happened, like magic.
That certainly hasn't been my experience. After rewriting the book five times from scratch, I at last got the manuscript assessed by New Zealand author Tina Shaw. This was because, even at that early stage, I had already had rejections, and I knew I couldn't tempt a literary agent unless the book was good enough. When I was eighteen, an international literary agency picked me up. After two long years of copious rejections, Permuted Press offered me a multi-book contract. The rest is history (or shortly to become so).
This week, I've effectively been on submission again, looking for other online retailers willing to stock Rafen and even trying to tempt some physical book stores. So far, Wheelers and Fishpond.co.nz have responded positively (although I'm working on getting cover art and a description up on the latter website). The response of these two retailers means a lot to me, because I don't want my New Zealand audience to effectively have to spend forty dollars to purchase the physical copy of the book from Amazon. Friends, don't do this to yourselves! Fishpond now has it seven dollars cheaper. For those of you who live in the UK, Australia, or America, all you have to do is click on the green type to see where it's available for you. Australians can also purchase the paperback from Fishpond.
In another month, my second book releases, but much depends on how well this first book does. Whether it flops spectacularly or does well, it has certainly changed my life. I pray that it will likewise make a positive impact on an audience, offering them an adventure full of emotion, full of ups and downs, reminiscent of your own most profound experiences in life.
Mikinyai - blessings,
Y. K. Willemse