Veronica Comes Undone. How did this happen?


Most of my writing has been scripts: TV scripts for Prisoner and Country Practice all those years ago, and play scripts. All my long prose pieces never got to the ‘long’ bit, they fizzled out for some, many, reasons.

About 12 months ago I was trawling through the web looking for ebooks and came across and the words, “Publish your novel here.” What?

I’d heard about e-publishing, self-publishing, and thought I would find out about it one day. Well, it found me.

The difficulty of getting first, an agent, and then a publisher interested enough to read something has always been dawnting, debilitatingly so.

But here was a publishing path free of all that.

I had had an idea bouncing around in my head for some time of a single-mum 30 something freelance psychologist who used sexual techniques in her work. I had filed it away under the title “Right Up Her Alley”. This was a common saying of my mother’s: “I knew that Susan would make a good bank clerk, money’s always been right up her alley”, meaning that the person fitted the job. The humour and sexual connotation wouldn’t’ve occurred to her.

As I began writing, and the ‘thing’ took shape, that title became more and more inappropriate. I wanted a title that was unique and I’d always liked present tense titles (I wrote a play once called Leonard Stays in Bed). I decided on Veronica Comes Undone but because it became obvious very quickly that this was going to be a work in 3 volumes I decided on an arching title of Veronicability (the art of being Veronica).

It was a move away from the literary attempts I’d been making, but one look at this and any ebook site soon tells you that popular fiction seems to be ‘the go’. Besides I took the idea of writing a popular ‘straight’ romance as a bit of a challenge; as indeed it was. However I had two very willing friendly women, Julie Hasler-Reilly and Helen O’Connor who were living nearby and were more than willing to frankly answer my intimate and gynealogical questions, should such questions arise.

The formatting was difficult as the form of the text had to fit smashwords strict criteria but they had a Guide in ebook form to help and it was written in a very user friendly fashion. The preparation of the text and the production and design of the cover image took forever but finally, last Monday, August 24, 2014, about 20 months from the word ‘go’, I clicked ‘send’. Within seconds a message came up saying my book had been received and it was ’28th’ in the queue.

Within 16 minutes it was on the smashwords front page. I immediately posted a message on facebook telling the world – well 248 people – that my book had gone ‘live’ and within 32 minutes of clicking ‘send’ I had a sale.

The feeling was a combination of relief, elation, expectation, awe, and satisfaction that not only had I finished something but it was ‘out there’ for all the world to see: the place where all artistic endeavours should end up.

Now back to Veronicability II: Veronica Spreads it Around.

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