About ten minutes ago, I typed the final few words of my book for SANDS onto Microsoft Word (which just so happened to be Stevie Wonder lyrics) and sat back in my chair. I had a strange feeling in my throat, like my breath had caught just beneath my voicebox in a stubborn little bubble. It’s still there now, as I type. I didn’t have this when I finished ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts’, nor did I have it with ‘Teething Pains’. I’m assuming its excitement, and not the beginnings of a terrible illness.
The book itself comes in at around the 50,000 word mark, and I know that when it is eventually printed the slimness of the spine will do little to demonstrate the amount of work and effort that has gone into what has easily been my toughest project to date.
It forced me to come out of my comfort zone and into people’s homes, to talk to them face-to-face about the most terrible months of their lives, and then to come away and try to justify what they had experienced in simple black-and-white text.
I hope it is a successful book. Time will tell. It deserves to be: not because of the hours I have personally put into it, but because the stories that it contains demand that we take note of what the human spirit is capable of, and that we support those fine charities like SANDS who devote their time and resources to making sure that one day miscarriage and stillbirth and neonatal death is a thing of the past.
I’m not going to lie: I also hope that this book’s success, if it transpires, helps to boost my profile as an author and writer. It would be foolish of me not to admit this, and I have been open about this from the start. But I hope that people appreciate that in donating every penny of royalty to SANDS I am not doing this for financial gain. If something comes of it, then great. If not, then that’s fine too.
I remember as a child reading a Stephen King novel where an author celebrated finishing a novel by eating steak and drinking champagne. I’m sat here eating a slab of stale Madeira cake and sipping a mug of Nescafe, but it tastes just as good.
I’ll keep you updated. Thank you for all your encouragement.