Finally, my novel Return to Desiree Bay is published in ebook format and paperback through Print-On-Demand (POD). It’s taken me eight years, with stops and starts along the way.
After several rejections from major publishing houses I decided to go it alone and self-publish. I needed to get it out of the way in order to move on to my next project. I could’ve abandoned it, chucked it in the bin — but why? It’s not a half-bad read.
I believe it’s better than some of the ‘beach/airport’ novels I’ve struggled to finish. It won’t win awards or leave readers feeling profoundly affected by the experience. But maybe it will make a few readers smile and brighten their day.
I don’t care about sales figures or becoming known as a writer of contemporary fiction. I self-published the book for me! To prove I could do it and fulfil a dream.
Now that Return to Desiree Bay is a real book, I have done a few things to promote it. I created an author page on Goodreads (with not much on it yet) and one on Amazon. I’ve also given away several ‘preview’ copies (copies that contain several mistakes that have since been fixed) to friends and close family.
I might even go a bit wild and throw a small launch party down the track, when 2022 hopefully evolves into a better year — be gone floods! be gone COVID! be gone illness! be gone war! be gone climate change! be gone mining magnate f***wits, be gone mad oligarchs! be gone authoritarian nut-job political leaders, be gone misogyny! be gone racism! Maybe I won’t have a launch party after all…
My friend and critique partner, author Sandra Groom has published her debut novel, The Goddess of Kathmandu.
The story is set for the most part in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and charts Australian Lara Gordon’s journey of self discovery.
Lara travels to Nepal for a three-month sojourn after her work and romantic life falls apart in Sydney. In Kathmandu, she stays with a Nepalese family and enrols in a Nepali language course where she meets a group of fascinating people all seeking answers to questions about their own lives.
But this story is not just about Lara. It also examines the life of a young Nepali girl who is destined to become the Kumari, a young female goddess viewed as the embodiment of the devine female energy.
Sandra didn’t pull the concept for her novel out of thin air. She’s visited Kathmandu on numerous occasions, and continues to learn Nepali, the native language of Nepal.
Sandra writes with empathy and compassion about the Nepalese and evocatively of the incredibly beautiful yet dangerous Himalayan mountains.
If you’ve never been to Nepal and dream about going there (and it is a dream during the lockdowns imposed since the advent of COVID-19) or you’ve been there, done that! and hope to return one day, this book is a lovely introduction or refresher.