Well, I got home tonight to find a parcel waiting for me. It was addressed to my publisher name Nordic, so I knew straight away what it was. Boys and girls, ladies and gentleman, Anne Droyd is here.
I wrote the first one, Anne Droyd and Century Lodge, between October 2000 and January 2001. It was published by CK Publishing (now WebGuild Media) in June 2002. At the back of that first edition, it said, "Coming Soon - Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows."
Then, in 2003, I discovered Asperger syndrome, and was caught away writing my autobiographical book The Feeling's Unmutual and a fresh edit of Century Lodge. Both titles were published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2004.
When JKP let it be known they wouldn't be doing any of the Anne Droyd sequels, I had to find a way of publishing House of Shadows and keep the flame alive.
It was at this point I reestablished contact with Darryl Sloan. He, like me, had written for Gavin Wilson's superb paper zine RQC in the 1990s. Amazingly, he had ventured into the world of self-publishing and had enjoyed modest success with his children's novel Ulterior, and was working on a second title called Chion. He pointed me in the direction of American artist Laura Diehl and inspired me to knuckle down on Anne Droyd II.
With the arrival of my proof copy today, I am moved to express my gratitude to Laura, who produced that stunning cover painting, and to Darryl, who not only served as my editor over the last few months, but designed the book's title and arranged the layout of the text and created the PDF document so I could simply upload them to the printer's web site.
Next up is the launch of annedroyd.com and the modification of my Paypal account so that it will accept payments in. I need to visit Sweetens bookshop in Bolton again and organise a date for the signing, arrange a signing at the office where I work in my day job, print up the press releases, and order enough copies of the book to cover demand.
I am so excited!
Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows will be available to buy sometime within the next week.