Who’d have thought when I first started blogging that my thoughts and ramblings would eventually see me being offered a book deal? I mean I’m not exactly the most eloquent of people, my friends laugh at my spelling and I have a distinct distaste for grammar BUT I guess what I do possess is a really good story.
This blog started as a way for me to log my training, my thoughts etc as I prepared for my first Ironman race, it was a way for my family and friends to keep up with what I was doing. Soon enough though I was receiving comments / emails from complete strangers who were telling me I was inspiring ( blushing as I type ) and that spurred me on. I can’t remember who it was that suggested that my story would make a good book, but the seed grew.
In October 2009 I was contacted by the CEO of a publishing company who wanted to know if I was willing to write my story. I somewhat excitedly agreed, expecting to be given 6 months or so. How wrong was I. The reality was that I had to jump through a few hoops first.
Firstly the publisher wanted me to write two chapters to assess my writing style ( thankfully they liked it ) then I had to write a paragraph summary of each chapter giving details of events, incidents etc….not to mention full descriptions of the main characters in the book. Finally I had to write a marketing report, talking about where I could reach out to my core audience, looking at the competition, highlighting the growing worldwide popularity of triathlon and how the book would hopefully appeal to not just triathletes but the normal man on the street. That was a difficult document to write, but the publishers certainly got a feel for my enthusiasm for my sport and green lit the publication.
The only problem being they gave me 5 weeks in which to write the book.
Completing the task was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. I threw myself into it, most of the writing came naturally but at times I also agonised over certain parts. In the end I was totally honest and laid myself out for the world to see ( a very scary prospect. )
After lots of proof reading and editing ( thanks everyone ) I submitted my finished work and expected to play a waiting game, I still didn’t have an actual contract as they wanted to see if I could deliver the book to a high standard in the time given. I spent an agonising 24 hours worrying about it before I got a phone call congratulating me and offering me a contract.
I was actually going to be an author, an exciting prospect but one that still didn’t seem real.
I was assigned an editor who made suggestions which I then followed and resubmitted. It all went quiet, then the book appeared in various places for pre-order and actually seeing my book on Amazon was very surreal.
I was interviewed for Triathletes World magazine and an article was published in June 2010 and I was contacted by another magazine Triathlete Europe. Thinking it was for another interview, I got a shock when they asked me to start blogging for them. I obviously jumped at the chance.
As a result of the publicity pre-sales rocketed and I found that my book had become the number 1 pre-order sports book on Amazon.co.uk.
Then disaster struck.
I’d emailed my publisher to tell them the good news about the blog and the chart position and their response was very subdued. I started to worry but just thought they were busy. Two days later I got an email that knocked me for six, the company had filed for bankruptcy, my book wasn’t going to be published. Although gutted I sent an email wishing them well and saying that my thoughts were with those who were losing their jobs. I was told another publisher was interested in my work but once again it would be a waiting game.
approximately 5 weeks later I found out that another publisher had picked up my book and would be publishing it. I can’t express how relieved I was. More editing followed, the final chapter was completely rewritten to bring the book up to date and a new cover design was unveiled.
So my book “Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run.”finally saw the light of day on January 1st 2011. It’s been a very long and stressful journey at times but one I’d do all again if I had to. I consider myself very fortunate as the world is full of authors that have struggled for years and years not getting published, I was lucky enough for it to happen straight away.
Hopefully if you buy the book you’ll enjoy it, hopefully it portrays my passion for triathlon and my firm belief that everyone can achieve what they want if they work hard enough and their ambitions are based in reality, and hopefully you’ll find it fun after all we all need a laugh after a hard training session.
The book is available in all good bookshops.