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A Writer’s Journey – Rotten Apples by Paul Harris

I am massively proud to tell you that my husband has published his first novel – called Rotten Apples – which is now on Kindle.

I want to tell you about his four year journey to get to this point – because it’s quite amazing!

His interest in writing grew as I was embarking on my own novel, and long discussions on the M4 motorway led to him creating his first short story. ‘I bet I get published before you’ he said!

I remember when he read me the story, time stopped for me – I was completely in the world he had created – and when he finished reading – I wanted more.

That was how I knew that he had a talent for creating worlds with words.

I really felt that the story could be a novel and Paul had so enjoyed the writing, that he decided to continue with it – with that Rotten Apples was born.

For me the thing that was so right about him writing the novel – was that he loved everything about it; the plotting, the writing, the dialogue, creating the characters.

More and more I think that when life leads us towards something that feels so right – it usually is.

Now let me tell you more about his job at the time – He left home at 7:30 each morning and returned at 7 each night, taking the dreaded London Underground. Anybody who knows Paul, will know that him and his job didn’t really fit each other. Nevertheless, it was the job he had and he worked really hard at it. He had a great boss and enjoyed working with his colleagues, but the financial side was a constant stress, making him wonder at times why he was slogging his guts out for so little reward.

What impressed me so much about him, was that he would come in each night and we would have dinner, and then he would get his notebook out and write. The same on weekends, whenever he could, he would sit down and write.

Whenever he finished a chapter he would read it to me before bed, and I was always left wanting more. And laughing – he can do that – his story is both exciting and funny – he has a flair for comedy. Those who know him will know that comedy comes naturally to him – he can just do it….When I tell a joke…It’s just not the same.

As you can hear, I’m a fan. I am biased because I love him, but if you read the story you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Anyhow, as he wrote the plot grew (just seemed to come alive as he wrote). It was a fascinating process to watch. I plan everything, so letting something grow naturally was quite alien to me, but it worked for Paul.

After about two years, Paul finished the first draft and sent the first three chapters off to a number of agents. They were not interested. Then he sent it off to another few agents. They were not interested. Then he sent it off to more agents. They were not interested either. It seemed like nobody was prepared to take a risk on a new novelist.

It’s at this point in a writer’s life, that you have to decide whether to give up on your novel or persevere with it and see where it takes you.

I really believed in Rotten Apples and Paul loved his story, so we decided to find a way to get it out there. He had already started planning the second in the series and had an idea for a third novel so we had to give it a go.

We didn’t have any spare cash for self publishing, but then I read about a girl who had published directly to Kindle and had done quite well for herself, eventually getting a book deal out of it. It was worth a shot!

We still had a lot of editing to do but we were getting married so the wedding preparations took over for about six months.

On our return to London, after the wedding, I got two blood clots on my lungs and we spent the next year – just surviving. I have to say here that Paul was my rock and that I couldn’t have done it without his support. He was working full time and supporting me, but he still worked on the novel when he could.

I had the job of editing, so when I could I did that but as you can imagine – it was a very slow process. Paul soon wished that he had paid more attention at school, where grammer and punctuation was concerned!

It was around about this time that we started thinking about a cover – Paul loves Tom Sharpe novels and wanted to have a cartoon cover – in a similar style. Out of the blue, one of Paul’s colleagues mentioned that she had a relation who was a cartoonist. He agreed to do the cover, and after a few e-mails back and forth, as to what the characters actually looked like, another piece to the puzzle was complete. Thank you Richard – the cover is awesome!

Paul read through the novel each night before bedtime, because he wanted to go through the story again to see if it was all looking OK. Once he had finished, he asked one of his best friends if she would do the last edit – she agreed and the editing process started again for the last time.

At last Rotten Apples was ready for Kindle.

With work at a very low ebb, Paul decided to leave, but this meant that he now had time on his hands (in between searching for a new job), and so last Monday Rotten Apples went live on Kindle.

It’s been an incredible journey so far and it shows any aspiring writers out there, that it is possible to get a novel finished and published, no matter what happens in your life.

Paul has always told me that he writes for the love of it, rather than trying to plan a ‘bestseller’. As long as he likes what he writes, then hopefully there should be enough people out there who feel the same.

Rotten Apples, is not meant to be a literary masterpiece, but an enjoyable read, and a bit of fun for all who join Jimmy on his adventures.

Who knows where it will go from here, but we are crossing our fingers and hoping that everyone else will love Rotten Apples like we do.

Here is a link to our website  which will give you the synopsis and a link to amazon where you can purchase Rotten Apples, if you fancy it.

Happy Reading:-)

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