Today I would like to welcome to The Great Raven debut Aussie children's author Aleah Taylor who, like me, took a while to find her ideal publisher. I hope this is only the first sale of many, Aleah!
If you want to buy the book, either in paperback or in ebook, you should be able to get it from Amazon here, from the publisher's web site and I see that in Australia you can order it through Gleebooks. There will be more web sites selling it soon - it has only been out for a week.
I'll let Aleah tell you all about it.
I’ve considered myself a writer since I could hold a pen. Some of my earliest memories are of looking at bookshelves and wondering when my book would be up there too. However, I never really attempted to write a novel until I was eighteen. Instead I wrote short stories galore and poetry, songs and scripts. I didn’t really feel a strong urge to write a book, until one day I looked at my son and just knew he had to be character in a book. So my book ‘Mystery on Mount Dusk’, started to come to life. I based both of the main boy characters on different sides of my son’s personality and the book flowed. I would sit for hours on end typing furiously, writing books for children is just so fun!
My book is about a ten year old boy named George Mutton who moves to a mysterious little town on top of a mountain, Mount Dusk. There he discovers his new best friend Charlie Redwin and soon the boys uncover that Charlie’s evil guardian Uncle Hubert, is up to even more wicked things than they thought. Hubert Redwin is conjuring spirits back from the grave and entrapping innocent people’s souls in trees. The boys, with George’s little sister Maggie and Charlie’s twin sister Yvonne, vow to set the trapped souls free and rid the town of the evil man who has cursed it. But it’s all more complicated than they think and now they are the ones in danger from ghostly apparitions and ancient magic, darker than they could ever have imagined…
Every time I finished writing a chapter my heart would beat a little faster, I was one step closer to the vision of me holding a completed manuscript, ready to send it off to eager publishers. When that day finally came I typed the last sentence and squealed with joy, merrily telling all of my friends and family that I’d done it! I’d finally finished my book after a year of writing! But, of course, that’s when the real work starts. The fun part is over and now it’s time to convince people you don’t know that they should read your book and eventually publish it. The rejections hurt, I thought I was prepared for it but I wasn’t. My heart would ache with each line of the rejection letter, or I’d get no response and slowly day by day hope would wither away to dust.
After eight long years of looking for a publisher I’d had enough. I promised myself that I would contact one last publisher and if they didn’t like it, I was done. A year went past with no response and so I resigned myself to the idea that I might be left with self-publishing and that was okay. Dreams of traditional publishers are often dashed and I was just one of the many unlucky ones.
Then I got an email.
I was still in my pajamas, munching on breakfast and checking my inbox when I saw it, from NeverlandPublishing. I quickly threw my spoon down and tried to calm my pulse before clicking on the email. Finally I was reading it and tears instantly sprang to my eyes… I was going to be offered a publishing contract! I didn’t know what to do with myself, I laughed, I cried, I tried to call everyone I knew with shaky fingers eagerly tapping the phone screen. After running to my mother’s house and telling her it finally seemed real. I was a published author and people were finally going to read my book.
Now my book has just been released and slowly but surely the news of my book is spreading. Nine years of hoping, wishing, pleading my case and fiercely championing my work has paid off. I’ve heard a few comments from my first readers and each comment has sent a warmth through my heart. I just love hearing that something I worked so hard at is making people happy, making them love the written word that I too love so much. I feel like ‘Mystery on Mount Dusk’ is a child of mine, all grown up and out in the world doing fabulous things. I hope that every young set of eyes to devour my book lights up with glee at the words I put on the page. I also hope that new authors who might be reading this take heart that there is hope, even when you think you’re done with hope.