In fact, starting your book can be a self-imposed nightmare. Finding the words of your story not coming together the way you intended is bad enough, but worse still, unexpected events can arise out of your control and you lose everything you have written. With the awful realisation that you will have to start again.
A few years ago, I had the idea for my first Timecrack book and quickly put pen to paper, visualising the chapter where the adventure would begin in the Yucatan jungle. I spent three months developing ideas for the characters and the concept of their travels through time and space to other worlds. The story was working out well, I thought, and I had nearly 100 printed pages of the manuscript.
At the same time, my daughter had planned her wedding to take place in the Mexican Yucatan. Great, this would fit in with the research for my book. And so, it was arranged that my wife and I would fly from Belfast to stay overnight at Gatwick Airport to pick up the early morning direct flight to Mexico. It was at this point everything went astray.
When we arrived at the airport, we were told that our flight to Gatwick had already left. Apparently, the flight times had been changed and we hadn’t been informed by our travel agent; the upshot was that we would miss the next weekly London to Cancun flight. We were furious and my wife in tears that we would miss our daughter’s wedding on the due date.
However, our plight was spotted by a lovely stewardess from another airline. Shocked to hear we would miss the wedding, she dashed off to see if she could spirit us onto her later flight – at no extra cost. The only problem was that we would be flying to London Heathrow and would have to take the airport coach, close to midnight, to reach Gatwick, allowing us to catch the very early morning flight. In the end, we had no choice, and that was what we did.
Unfortunately, during all this upheaval, my briefcase, including the Timecrack manuscript, had been left behind in the coach. I had hoped to work on the background of the story during a visit to the Chichen Itza pyramid in the Yucatan, but despite desperate telephone calls to the lost property office at Heathrow, the briefcase and manuscript were never found. The sad moral to this sorry tale is that I didn’t have a computer and there was no backup or print copy.
I had to start again, and since then I always make certain I have copies of every story I write. There is a plus side, in that I believe the time and research spent in the Yucatan jungle improved Timecrack, which many of my readers have been kind enough to tell me they have enjoyed. More book info at: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/timecrack
And, yes, we got to the wedding on time!