Beneath the Rainbow


I began writing 'Beneath the Rainbow' on March 17th 2009. I was frustrated with my current works and had taken them as far as I could at the time.
Wandering through our local park the first line of the book leaped into my head and I couldn't shake it... "Freya was seven-years-old when she got hit by the car, it was a 4x4 with a bull bar." I came home and scrawled it out in my notebook and spent the next few hours crafting the first chapter.
It was a book that flowed and I wrote as often as I could, and by October the story was complete.
Not an excessively long book at about 46,000 words, but the story was told.
And here was where my 'expertise' let me down. I'd read many books on writing and publishing, but I struggled to know what to do. I rewrote, I edited and was finally happy with my finished product...then loomed the dreaded synopsis. I had no idea how to write one and what to include. All in all the synopsis read more like an outline for the general book than something exciting and enticing...I did send the synopsis and first three chapters to a couple of agents, but got standard rejections.
Unfortunately this coincided with an episode of depression on my part and I shelved the book and all writing. I got help for my anxiety and panic attacks in September 2010 and in 2011 I began to write again.
I came back to 'Beneath the Rainbow' and ran through another edit, cutting and tightening much more of the story, leaving me with a 41,599 word manuscript. My daughter then helped me come up with a book cover.
The book cover was a diversion, something to take up my time instead of querying it. We had fun, but then couldn't decide whether it was right or not to send a copy of the mocked up cover to agents with the synopsis etc anyway!

Original cover on eBook 2011

Several of my friends were asking what I would be doing with the book and many were expressing a desire to read it...so in a naive move I decided to put it on Kindle...after all I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd heard stories about self-published authors suddenly becoming Kindle sensations and being picked up by publishing companies? That's where 'naive' comes into it!
I published it via KDP in June 2011...and of course my loyal family and friends bought it. Their feedback, and yes, probably biased, was beautiful. They enjoyed it, laughed in all the right places and cried buckets where I'd hoped they would!
I was very encouraged.
Then the sales dwindled...obviously because no one really knew about the book. Well, that would be the first reason.
What to do? I flaunted it on Facebook, carefully, I didn't want to be 'in your face', I created a Facebook Page for the book, I joined Goodreads and made an author profile, and sorted an Amazon author page too. What else? My daughter was on Twitter and suggested I join too, at least so she could introduce me to some Tweeps of hers.
So I joined Twitter...and started for all the wrong reasons. I put my book web link in my profile and began following. I got followed back by some, but I wasn't making an impression.
I started getting followed by lots if people doing the same as me...and I very quickly realised I was going about Twitter the wrong way. I got irritated by all the people on my timeline advertising their book, I will quickly add that I wasn't doing that myself, I barely mentioned my book, but more out of shyness than anything else! It was evident though that I didn't want to become a self-pubbed author who just wanted to hawk my book via constant tweets. So I readjusted my approach and unfollowed the book attention seekers, took the link out of my profile and began to have fun and make friends instead.
It was then that I realised that Twitter would be able to help me more than I'd ever guessed!
I began to follow writers, I had no idea who they were or what their books were...but they wrote, tweeted and blogged...and I began to learn more about the trade, my trade.
I spent the next six months reading blogs, taking advice and learning...and learning...and learning some more!
The people I follow on Twitter probably have no idea how much they helped me and shaped my writing, but they have... completely.
So much so, that I have had some important things pointed out to me.
I didn't know if I would be able to take criticism, or positive critiques, but I can and they will make me a better writer!
I love 'Beneath the Rainbow', I believe it is a good book, but I know that by self-publishing I have taken away the opportunity for traditional publishing. The book is hard to fit to a genre and age range as it is, though it's still a great read, and I made a tough decision to leave it as it is and not pursue it any further.
I could make changes and it would become more saleable, more marketable, but it is unwise to spend my time making revisions to something that won't achieve what I want. It will stay on Kindle as it is...and if you want to buy it then I appreciate your time.

'Beneath the Rainbow' is a lovely book, a beautiful story, (I have great reviews!) but it is my practise run...it is a book that remains unfinished in the 'unpolished' sense, but it is the most valuable piece of writing I own because it has taught me so much!

*Update October 2013

'Beneath the Rainbow' did indeed get an upgrade, two years after making it onto Kindle. I decided if this writing business is to stay serious, then any flaws needed countering and polishing!

I worked hard with Blue Harvest Creative to put together a brand new cover and wraparound print book cover, and a redesigned and formatted interior. I was overjoyed by what we put together. I went through the novel, word by word and made serious adjustments and changes, including the removal of an author's indulgence chapter. I was very happy with the finished product.


The subsequent 'remastered' book got a relaunch on 11th October 2013 and is currently available to buy in Print and eBook.
See below for stockists.
Beneath the Rainbow

“It’s those silly dreams that keep us alive.”

Dreams define us, shape us and realise our potential…they make us who we are. 

Freya won’t let death stand in her way. 
When she dies Freya knows she needs to move on, but is caught within her mother’s grief and the discovery of terminally ill Old Thomas. Finding she can affect the lives of those beyond her heaven she fights to reach her mother and wants to help Thomas realise his final dream.
Meanwhile, her family finds her own list of goals and soon discovers that Thomas has a burning desire to ride a motorbike. 
Freya intends to create a rainbow, the last item on her list, to reach her mother, but her pale arcs won’t achieve closure. She needs scarlet like remembrance poppies then sunset orange and sunflower yellow.  She makes green like her willow and blue like daddy’s t-shirt.  Finally conjuring indigo, the shade of deepening night and violet to match Purple Ted... 
Beneath these colours will Freya reach her mother, wait for Old Thomas and be ready to move on?
  
Discover the importance of dreams and fulfilment in Freya’s heart-breaking and uplifting tale of grief, hope, triumph and joy.

'Beneath the Rainbow' can be bought in either Print or eBook:

Soon to be available through further eBook providers...