I discovered my love for reading at the same time, or perhaps slightly after, I developed my hatred of football. Both strong emotions were kindled by teachers; one who dismissed my genuine desire to use sport as a way to lose weight and the other by a caring headmistress who pointed me to the library.
Rowlands Gill Library was a small branch but it was less than five minutes from my house (quicker if you run!) and had a librarian, Lindy, who became the centre of my life. An avid fan of the TV show Dr Who (Tom Baker reincarnation) I quickly found and read every television time-traveller novel they had. Which led to more and more literature.
I read everything in the children's library, absorbing plots, themes, and characters at a seemingly unstoppable speed. Noticing my voracious reading - everything they had to offer, Lindy broke the rules and issued my with an ADULT library ticket. As one would expect, my choice in books was monitored and censored.
From the early reading of my youth, the desire to actually write was born. This was as far as it went until I met my disability. Then I started to write. The joy of getting into print led to the need to be published again and again. This turned into the need to edit and publish rather than 'only' write.
The overwhelming urge to make a book, drew me to Dead Guns Press, and John Thompson. I absorbed much knowledge and the short-lived Skinned Knuckles Press was rushed into existence.
With the creation, and expansion, of self-publishing, it has never been easier to get your work printed. As was the case with Skinned Knuckles Press, you can't polish a turd, and the new companies fold as quickly as they appear.
Esskaye Books has already survived the tricky first year and a brighter, bolder future is evolving and the to answer why start a business? can only be as Billie Piper once said - because I want to.
Only a couple of weeks after it should have been on sale, I have ordered the first physical copy of "Olverston Grange ...and Other Stories"
This book is the culmination of ten years of trial runs, education, and spectacular failures and has given birth to the book I am proudest of.
Once I have okayed the print edition, my online shops at both www.esskayebooks.com and www.mleonsmith.com will go live! After a frustrating, delay-ridden pregnancy, Esskaye Books will be fully born, along with its younger sibling www.mleonsmith.com!
More unexpected and unwelcome news today but this time mixed with positivity and potential. I am holding on to the positive and disregarding the negative.
More delays with printer but I honestly remember which goof is mine and which theirs now lol But the delay should have been considered and planned for so that is most definitely my fault. Always build some spare time into any plan! lol
Make some time to visit the site I have linked - it belongs to a writer pal of mine (who I worked for/with on Dead Guns Press)
I can't recommend his trilogy-in-progress enough! Excellent story telling and an exciting tale.
Ten? Wow! The pre-launch rambles were never meant to to be a thing for so long. The reasons for the delay in the site's launch are many but tomorrow the last reason will be (hopefully) put to rest.
With this final problem overcome, I will be able to move onto the final stage before stock is brought in and sales can begin and mleonsmith.com and esskayebooks.com can finally fully open.
In the background of a global pandemic, death in my family, and my own battle with disability, I have been able to fulfil my life-long dreams then what is stopping you?
The problem with suffering from anxiety is everything seems to go tar-slow at times. I am waiting for work to be finished at my printer's end and have hit the expected delays caused by Easter. Totally expected but enough to send my anxiety into overdrive. I am still making small changes to the site and have a big overhaul of www.esskayebooks.com planned too but my mind is screaming "You should be..."
The list of jobs I invent is endless and the delays make it appear nothing is happening. Trust me, it is...
So it's April Fools Day but I am finding very little to laugh at. Due to technical issues (largely not my fault) the book and store will be launching late. Annoying but not insurmountable. On the more positive side, I've started planning the first of the 120 short stories and the rules dictating their creation.