CompletelyNovel Author Ken Parker has come to writing in later life – he’s publishing his second book just before his eighty-ninth birthday.
An inspiration to older writers everywhere, Ken explains how he decided to self-publish his books.
That ‘Old’ Feeling
All my life I have wanted to write a book. However, work and creating, along with my wife, a family home, with all that entails, left writing just a good intention. Then I retired. Was this the time to fulfil that dream? No, my wife and I were too busy enjoying our retirement, doing all the things we had been unable to do while I had been working.
Then, suddenly, I found myself alone. I was in my mid-eighties, I wanted to write but feared that my family and friends would think I was going just a little crazy in my old age. Encouraged by my grandson and an old dear friend, I took the plunge.
I have never been under the illusion, that I would become a best-selling author. My motivation was to prove to myself that I could do it! If anyone bought my book, then that would be a bonus. Many times, I felt like giving up but, if I did, I would not only be betraying the faith of my grandson and my friend, I would also be losing confidence in myself.
The two books I have written are historical novels. The choice was easy, for social history has always been my prime interest. My advice to all new writers is, write about a subject you know and that commands your interest. That does not mean ignoring adequate research. Research is vital. Writing a novel, particularly a historical novel, demands that fact and fiction must mix together to provide easier reading. Historical and fictional characters must interact naturally with each other, even though they may be adversaries in the book.
Who Tells the Tale?
Until I started to write, I had never realised the importance of deciding whether to write in the first- person or the third. It is very important, as it affects the style of writing. In my first book, I wrote in first-person. My second was written in third-person. Personally, I find it easier to write in first-person. I believe it to be easier to express emotion, to be that person and to think like that person. But beware, there can be a tendency to relate information that your narrator could not possibly have known at the time.
They call it self-publishing, but that is a misnomer. You need a modicum of technical expertise if you are to publish in a digital age. After looking at several companies on the internet I chose Completely Novel. I have had no cause to regret that decision. The team will help when you need it. I am a technological idiot! The terminology used by computer geeks, is to me as understandable as Ancient Greek. The C.N. team showed tremendous patience when steering me through these uncharted waters.
Writing a book that you hope other people will enjoy, is far from easy. Yet, if it was easy, there would be no sense of achievement. So, have a go! Believe me, when you first hold that finished book in your hand, the feeling of pride and joy cannot be equalled. Good Luck.