This weekend marks the beginning of the end for The Manx Giant. It's been a month or so since I met the publisher to get his feedback on the previous draft, and after several false starts, I'll be getting my head down come Saturday on what should be the final draft (it would have been Friday evening, but I'm being dragged kicking and screaming for a night on the tiles, which is another story).
It's been a bloody frustrating last couple of months for writing. There's still a fair bit to do on The Giant: more editing, a few rewrites, new information to try and add seamlessly into the book, some new leads to investigate. And it's not something I can dabble in when I get a spare half hour or so. I can't work that way - it has to be all or nothing.
For a variety of reasons, it's just not been happening. I've been unable to focus, until now. It's as much a mental issue as anything. I've got to get myself in the right frame of mind, which does come across as a load of psychological bullshit. But it can't be helped.
I'm looking forward to the final stretch. Other than some tweaks to the preface and chapter one, the publisher is happy with how it's shaping up. I'm hoping to have it polished off by the end of June, the gods of luck and time permitting, and it will allow me to focus on other projects that I've been neglecting for far too long.
Yet it's not just the writing of the final draft that needs my time. With just six months to go before The Giant is in shops, I need to start the marketing push. I've got a talk lined up at the local library, a few primary schools are interested in me going in to speak to the kids, and signings need setting up, along with press and radio interviews. We've even got a life-size cut out - all 7ft 11ins of the brute - which needs mounting in such a way that it can be easily transported to talks and signings. But all that is barely scratching the surface.
The Giant is being published by the Manx Heritage Foundation and while it's clearly aimed very much at the Manx market, with a fairly small print run, Arthur Caley's adventures in America, where there is a significant Manx community, provide a good opening there. An added bonus is that I've already got stacks of contacts across the States thanks to The Manx Connection.
Caley was something of a dude - a huge man mountain who revelled in his 19th century New York celebrity status as one of Barnum's regular stars - so it should be a reasonably easy sell to those who know of Caley. I only hope the writing is good enough to snag the interest of other readers.
So roll on the weekend. Or at least roll on Saturday morning after a Friday night that could get a little messy...
PS - twitter update - number of followers now up in the nineties, but I'm picking up one or two rather, er, interesting fans. If I hadn't led such a sheltered life, I might think that these people are using their porn names. I have, of course, blocked such folk from being able to follow me. Honest.
What's the most prescient book you'e ever read?
7 hours ago