March of the Warmdüschers!
Finally, finally, finally, I’m done with this damn book! Now that’s probably not the way authors usually announce their latest masterpiece, but I bet they’re all thinking it. I’ve read & re-read this pink monstrosity so many times now I could recite it backwards while a crowd of miscreants pelts me with pencil shavings and chants Chaucer at me. Seven years it’s been since we finished our epic SE Asian trip. Seven bloody years! What the hell have I been up to all this time?
This blog post is part happy publication announcement and part explanation of why it did take so long. And part apology that it probably won’t be worth the wait. That’s if anyone was even waiting for it. So, in that order ...
Yay! It is with immense satisfaction and a bit of pride that I can announce that my second full-length book, March of the Warmdüschers, is complete and ready to purchase on lulu.com or from my good self. If you are unaware, it details a long backpacking trip Gerda and I undertook in 2009 when we moved from South Africa to Australia, and is a sequel to This is Not a Holiday. It is written in much the same style, with the main differences being: Asia is a lot more fun than Africa; I’m a better writer than I was when I wrote TiNaH; we actually had a digital camera on this trip! So, buy it, enjoy it, leave comments/reviews on Lulu/anywhere you like/can, and remember ... no refunds! Ha ha.
It took me two years to write TiNaH and I thought that was a long time, and it was, but I had no idea. You see, when I was living in Cape Town I wasn’t really living i.e. I didn’t have much of a life. That left me with plenty of time to write – all evening, all weekend, sometimes all night if I couldn’t sleep. I see it as having produced something worthwhile out of a tough time. When we moved to Australia, everything was different – I had friends, money, public transport. I was so busy enjoying myself that it was at least a year before I typed a word. When I did start, it was slow going. I really only wrote on weekends when I had nothing else on, and at some point about halfway through the first draft I stopped for a long time. I can’t even remember why; maybe because of my success writing for magazines, a time constraint which has only increased. Then I bought a motorbike and enjoyed riding that at weekends instead. Then I went travelling. I finally pulled myself together and finished the first draft after about 4 years, but then I took another off to re-write TiNaH. I’d realised that in the intervening half-decade I’d vastly matured as a writer and I felt that the experience of overhauling the first book would greatly contribute to the second, and I’m sure I was right. MotW would not be MotW without TiNaH. And then, having written a second draft, there was the lengthy process of submitting the manuscript to my proofreaders (some of whom, mentioning no names, took an awfully long time to read a chapter!) and acting on their suggestions. There we go – Bam! – six years gone. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and since moving to Australia I’ve had a fantastic six years. Rather a great time and a six-year book than a mediocre time and a two-year book. It’s not like I had a publishing deadline or anything! Oh ha ha, perish the thought.
So, here it is – March of the Warmdüschers. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do in my spare time now. I’m at a loss. Watch movies I suppose. DIY? Take to drink? I can’t face starting another book, at least not yet. There is one thing, actually. I still have to make that film of my ride around New Zealand. Yes, that’ll be next. Watch this space.