Stories in my head......
It's strange how words can have such a huge impact on your life and take you in directions you could not have seen coming.
For me it was this sentence:
According to my mum, these were the words my lovely Auntie Pat said, before passing away. I liked the idea of my Auntie pushing a door open into a wondrous new experience rather than just ceasing to exist.
As a consequence, I could not stop thinking about the door.
Where did it lead?
Who was behind the door?
Inadvertently I had opened some sort of universal door which saw a series of delightful characters come crashing into my head.
I thank my Auntie Pat every time I work on this project and consider it a beautiful gift.
Curiosity led me to begin writing them down and as a result Martha appeared,
who couldn’t decide if she was dead or not.
I don't draw, so IbO illustration took the vision of Martha out of my head and put her onto paper. As usual, working on a budget forced me to think outside the square, resulting in Martha been made into a rubber stamp by the lovely Sandra Waine Printmaker
Eight more characters presented themselves, each as unique and flawed as Martha, including her hopeless spirit guide, Patrick. One morning I was shocked to realise each character was a story in itself. The Martha Series showed itself to me and told me it contained 9 short stories.
My best writing time it transpired, was 6am. It was a treat to get up and go to my local cafe where I wrote and drank coffee until my old faithful laptop died. Sometimes it was 10 minutes before the screen went completely blank in which case I had to resort to writing by hand.
I won't pretend it was an easy process. Often I was crippled with doubt wondering what on earth I was doing each morning. I was helped out each time by an extraordinary series of prompts which served to reassure me I was on the right path and not to give up. TOO many to recount here BUT....
......my favourite is the Hells Pizza truck which drove past one morning as I was writing about a character who went to hell and back. I couldn’t stop giggling as I saw the words: TO HELL AND BACK whizz past me on the side of the truck.
Then, without warning another story came through in a rush.
It made THREE things very clear to me:
1: It was to be called One Small Drop.
2: It had to go out into the world
3: It would lead the way for the Martha Series.
Which explained why One Small Drop ended the way it did.
It was such a powerful and beautiful little story I felt proud to be the scribe. It also made sense of my career choices which merged together beautifully for this project (storyteller/career consultant/book artist).
In my frustration to get the idea out of my head, I hacked at some card with a scalpel and wrote the story in pencil. Next, I handed a very, very rough draft of the book to my insanely creative and clever sister Jo.
“Why don’t you leave it with me”, she said kindly, her words not matching the look on her face totally unaware of the creative challenge she was about to embark on.
It was her idea to take away all the noise, reduce the size and introduce two more drops. Without her geeky nature and love of graphic design I would still have a crude version sitting in a box in my studio.
I don't normally like to show my work in progress but when Jason from Burgeseye Photos asked to write a blog about One Small Drop he was quite insistent that it included shots of the original drafts. If you want to read/see more go here
By sheer willpower, despite numerous obstacles and lack of funds, somehow we reached my self imposed deadline to produce 96 copies in time for my 50th birthday book launch.
On March 24th 2015,
One Small Drop
began to make its way out into the world.
As far as we know, to date, One Small Drop has made its way to:
And now the Netherlands!
as in gone to live there, not been published in those particular countries....one small step at a time ;-)
One reader bought 10 copies after reading it for the first time saying to me (with tears in her eyes):
“Oh Liz, this book has to go out into the world”.
This was confirmation in itself of the message I was given in the beginning of the project.
The book sells itself based on offering hope coupled with a very simple message anyone can embrace should they want to.
So many people have helped me with one small drop, for which I will be eternally grateful, including Craig and Aimee from Kingin-It who made me a book trailer (I know!!! a book trailer!!) which you can watch here
The first edition sold out and a second one was hastily put together in order for me to take them to the Frankfurt Book Fair where I was to exhibit in October 2015.
The only problem was, just for a change, I had no money to fund it……….
#2 coming soon.....
"That which does not kill us, makes you stronger!" Friedrich Nietzsche
Read how I managed against all odds to get to Frankfurt and stay in a hotel which was so cheap everything was nailed to the wall!
P.S I still have some copies of the second edition of One Small Drop which you can buy here