Monday, 17 February 2014

GUEST BLOG - The Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones

There have been several periods in the last ten years when The Cabinetmaker, my first novel, has taken over my life. During the months since I published it for the Kindle, I think I've spent every spare minute I've had furiously promoting it, in between working, eating, sleeping, making furniture, and playing the odd game of football to retain my sanity.

It had also been like that during the few months when the first draft of the book went from one-third finished to being completed, after taking a number of years to get to that stage, and the same again trying to get signed up by an agent or publisher. Despite a couple of close things, it was a largely frustrating experience, but with each rejection, I would try and refine my manuscript to make it more readable. When a publisher finally asked to read the entire book, I couldn’t help but get my hopes up, so when I received a qualified rejection and a heavily edited manuscript, I was deflated, but realised that my book was publishable. It was painful to cut 30,000 hard earned words, but when I had finished, I sent it to off to another literary agency.

Groundhog day: Full manuscript requested, another rejection, but he’d liked it, and had wrestled with the decision. He told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if The Cabinetmaker became successful, if I published it on KDP.

So far, I’ve had a great response from book bloggers and review sites. They have been incredibly enthusiastic, friendly and helpful. It is the greatest encouragement you can imagine when somebody you have never met likes your writing, and is willing to spread the news about your book to their online friends and the wider book-loving community.

The Cabinetmaker is a Glasgow crime story about two men; Francis Hare, the local cabinetmaker in the book’s title, father of a murdered son, and John McDaid, a young detective on the case. Unusually, the story focuses as much on their developing friendship as it does on Francis’ attempts to fight for justice when his son’s killers walk free, and on John’s desperate search for the truth.
It features sloppy policing, Scottish amateur football, fine furniture making, a fair bit of strong language, a smattering of Glasgow slang, and some interesting detective work.

To help promote the book, there’s a website, www.thecabinetmaker.info, packed with extras: four free sample chapters, an interactive Glasgow map, an audio ‘Glasgow slang’ dictionary, a glossary of cabinetry terms, and a page about the book launch that we did during Literary Dundee.

:: Follow Alan on Twitter @alanjonesbooks. Buy The Cabinetmaker at Amazon.