Wednesday, January 22, 2014

And 23 years later...

Once upon a time, way back in the days of typewriters, I decided to write a book about cycling. I had seen a whole series of books for pre-teens called Sports Fiction. There were books on football (obviously), tennis, swimming, cricket… all sorts of sport. Only cycling was missing. I wrote to the publishers, Blackie & Son Ltd, offering to fill the gap. At this early stage of my writing career I’d never produced anything more than a thousand words. My letter was posted and I forgot all about it until, one afternoon, I received a phone call asking how I was getting on with my book. It was Blackie calling. I lied to them saying it was half done. They asked to see it. Panic! I lied some more.
            ‘It’s typed on the back of old letters and bills,’ I said, and then to make things worse, added, ‘and it’s in red ink.’ Remember those typewriter ribbons with black at the top and red at the bottom? 
            They agreed that I could send them the book when it was finished but warned that this was not an offer. If another book on cycling arrived before mine they'd consider that too. I put down the phone and started to write it. Six weeks later I posted it to them.
            A year after that I received an acceptance letter. The book would be published in two year’s time. There was very little re-writing to be done, they said. I forgot about it and carried on writing short stories and articles for women’s magazines.
            A few months before publication date another letter arrived requesting my presence, with manuscript, at Blackie’s offices. I bought a new outfit and shoes and set off, spending the entire day with an editor, working through my script, page by page. Then it was back home to do that ‘very little rewriting’.
            In 1991 the book appeared. It even sold reasonably well but I was ahead of time. Cycling wasn’t the popular sport it is today. Because it is now so popular I decided to completely update the book, Racing Start, and have it produced as an e-book. So, after  nearly a quarter of a century it’s once again available. It’s themes are cycling, naturally, and bullying.




  1. Wish you every success with Racing Start, Lynne. Perseverance and timing - it's everything isn't it. :o) xx

  2. Fantastic - just shows that with perseverance and time, most things will sell. It sounds a brilliant resource.

  3. Also shows we should keep everything we write Lynne, always comes in handy one day.