The Late Elephant

The Late Elephant – The Book Launch

I remember the feeling of relief when, earlier last week, I sat back and declared. ‘The Late Elephant’ is published. I should have known better!
This book already had a gestation period of three and a half years (apparently an Asian elephant in Whipsnade Zoo took seven hundred days, so you can see how I have struggled). No sooner had I announced to the world “It is written,” than delivery began. (Think me naïve if you will, but I hadn’t bargained on that). A further fourteen painful months of repositioning this and removing that, had to be endured before all was well enough for the final push. After many a good trimming, tweaking and rearranging of words, sentences and paragraphs, mostly by friends and family (and a massive ‘thanks’ to all of you), anticipation grew, until it became unbearably uncomfortable in its need to be out. However, before that was allowed, a cover had to be made ready for the little fellow to slip into.
In case you’re wondering, The Late Elephant was a coaching inn on the outskirts of the sleepy village of Swepstone in Leicestershire, and as the tale is based on the life of my Grandmother, I thought it would be a lovely idea to use a photograph of her. I hadn’t, however, taken into account my ineptitude with the new scanner and printer or the complexities of Createspace’s formula for DIY book covers, so eventually, after days and nights of frustration I opted to use a design of theirs’. I do hope Grandmama isn’t too disappointed, but I was nearing exhaustion (not to mention tether).
After soliciting professional help, all of which was recommended by my friend and fellow author Gail Orbell, birthing began in earnest. Gail held my hand all the way, staying incredibly patient during much winging. Eventually, with a whoop and a holler, it almost arrived, but there was one huge complication. Alas! When writing the fly-page, I had originally stated, ‘Cover, designed by Janet Scrivens, from an authentic photograph’. So, the poor little chap was hurled through space straight back to the U.S of A, to be adjusted. Delete buttons were pressed and both Kindle and Createspace (paper-back) manuscripts were removed, only to emerge once more. This time (hopefully) untainted by breach of copyright.
Imagine the excitement when, two days before expected the stork, in the guise of a black and gold van, pulled up outside my house. The man in the dark blue jacket handed me a brown package. From inside immerged the most beautiful little thing you ever did see. I cradled it lovingly. A quick look to check that all was well and I deposited it on my dining table where, incidentally it was created (more or less).
I am most happy to announce the birth of my first novel, ‘The Late Elephant’. It is available to order from Amazon.

‘The Late Elephant’
The year is 1891. Ada Elverson is fourteen years old and lives with her family at The Late Elephant, a coaching inn on the outskirts of the small village of Swepstone, in Leicestershire.
The household is in turmoil as it is her sister Jess’s wedding day. The whole village turns out to attend the church service at St. Peter’s, returning to the inn for a day of revelry.
One week later, and with mixed feelings at leaving behind the love of her life, Ada makes her first journey by steam train. She joins the Ludlam family at Glenfield Mill to begin her apprenticeship as a cook.
Unknown to her, the inn is no longer profitable and her parents decide to leave. Ada is devastated by the news, and finds that her new life holds some shocking challenges.


Janet Scrivens writes poetry and short fiction.
‘The Late Elephant’ is her first novel and is intended to be the first in a series entitled ‘Tales from Old Swepi’.






Ok, so I submit! I have become a blogger!

It doesn’t seem quite so daunting now the book is finished. What with all the hoo-ha of arranging cover designs; all three of them (this is only the first of a series), and liasing with the printer, bless him; by the time this is over he’ll be joining me in a place where they’ll lock us both up and throw away the key.

In the meantime, I am biting off my finger nails waiting to hear the verdict from my daughter who opted to read it whilst the world cup is being televised!  Well, she does live in a house with three other blokes, all footy fans! Imagine! I should have bought her a pair of ear-pugs to muffle the sounds of, “Mum, can we have something to eat?” Anyway, she is my most stringent critic and has already found two!  Can you believe it, two spelling mistakes? How could I have missed them? Someone said last week, “Read your book at least 50 times before you submit it!” I reckon more like 150! Certainly feels like it, and I still didn’t spot them! It’s a shame because I had finally fallen in love with the novel and was happy to let it go – imagine the shock – a flawed manuscript!

However, the really lovely bit about today was that my friend, Mo arranged a meeting with Graham, who is also a friend, but who has his business next door, and the lady who runs a tea shop in the same part of the building has offered to host a book signing. That must be the sixth offer I have had, so hopefully, by the time the launch takes place, everyone will know about it, and buy a copy!  It’s looking good up to now and at last, after four and a half years I am enjoying it!

Long Live The Late Elephant!

I wonder, would that be classed as a paradox?

Toodleoo x






You Will Not Believe It!

In the words of Victor Meldrew, you really needed to be here this morning to see my doing battle with this blog-site.

Thank goodness for my friend Gail.  Did I say friend?  Probably not after today, the poor thing went home with her tail tucked between her legs and muttering something about old ladies (meaning me of course), should be kept strictly away from all items of technology.

I had managed to lose one children’s story completely, produced acres of gunk to appear on-screen before a post appears at all and duplicate stuff which constantly refused to delete. No wonder she has torn out her hair to the extent of near-baldness.

The good news, of course, is that here we are, up and running, so there are no excuses now, not to send the novel off to whoever we choose to be the first lucky publisher to read it. How about that for positive? You will be able to monitor how many rejection notices we get along the way. You may be asking yourselves who the ‘we’, is. The novel and I, of course! Who else?

Ahhhh! What would we do without friends? Thanks Gail, you’re a star! Sigh…………..