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’.