Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Longest Journey

During 2003, I found myself reading far more than I usually did. It didn't matter what the book was about, anything would do. A quick escape into the world of someone's imagination was a great way to forget the perils of my everyday thoughts. My typical type of books included anything by Stephen King, Aldous Huxley..., you know the sort of stuff.
Quite randomly, i picked up A Child Called It, by Dave Peltzer. And I read the book in about two sittings. Every word on the page captured my heart, even causing me to cry at some of the things I read.
When i'd finished, the book would not leave me, and I found myself thinking about it constantly. I remembered being told by a very close friend, (one of the few who knew about my past), that I should write my past experiences down; that the writing may help with the way that I felt about myself.
Losing the Hate was born just a few days later. I refrained from going to the pub straight from work, choosing instead to buy some beers from the local store. I sat in front of an old 486 computer and began to write. The first 5 or 6 pages seemed to flow perfectly, and each time I read back the words; my words, I found myself getting angry. the more abgry I became, faster the beers went down, and there were more than just a few times that my fist nearly went through the screen. My goal was to write the whole story over about 15 or 20 pages, but between the bouts of anger and cigarettes; many cigarettes, I ound it nearly impossible to condence my tale into such a short manuscript. Within just a few evenings I found that I written close to 30(ish) pages.
With each sentence I typed, the need to say more encompassed me. It became an obsession; the book appeared to be controlling my being, forcing me to spend every evening with it.
It was only a matter of a few months before I realised i'd created 34,000 words, and when I wrote the last sentence, it felt just like a door slamming shut. I felt free.
In actual fact, the door was only just opening.
The following year or so saw me re-write my story time and time again. It became the most difficult journey of my life, (save for the abuse itself), and I found that I was seeing the ghosts of my past again. memories that had become my secret hell had come to life, and were gnawing at me. But I was determined to continue, desperate to banish them forever.
My mind was a mass of images, pictures that seemed to merge into one big grotesque serpent which lived in my dreams as well as my waking hours. The drinking became steadily worse, as did my smoking grass..... but still I carried on.
This journey continued for the next five and a bit years. And I battled silently against pressing the self destruct button. It became apparent to me that I needed to get it all out of my heart and soul in order to carry on with my life.
When the final draft was finished, I read nothing but my own book, over and over again, reliving, remembering, crying, and then feeling alive!!
It wasn't too long before I realised that my book could quite possibly help others, teenagers and adults alike, and so I began the arduous task of approaching publishers. Every rejection slip that I recieved, brought with it a sense of failiure. "Why would anyone be interested in what I had to say? After all, I was Simon Palmer, just a nobody."
When my book was released as an e-Book, on the 8th of November last year, and then as a paperback in July of this year, I felt like a king. I had achieved something that I could be proud of..... I was an author!
When, for the first time, I waltzed into WH Smiths and asked for my book, the buzz far exceeded anything that the drugs of my past offered me. I had become a success in the face of adversity, and the light at the end of the tunnel was almost blinding.
Many Thanks my friends
Simon P 

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