Filthy Henry Novels

A Note To Sixteen Year Old Me


Man alive it is worse I am getting at keeping content on this not better, but sure such is life. Many of the times that I have commented on the lack of entries I am going through a really busy period. Then when I get a bit of time I forget all the bits and bobs that I wanted to rant about in the first place. What also seems to be happening is that when I am in the middle of doing some re-writes of my book I drop off from the Internet in general. Probably has some sort of crazy connection with wanting to focus on only one writing task at a time.

But today I had to break the badly formed habit and post this entry for one simple reason: it is a note to my sixteen year old self.

When I was in transition year of secondary school (which basically means being fifteen or sixteen to any non-Irish visitors) I started writing as a hobby. Not because I was filled with teenage angst, not because I had something super important to say that would change the thinking of everyone who read my words. Not even because I was particularly good at it. No I started writing because I had read so much at that stage that I figured this was the way I wanted to earn my living.

Oh foolish me.

What I did was write down the general idea of two novels and started working on both, but never ever finished either of them fully. One came really close, the other just got lost in the mess of my mind. Neither of them was actually worked on properly. I plotted out nothing, wrote dreadfully and probably copied half a dozen ideas from books I had read in the past.

In summary they were both disasters.

But I never stopped wanting to be a writer, to have a book on the shelf that other people could read and talk about whether they liked it or not. As I went through school I kept the writing up as a hobby, while computers became the path I would go down with regards a job. During my years in college I wrote a few short stories that people seemed to enjoy and even won a competition with my writing. Yet it was always just a hobby and me being me I never had any real faith in what I wrote ever going anywhere.

Fast forward eight years and I once again got the idea into my head to write a novel, but this time properly. I had gone off and done a course on creative writing, read some books on the best way to start your novel. I plotted everything out, spent days getting into the writing habit. Hired an editor after I was done. It was a labour of love.

Alas after sending it around to agents and publishers nobody took it up, but I have talked about this before.

So having gone down the self-publishing route I resigned myself to never seeing my book on a shelf in a shop somewhere.

Turns out The Gods had different ideas.

After a project manager in work read my book she happened to mention it to a friend of her's. He borrow the book, read half of it, then told her I was to get into contact with her. Not because I was in some sort of plagiarism trouble but because he just happened to own a bookshop and was going to stock some copies of my book.

I kid you not, somebody I had no connection to went off and bought copies of my book to sell in his store.

Resulting in this little bit of awesomeness.

Right beside one of my idols.
Right beside one of my idols.

Myself and the ladyfriend went out today to visit Alan Hanna's Bookshop to see my book on a shelf. To say we were both excited would be a little bit of an understatement.

The book shop itself is amazing. One of those little ones that is packed with books and staff that just run around all day trying to help customers. Both of us love little stores like this and if you are ever in Rathmines then visiting this place would not be the worst thing you ever did in your life.

As we entered we figured there would be a copy or two down in the fiction section, but could find nothing. So we went in search of the fantasy section and purely by accident stumbled across my book, or a stack of them, sitting right beside the work of Mr. Tolkien himself.

I mean talk about a nerdgasm happening on the spot. Something I had written was sharing shelf space with the guy who basically defined epic fantasy.

All there is to say about this crazy day is a message to my sixteen year old self: keep at it buddy, we get there one day.


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