Hi, lovely peeps!

I’m writing from our rented apartment – here in Noordhoek, Cape Town.  I’ve been a bit scarce of late (on Facebook, blogs, whatever…) because I have been hunkering down and focusing on the book (and long-term followers of this blog will know that “FOCUS” is definitely not one of my natural strengths!)…

Firstly – here’s my amazing news:  My book is finished!

Well… almost… finished (see the FAQ responses below for a more detailed explanation).

(I can visualise my sister rolling her eyes while reading this)…

Of course – I’m not quite ready for the big champagne-on-the-beach celebration… but that is just a few days away.  In the meantime – I am celebrating this HUGE personal milestone of FINALLY!!!! finishing something that I have been dreaming about for many… (many!!!)… many…. years.

I have been getting a few questions in the mail and on social media… so here – in FAQ format – are my responses… so – hopefully we’re all on the same page… and (hopefully) I’m not confusing anyone…


SO – IS THE BOOK FINISHED YET?

Ummm.  Almost? 

Yes – yes… I’ve been saying “almost” for months.  But I kept adding pages… and extra bits of stories… and more illustrations… but now I’m finished adding things.   The core of the book – the story itself – actually is finished.  And that – let me tell you – was a HUGE personal milestone for me. When I finished it… I actually uttered these words in disbelief:  “Omigosh.  I’ve just finished it.  I can’t believe I’ve actually finished it!”…

I still need to complete the “About Hat” page… and the “Coming Soon” page… and there’s just a few other bits and pieces I want to fiddle with.  But the CORE… the poem… the story itself… is (miraculously) finished!


I’M NOT SURE THAT ANSWERS MY QUESTION.

Okay.  It will be finished-finished next week.  When I write “finished-finished”… I mean that all the extra stuff has been done too.  All the “about” pages are finished, the cover is finished, the barcodes added, the scans completed, the images placed, the PDF-print-ready file uploaded to the printer server – and the printing company paid in full.

When THAT moment happens…

…the finished-finished moment…

…there will be a big fat celebration… champagne on the beach… and (I suspect) – tears of relief and joy.  I will blog about the finished-finished moment when it happens.  Depending on the scanning process and some other technical issues… it will take between 10 days and 2 weeks to be “finished-finished”.


DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE IN 2 WEEKS?

No.  It means that the book will be completely out of my hands in 2 weeks.

It means that my creation process is finished-finished… but the book itself wont’ be finished-finished.


UH… COME AGAIN?

It will be in the hands of Paarl Printers.  They will take about 3 weeks to manufacture the books.


WHY HAS IT TAKEN YOU SO LONG TO FINISH THIS BOOK?

I could write a long, long post about the journey that this book has taken me on.  In every way – it has been a journey.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, creatively… I don’t think I’ve ever done anything so (personally) challenging.

Sure, I’ve thrown myself into the deep-end with big, challenging projects in the past.  Projects like Tapestry of Dreams… and VENT!… but those projects were not personal projects.  They were about other people… other organisations… other causes…

This is the first time I’ve been very deliberately chasing a very personal dream of mine.  I’ve had this dream since I was a child… a young “Hat”:  the dream to write and illustrate a book.  A part of me is finding it hard to believe that I’ve actually achieved this goal.  I think there was a big part of me that just said:  “Yeah, yeah… whatever!  You and your stupid big-dreams.  You never finish them, anyway.  It’s all talk and no action.  Get real!  This will never get done”...

So… there’s the emotional roller-coster (and the epic inner-fights with self-doubt) that have slowed me down…

But… mostly… the perfectionism.

You know how my crowdfunding campaign said that it was a 64-page illustrated book?  Well – it’s now 80 pages!  It grew!!  (I couldn’t help myself!)…

There’s loads more I could write about this process… this journey… (but I’ll leave all of that for another time)…


YOU DIDN’T MEET THE FUNDRAISING GOALS ON YOUR CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN – AND NOW, YOU’RE BOOK HAS GAINED AN EXTRA 11 PAGES WHICH WILL CREATE EXTRA COSTS.  DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR ALL THIS?

Yes.  The crowdfunding campaign raised just enough money for us to be able to print the 64-page version of the book… and – (with divinely perfect timing)… I was recently paid for a whole bunch of illustrations that I did for a large corporation in November / December last year.

I wrote a whinge-post about that job here.

As it turns out – everything has worked out beautifully… (and now – I’m so grateful I worked on those illustrations – in spite of how much I hated it at the time).

I have the money to pay for the printing, the backer’s packs… and the postage costs (of sending the backpacks all over the world).

Which is… of course… a HUGE relief!


SO – WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU GET THE BOOKS BACK FROM THE PRINTER?

Our TOP priority – and very first order of business… is to get the books (and all the promised extras) to the crowdfunding backers.

We have already purchased all the padded envelopes.  Tracy has already prepared postage lables.

Once our supporters and pre-order folk all have THEIR copies…

THEN we will officially launch the book and sell copies to the general public.


IS IT TOO LATE TO PRE-ORDER A COPY?

No.  $25 USD will get you a signed, first-edition copy… posted to your door (wherever you are in the world).  You can put the money in my Paypal account (Paypal email is:  heather@beautifullifeproject.com) – and then drop me an e-mail at the same address and give me your postal details.  And you’ll be added to the special backers & pre-orders list.

There’s a deadline for this, though.  Pre-orders close on the 11th September.


REMIND ME AGAIN ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S VERSION OF THE BOOK…?

To remind everyone… this first book… “How Heather got her HAT’ness back”… was not originally intended as a children’s book.

There are some difficult themes that I cover in my book (low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-abuse, etc)… and some of that may not be appropriate for smaller children.

That being said… I think teens will enjoy it – and – of course – all the grown-up creative creatures should be able to resonate with all sorts of stuff in there too.

My kids (aged 7 and 9) love it.  But then again – they are my kids – and they LOVE listening to “Mommy’s Story”.

I WILL create a lite, children’s version of this book (without all the very dark stuff)… but I wanted to tell this full, real, raw version of the story FIRST.  Partly – because it’s something that I need to do (in a personal sense)… but also… because I think it lays a solid foundation from which to build all kinds of other projects and ideas (including the kid’s version).


WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH THE PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT?

Here’s a link for that:  http://eepurl.com/bftIfn


So – I hope that answers everyone’s questions.

If you have any other questions – please feel free to pop me a mail… or comment on this post – or whatever.

Have a lovely day, peeps!  X