When I first started writing for the Saint Andrew Press in 2005, not only did it connect me with a team of gifted and passionate people, but it opened my eyes to the complexities of the publishing process. Once an author finishes the typescript it is not unusual for the rest of the journey from computer to bookshelf to take several months. These past two weeks I have witnessed a minor miracle.
The story of the ‘Littlest Star‘, which was written on 21st November, and first aired on 27th will be on sale in local shops by next week. The entire process from concept to production has taken just over three weeks. A press officer, an illustrator, a comedian, a graphic designer, a BBC journalist and others have all played their part. How has this come about?
- Connectivity – social media has allowed the story to be told, and people from far and near to support it. A Pastor in New Zealand asked all his UK followers to support it, and a graphic designer a few metres from where I am sitting offered to format the book.
- Generosity – people like James (our illustrator), Annette (our designer) and Holly (press adviser) have been unstintingly generous with their time. Haymarket and Lynhurst Press have been generous by donating printing costs.
- Cause – the cause of helping to care for children in acute need has tugged at the heartstrings, as BBC’s children in need has witnessed over the years.
- Timing – the proximity to Christmas, and the timing of Shooting Star Chase’s ‘hospice at home’ campaign have combined to bring an urgency to the task.
- Prayer – I’m a great believer that prayer has oiled the wheels of this process at many points.
The Littlest Star is now with the printers. All being well the first 500 copies will be available to buy next week. On Sunday I shall be talking about it on BBC Radio London 94.9 at 7.45am. On Tuesday I shall be reading it at a local toy shop, and on Monday December 19th I shall be reading it to the children at the Shooting Star Hospice. Meanwhile, James will be taking it to local schools in Durham, and there are discussions about school assembly materials in the future.
The sky’s the limit – which is just how it should be for the Littlest Star!