Who Is Really Vain?

I paid to have my debut book, The Desolate Garden, published. There was a time when I was too embarrassed to have said that, but not now. Given the circumstances when I had finished my novel I saw little other choice than to take that route, but I knew nothing about the publishing business, and the snobbery within.

The first time I heard that word ‘vanity’ it struck me that I was one of those so bracketed in that derogative term, hence my reluctance to come clean. My book, as a lot people know, is to be made into a film this year costing $30,000,00, but it’s not that fact that now allows me to face those critics, it is the realization that my decision was right.

I have now a so-called ‘traditional agreement’ with my publisher, but that doesn’t mean there is money to blaze on the razzamatazz of publicity and marketing, but I get on well with them, and what they give I’ll deal with. From what I read on the internet, and from the people I meet at speaking engagements, I believe the world of publishing has been turned on its head, and now the word ‘vanity’ could be replaced by ‘insanity’ and aimed at those that are still in the past, waiting for something that will never arrive.

The days of money being thrown at an unknown author are virtually dead, or if not, just breathing, reserved for the young with potential to make the business of publication as profitable as it can be. I, in my innocence, would label those that wait for the ‘pot of gold’ to be ‘vain’ and those that were once so labelled, as the innovators of a new real world.



About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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One Response to Who Is Really Vain?

  1. ewgreenlee says:

    The fact that you took a risk shows more spirit than those that whine about their rejection letters. It’s your money, your risk, your right to take a chance where others will not. They may call you vain, yet when they do this, they are looking in the mirror of envy.

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