Putting My Book On-line
It’s now done! And if you want to read it
its now on Kindle e-books!
Just getting the book written about the project took about three years. Getting it edited and formatted and published another two years and quite a lot of money. Now getting it up on Amazon took more money (for an e-Pub version) and more time (reading all Amazon’s legalize). This e-version has 25 pictures included. I hope it is available in your area as I tried to choose the offer that made the book available in most countries rather than just those that Amazon had a special deal with.
What its About?
My husband and I decided to take up, as a retirement project, the renovation of an old family house in Greece. We were filled with excitement. That was ten years ago, and since then we have been travelling to an old house on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean for six months of every year. And I have written a book about that adventure.
Why take the name Drury-Catton?
I’d always thought that if I write I would use an old family name not my own name as a pen name, though in the end I combined the two. My great grandmother was a Drury, and it was known that this name dates back to the Norman invasion of England when a knight called Guy de Drury came over with William the Conqueror.
In addition a writer from New Zealand called Catton has recently published a book. Eleanor Catton’s book, the Luminaries, won the Man Booker prize. Though obviously not in that league, I thought it could be confusing, if as a writer I used the same name.
Why Self Publish?
I did not approach any publishers, but I did approach 8 agents with my book and none took it up. (I know this is quite modest compared with other would-be-writers and perhaps I should have put more effort into finding a publisher.) However, this activity is largely a retirement hobby, and as I’m an elderly lady (75) and time is short, and I have other things to attend to – house, family and more writing, I did not want to spend more time and effort looking for publishers.
How Have I Distributed up Now?
This has been through word of mouth and a few library and garden club talks. Plus I’ve given a lot of copies to friends and relatives. I did put a few in a couple of bookshops, but these were independent books shops who don’t mind the extra work involved in displaying self-published authors, and negotiating payment for just a few books.
Aims for this book
I had been making notes all the time we were working on the house, and finally I decided to write a book about our renovation adventure. However I did not to produce a book just about the renovation of a house, or just about living in an exotic location. I did not want a story about blue skies and tavernas, or of strange customs and people, I wanted the situation to ring true to what we had experienced. So, while writing about our unique adventure on an Aegean Island, I tried to weave two familiar ‘retirement’ situations into stories of a special house and island.
The House Story
While the dream of a house on an Aegean island, with sunshine, warm seas and rural peace, is something many busy, driven, city folk long for it’s not easily achieved. It took a lot of hard work, and it took us ten years of working 6 months every year to complete the job. There is no doubt that Ogden Nash got it right when he wrote that ‘It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home. It takes a heap o’ payin’ too.’
The Lemnos Story
On the island of Lemnos we’ve now lived and laughed, but also cried and sweated, for over ten years. There is no denying that this has been the most marvelous romantic dream-house adventure but I feel that we too experienced the truth of an old Lemnian saying, that one cries twice when coming to this island. This saying may have originated from the time when the island was a designated place of exile, and folk would cry when they landed, arriving reluctantly. But often they would cry again when they left as by then they’d fallen in love with the island and its people. This was a recurring experience for me.
It was Takis’ perseverance over a very long period that enabled us to succeed; first buying the Venetian house from thirty-six cousins, and then renovating all three stories. And as there are only a few shops nearby, and it’s hard to get what you want when you want it , Takis was thrown back onto his own resources but I think this what Takis most enjoyed.
This project has taken its toll in various ways, emotionally, physically and financially. And, of course, no one can have missed the fact that this decade has been a tumultuous one for Greece, with enormous immigration and fiscal problems. Has this affected me? Of course it has.
But, while there have many been times when I’ve come to the island grudgingly, every time it comes time to leave I walk around my Greek garden very unwilling to depart.
Good Times in our Garden
Good Times on the Island