Monday, 14 October 2013

The Breath of Peace




There have been days when I thought we would never – never – get this book through.

Now finally, praise God, its two-and-a-bit-years slog to see the light of day is done.  I am so grateful to my agent MacGregor Literary for handling the self-publishing, and for all of you who prayed it through.

It’s available in paperback and also as an e-book.

It's available from US Amazon in Kindle format here, and in paperback here.

And from UK Amazon in Kindle format here and in paperback here.

The paperback is available from the Create Space store, here.

I think the paperback will be available from Amazon too – maybe take a while for that option to become available – though of course Create Space is also an Amazon venture.

The Breath of Peace is the seventh novel in the Hawk & Dove series.

Each of those books addresses a biblical theme and a related Christian life theme.  This one explores Ephesians 5 and what might really be meant by the idea of ‘submission’ – which is not, I think, one person lording it over another or telling them what to do.

It also considers the importance of how we speak to one another, be that in a community, a family or a marriage – because that is probably the biggest driver of the ambience in a household.

I have always been intrigued by the detailed, close-up content of what ‘happily ever after’ might really mean, in the context of ordinary human lives with all their frailty and all their baggage.  This book re-visits William and Madeleine a year after their marriage to find out how they’re getting on.

A really startling thing happened to me when I was writing The Breath of Peace.  Though it has lots about the monks at St Alcuins Abbey in it too, you will appreciate that centre stage is the marriage between William and Madeleine.

Well!  In the week leading up to St Valentine’s Day – which, here in the UK, is specifically about lovers; we don’t send our aunts a happy Valentine’s card – I got an email.

Writing a novel, one becomes completely immersed in that imaginary world – it becomes more real than the ordinary day-to-day.  So there I was, back in the early spring of 2011, writing the Breath of Peace all about William and Madeleine’s marriage.  And one morning I fired up the computer, opened my email, and there in my inbox was an email with the subject line “With love on V-day” – from Will and Madeleine!!!

It was as though everything stood completely still.  I just sat and stared at it.  For ages.  Completely stunned.

It had a prosaic explanation, of course - I am on the mailing list of a man who speaks and writes about vegan diet, whose name is Will Tuttle.  What I didn’t know at the time is that his wife is called Madeleine.

But I like to think that I am one of the few novelists who has dreamed a world so utterly real that her own characters actually sent her an email from the fourteenth century.

If you read the book and enjoy it, I shall be so grateful if you could review it on Amazon, and also help me put the word around; because I’m self-publishing this time, so any publicity is entirely down to thee and me.

51 comments:

Ganeidaz Knot said...

Oh, Pen! That is so super cool! From Will & Maddie. I am totally charmed. ♥

I do hope the book does well. It will be some time before I can get to it. I am supposed to be studying but seem to be suffering serious blockage & need to address the issue.God bless thee & thine.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) God bless the studies. May the work flow and the obstacles be thrown into the sea; in Jesus' Name. Amen. xx

AbiSomeone said...

Woo hoo! On my way to Amazon...and then my Kindle!

I will do what I can in my small sphere of influence, sister....

Be blessed!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Thank you so much!! x

Robin Wrenn in Portland Oregon said...

I love, love your first 6 books in the series. I can honestly say they taught me so much about what it means to be Christian and how to treat people and handle problems in a Christian way. I cannot understand why no one wanted to publish another in the series. Maybe because, as you say, there is not so much about the monks. I'm off to Amazon to get a copy now.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Thank you!

They liked the book itself - it as just that the numbers didn't stack up; the publisher who has the first six books does little or no fiction now; they keep the Hawk & Dover series on because we go back a long way and they're good people, and it does have respectable sales - but I think they don't really want to develop in that direction. And my UK publisher loved the book but felt it made no marketing sense to publish volume 7 in a series when the first 6 were elsewhere. The decision was on marketing not content.

But actually I'm glad how things turned out because I'm absolutely in love with the cover picture - and if I'd gone with a traditional publisher they wouldn't have let me have that, because it's at odds with the commercial parameters.

So, 'all's well that ends well'!

xx

Deborah said...

Runs hysteriacally around Pen's blog in excitement! :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

It's on its way to you, honey. x

Deborah said...

THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH... (takes quilt and pillow and sits in porch looking at letterbox) :-D xx

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) x

Pilgrim said...

I zipped over bought one for my mother's Kindle. :-)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hooray! Thanks, friend xx

Pilgrim said...

You're welcome. I waffled, bit the bullet, and just ordered the paperback for myself. :-)

Lynda said...

Hi Ember! Just ordered my copy from Amazon...can't wait for it to get here!!

Also put a post on my blog.

I wish you much success with it! xx

Deb D. said...

Just did a silent cheering scream when I read this was ready to go for Kindle. Went and downloaded it immediately before I came back to comment. I leave on vacation tomorrow and am taking my Kindle. How delightful that it will now have the one book I would most want to read while on vacation! I'm ecstatic to read it, but no I will mourn when I'm done and will have to wait for more. :-)

And I giggled in awe about the email you received. How delightfully bizarre that must have been. :-)

Anonymous said...

Just ordered your book from Amazon. After having spent most of the night awake (age-related insomnia :( ) I decided to read some of my favourite blogs and realised I really needed to treat myself to your new book. Isn't the internet great - shopping at 6:25 a.m.?!
Kay

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much, dear friends, for your kindness and encouragement. I do hope you enjoy the book. Don't forget to leave a review on Amazon of your thoughts and impressions.
Thank you, Lynda for that fab blog post :0)
Kay - yes, I have that middle-aged insomnia too.

Thank you, dears xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Ooh - if folks reading on Kindle could let me know if you notice any obvious big errors in the text I'll be most grateful.

The system for uploading to Amazon has changed, and proved quite a challenge, so I'm told. There were always problems reformatting from the electronic file fror the print version to the one for the e-book, which caused significant textual errors in e-books. Now Amazon has changed so that just the one file is uploaded, which should reduce problems.
So far I've seen only the 'Look Inside' on Kindle, and I see that the page breaks have got lost, and that the 'List of Characters' has become a 'List of CHAracters', so clearly not all problems have been zapped.
Provided the level of error is such as to provide no serious distractions in reading, I think it's okay, but do let me know if you spot anything we ought to try and fix. Once things are up on Amazon, changing them is like trying to move a mountain with a dustpan and brush, but it's handy to be aware of the mountain even so. xx

ragamuffin said...

Where will I be able to buy the books wholesale, as I don't recognise the publisher, it will be a big seller here in the Jesus Felllowship

Pen Wilcock said...

Good question, ragamuffin. This book is self-published through Amazon. I'm not sure what happens about bulk orders. I'll check with my literary agent, who has handled the whole thing for me, and come back to you as soon as I know.

Diane Wheeler said...

I am beside myself with joy to know that the story continues. I will be adding it to my kindle as soon as I am done typing here!

And I will happily review it on amazon.

Di
from A Circle of Quiet

Pen Wilcock said...

Thanks, Di! xx

Deborah said...

Have you started work on the next one yet? ;-D

Pen Wilcock said...

As it happens, yes . . .

Deborah said...

(Squeals and runs in a circle around Pen's blog :-D)

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) x

Deborah said...

Everybody must keep quiet today...the postman has been and I am holding my copy of The Breath of Peace...so NO noise...

(Hangs up 'Do Not Disturb' sign on door...)

Thank you, Pen :-D xox

Pen Wilcock said...

You are most welcome. I will be grateful for an Amazon review when you are done. x

Deborah said...

Please don't interrupt me, I'm too busy crying.

Deborah said...

*Deep, Contented Sigh* ...cracking book, Pen. Off to write a review on Amazon :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

Heh heh - so glad you enjoyed it, Debs; and thank you, thank you for your review. xx

Deborah said...

Have you finished the next one yet? ;-D

I wanted to write more but it's really difficult without saying too much to give the plot away :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

:0 Not sure when I'll get down to writing the next one - probably next spring - but at least it won't take two and a half years from the writing to the publishing this time!!

Deborah said...

Yayyyy :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

:0)

Julie B. said...

My copy arrived two days after I ordered it too. I just loaned out Book 4 and Book 5 in the series as well. xo

Pen Wilcock said...

Hooray! Thank you for buying it, Julie xx

ragamuffin said...

The new book is being received well in the Jesus Fellowship, just ordered another 10 copies.
Ian at
www.jesus.org.UK/shop

Pen Wilcock said...

Ah, God bless you, I am so grateful, Ian ! x

Daisyanon said...

Hi Pen, Do you have a Facebook page I could 'like'? I have put a link on my timeline.

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you! I guess I should have a Facebook page really, but I'm not sure what I'd put on it. I did have one for a while but stopped it when I de-activated my Facebook a/c for quite a long time. That's so kind of you to put a link on your timeline xx

kort said...

the letter carrier delivered my copy today. it's sitting quietly in my basket until later this week when i can totally devote myself.

peace keep you.

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much for buying my book, dear friend. It means so much to me - it allows me to live in the way I am called to be xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Pen. I just finished The Breath of Peace and have left a nice review on Amazon and Goodreads. :)

Blessings to you,
Philippa

Pen Wilcock said...

Thank you so much, Philippa - that's really kind. xx

Anonymous said...

:)

I've also just ordered The Spiritual Care of Dying and Bereaved People from Eden.

The Wilderness Within You has arrived too, and it looks like a very original take indeed. Wonderful! :) It might have to wait a bit to be read, though, as I want to finish Abbie Smith's Celibate Sex first and then start on my Advent reading list.

I read your latest article in The Reader yesterday. What you said about the artist being able to go places where the theologian often can't was just wonderful, and so true. It is a strange tension within our faith: following Jesus demands radical, life-changing choices and yet the church is so often conservative in the wrong kind of way ... of course there's nowt wrong with tradition in itself, a healthy tradition will be rooted in the godly principle of walking in the good way set down by God thousands of years ago. But - you know what I mean. Anyway, wonderfully reflective and thought-provoking article as always. :)

- Philippa

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) If you had been a 16th century Puritan, they would have given you the name Encouragement.

Thank you. x

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pen! I do love to encourage people. Although I don't think I'd have made a very good Puritan. :p They wrote some lovely prayers though, and their practice of giving people such names was lovely too. :)

I warm more to the Moravians, who were also radically Protestant and whose motto is: 'In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love'. Their flag shows the Lamb of God and says: 'Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him'. Martin Luther gets all the attention but they were being radical 60 years before he came on the scene (and, unlike him, they weren't anti-Semitic). Amazing missionaries, who practiced simplicity and believed in equality of the brethren. They were a big influence on John Wesley:

http://www.moravian.org/the-moravian-church/the-moravian-church/history.html

- Philippa

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Thanks, Philippa! x

Anonymous said...

I also forgot to say re: Will and Madeleine and how cool it was that you got an email from them ;) ...

"But I like to think that I am one of the few novelists who has dreamed a world so utterly real that her own characters actually sent her an email from the fourteenth century."

J.R.R. Tolkien once got a letter from a S. Gamgee. I kid you not. It's a real surname. (As is Took.)

- Philippa

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx