Grant Howie, owner of Trenwick House, has been writing for almost thirty years. It could be argued it began in school, but nothing like the volumes being written since his early 20s. With more than thirty book and short story ideas floating around, in various forms of media, there is a lot to get through. Whilst most of his work is science fiction based, there are other genres being considered. Humour, sci-fi/humour, adventure, crime, and even some horror (something he can write but not watch on screen).
The idea to self-publish is borne from a desire to see his work in print. The idea was always there but needed to wait for the right encouragement for it to come to fruition. This happened during 2006 when he showed an early version of the manuscript of Tapalitzan to a work colleague. Whilst the manuscript was incomplete, he was encouraged to finish it, which he did. By the end of the year, Trenwick House Publishing was born and Tapalitzan was on its way to being published. It took a further two years of editing and refinements before Grant finally had copies of the book in his hand. These first copies mostly went to family and friends and the book was never released commercially. During 2012, he has worked on a revamp of the original manuscript and is hoping to release a commercial product in 2013/14.
Since 2006, Grant has helped a few friends self-publish their first books. With the advent of a new website and a maturing of thoughts and ideas, these books will be ‘launched’ afresh from late 2012. As Grant has learned what to do with publishing, he has also begun to focus on the desire to encourage new writers to express themselves in print. Self-publishing, both in print and electronically, has opened up a market for people who find it hard to get themselves into a major publishing house. With this being said, there is nothing stopping a self-published author from becoming well received and later picked up by a much bigger publisher. It’s happened before and will happen again. Some people may only want to print enough copies for family and friends and therefore they’re able to say proudly, ‘I’m published! ’.
Three areas Trenwick House will be focussing on are;
- Encourage the writer;
- Develop the piece; and,
- Publish the product.
Encouragement is a big thing and writers need to hear that they are writing good stuff, and if required, assisted to see where they can make it better. It’s about getting people hooked up with other writers that can help them improve through positive feedback and sharing of ideas. It’s about helping a writer find a course, or study stream to help them develop their style or refine their genre.
Developing the piece is all about technicality. It’s about getting the spelling and grammar right. It’s about continuity, character and setting, and making sure there are no gaps or holes. For example, at the start of the book, if your main character has green eyes and then suddenly halfway through the story you are saying that ‘his blue eyes shone like the sky on a summer’s day’, then there is a problem.
Finally, publishing the product. As the name implies, this is about getting someone’s work ‘out there’. It’s about producing the best possible product that can be achieved. A good cover, a clean manuscript, advertising materials; are valuable in getting the product to whatever market the writer wants.