Not only is this a really wonderful story, but the accompanying story of the author's life and how the book came about is just as fascinating. William's grandson Mike has championed this work and there are two more books in the series in the pipeline.
I'd like to welcome Mike to my blog today, he's written a guest-post that explains all about his ambitions for the series.
On his retirement, William E. Thomas, my grandfather, sat down to write a novel. After years of nonstop writing, the result was The Cypress Branches, a 350,000 word epic love story set against the backdrop of World War II and its aftermath.
William E ThomasShortly after finishing it, William started to fall ill and was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.As the disease took hold and we watched him slowly become a shadow of his former self, it seemed that William's dream of seeing his novel published were over. But I wasn't prepared to see the story end there.Why? Well, because when I first read the novel, I totally fell in love with it. It’s a fantastic book, a real page turner full of incredible characters, a gripping plot, wonderful humour and a fascinating insight into an era I didn’t know much about. It’s one of those books that when you read it, you want all your friends to read it as soon as possible so that you have someone else you can talk to about it.I became determined that William should see his book in print and that it should have the chance to reach the audience it deserves. With the onset of his illness, William is no longer able to work with an editor, so I took on that role myself and I started a project to self-publish his novels on his behalf.The book is huge - far too big to publish as one volume in paperback so I have edited it into a trilogy. Thankfully, its episodic nature lends itself to this. The first part - titled Pegasus Falling - was released in March last year as a paperback and ebook and I set about contacting bloggers, critics and reviewers to see if they’d be interested in taking a look. One of those bloggers was Anne, and sure enough, Pegasus Falling became one of the random things to drop through her letter box last summer.Before last year, very few people outside of William’s immediate family had read his writing. When I began contacting bloggers - people who had no idea who I was or who William was - I had no idea what their reaction would be. I was terrified that their reaction would be negative, but I needn’t have worried. Anne’s review was tremendously positive and encouraging . And what’s more, it was one of many similarly enthusiastic responses. As four and five star reviews came in from across the UK, and even as far away as the US and Australia, I knew that I had been right all along - that this was a book that deserved to be read by a wide audience.When Pegasus Falling became a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012 contest, it was even more encouragement to carry on and complete the trilogy.Part two - titled It Never Was You - has been edited and is almost ready to launch. But I’m facing a catch-22 situation. To find the audience who will enjoy reading the books, I need funds to invest in printing, marketing and distribution. To raise funds, I need people to read the books!To help make that happen, and give It Never Was You the launch it needs, I have started a crowd funding campaign. I have used Indiegogo, the world’s leading crowd funding platform, which is used by writers, artists, film makers, entrepreneurs and campaigners around the world to help fund their projects. The great thing about Indiegogo is that it’s not just a donation platform. In exchange for a contribution to a campaign, backers can choose from a variety of “perks” which they will receive in return. I have set up a number of perks for my campaign to encourage contributions. The key perk that I’m hoping will be popular is getting hold of a copy of It Never Was You before it’s released.I plan to release It Never Was You in mid-late April. Anyone able to contribute £5 to the campaign can claim the ebook version of It Never Was You (suitable for Kindle or any other ereader). A £10 contribution will get you the paperback sent straight to your door. Both will be sent to backers in mid-late march (depending on lead times from the printers), so you could be reading the book well ahead of its official release.
I need to raise around £500 to make the print run happen. If I can raise more than that, I’ll be able to invest in a marketing campaign to get the book into the hands of more readers and also start working on the third and final part of the series as soon as possible.If you like the sound of William’s books, and would like to be one of the first to read them, then please consider backing the campaign. Any contribution will be gratefully received and all the money raised will be invested in future endeavours to get William’s books into print.If you can’t back us with cash, then you can still back us with kindness. There are some handy share tools on the campaign page which you can use to help us spread the word on Facebook or Twitter, by emailing it to your friends of posting it on your blog. Whatever you can do, it will all help us get the word out and reach the goal.If you’ve read Pegasus Falling, or would like to find out more, please feel free to get in touch. I love hearing from readers. You can reach me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/CypressBranches), Twitter (@cypressbranches) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).You can find the campaign page is here:http://igg.me/p/310787/x/2088376Find out more about William and his books on my blog: http://acuteanglebooks.blogspot.co.uk