Hi everyone, I am so excited! Last week, after months of speaking to the publisher, I have finally got a date for the publication of my new book. At first we had 8 July so I excitedly told everyone that date, but after a meeting last week with the publishers, Jody (my co-author) and I managed to get them to change the date to 22 June instead which is fantastic as it's the same day as Windrush Day which we are really pleased about. Here's a photo of the front, back and spine of the book:
As you can see, the book is called Black London: History, Art and Culture in over 120 places. Although that was not the name we chose originally, we agreed with the publishers that this name more than covers what we wanted to say.
So how did we go about writing a book?
Way back when (ok 2018) Jody and I decided to get together to discuss writing a book. Once we agreed that we really wanted to do it, we then started putting together information as to what would appear in the book. We made a huge spreadsheet on Excel with tons of information on it about all the people, places and things we could talk about. Then came the lunchtime visits and meetings. We went around London meeting up with each other and taking pictures of some of the things we wanted to put into the book. It took us from 2018 until the beginning of 2020 to get all the information together. So a lot of the pictures in the book are ours!
Then Jody took on the job of writing and sending lots of emails to many, many publishers. A lot of publishers either don't reply or if they do, it's a no! We were even considering doing a go fund me page to raise the money to do it ourselves but that really didn't appeal to us and we felt that we'd spent enough time on the book. Finally, near to the middle of the year, we found ourselves with 2 publishers wanting our work. We were stuck as we liked both of them but eventually decisions were made and we went with the one who was going to publish the earliest for us. We'd been working on it for so long that we really wanted to get it published and out there as soon as possible. To be honest we'd got to a point where we really wanted to stop working on the book. But so many events happened in 2020 and we found ourselves still adding to the book until eventually we had to stop otherwise we would just keep on going with the updates.
Jody and I are delighted to bring you our new book - we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together! Avril and Jody