I am very pleased to announce that I have just signed a book deal with Little, Brown, who will be publishing my first graphic novel, 'Sack, Crack & Back (& Brain)' in February 2017 (which may seem a long way off but I still have a lot to do and I have to deliver the finished book by the end of April 2016).
Here's how I described the book in the cover letter I sent out to publishers earlier this year:
‘Sack, Crack & Back (& Brain)’ is my health-themed autobiography, in which I chronicle 25 years of chronic, mostly very embarrassing health problems and milk them for laughs. From scrotal surgery to sciatica, from itchy rashes to irritable bowel syndrome, from anxiety to agoraphobia, this is the story of my struggle to get taken seriously by a succession of indifferent, occasionally downright rude doctors, and a rough guide to coping (badly) with chronic illness.
This book is something I've been thinking about doing for years but I finally started work on it last year, after hearing about the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Prize. Although I didn't win that competition, I did get short-listed and had to give a short reading at the British Library last May. The positive response I got from that reading really boosted my confidence (I am very aware that a book about my history of embarrassing health problems could have been a disaster) and encouraged me to continue with the book. Earlier this year, I started sending what I have done so far around to publishers, and here I am with a book deal. I have known about this for a few weeks but it has only just sunk in this week, now that contracts have been exchanged, and I am very happy about it!
As I said, a book about my health problems could have been a disaster, and I'm sure that the subject matter will be a turn-off for some people no matter how good I manage to make it, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction I've had so far. Although I do want to make some serious points along the way, my emphasis throughout will be on humour. I would not be doing this if I didn't think I could make it funny (and I doubt anyone would want to read it if it wasn't funny).
I will be posting updates on my progress here and on Tumblr in the coming months.