From the first moment of wanting to become a published author, most writers quickly realise that authorship and publishing is a complicated process, and that you need the patience of a saint.
As local author Kalou Koefoed discovered, things can truly take flight if you cut out the middleman.
In 2017, Koefoed sat down and wrote her first book, The Wave, which is an epic adventure for 8-13 year-olds.
The story begins as Sim, an almost 11 year-old boy from the Mount, wakes up in a tiny blue caravan in the middle of the ocean along with his cat, Mr Black. How did he get there? And how will he get home?
With the assistance of a hot air balloonist and a somewhat faulty prophet, Sim begins his long journey back to New Zealand through cities and deserts, on stormy seas and snowy mountains. Along the way, the truth of the wave is revealed and Sim finds himself being chased across the planet by the powerful President King.
“Although it was written for children, it’s a fun read for adults too,” says Kalou, who wrote the book for her now 12 year-old son.
The decision to self-publish came after sending the story out to agents, both in New Zealand and overseas, and getting politely rejected time and again in the course of a year.
“There’s a lot of waiting around for literary agents to turn you down and it got to the stage where it was either, let the story sit on my hard drive forever and no one reads it, or cut out the middleman and self-publish it,” she says.
Now in total control of her own project, Kalou decided to add a few illustrations to make it extra special for her readers. The illustrations also make up the bright yellow cover, which was designed by Hannah Wynn of Pablo Creative.
As soon as The Wave became available on Amazon, downloading started. Since then, Kalou has received messages from total strangers to let her know how much they enjoyed the book, which she says is “quite special.”
“I giggled and gasped and admit to shedding the occasional tear. Congratulations on such a superbly written piece of happiness, I shall sing your praises to all my book reading friends! Thanks, and I am eagerly awaiting your next story,” wrote Shani Small, who bought the Kindle version, after she finished reading it.
The Wave has a bit of everything in it. Humour, friendship, adventure, survival, magic- even a little bit of cricket.