by Lynsey on May 10, 2012 at 8:42 am
Today marks the publication of the two winners of the inaugural Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Award. To mark this occasion we asked Michael Logan, author of Apocalypse Cow what it felt like to become a published author…
“Six years after the idea crystallised and one year after winning the Terry Pratchett First Novel Award, my debut novel Apocalypse Cow is finally on the shelves, introducing social satire through the scandalously neglected medium of zombie cows to the unsuspecting, and possibly horrified, literary world.
It’s hard to escape the clichés when describing my emotions upon realising a lifelong dream. Of course, I am overjoyed, proud, excited and nervous, but I can’t shake of the sense of unreality. I wrote Apocalypse Cow largely for fun. I certainly never expected it to be published given the odd subject matter. In fact, I almost didn’t enter the competition, only doing so when my wife grabbed a firm hold of my ear and kept twisting until I pressed ‘send’ on my submission. I still have the deformed earlobe to prove exactly how much force she had to apply.
When I was shortlisted, I at first assumed it was practical joke as the email arrived on the eve of April Fools’ Day. Then, when I won alongside David Logan with his fantastic novel Half Sick of Shadows, I couldn’t shake the feeling it was an administrative error. For months, I expected to receive an email saying: ‘Can we have our award back, please?’
Now that the book is out there, I think I am ready to accept this is actually happening.
Getting here has been a long journey. I wrote my first short story – a 300-word sci-fi epic entitled ‘My Push-Button World’ – when I was nine. The trauma of failing to secure a five-book deal on the strength of this ground-breaking work – which involved a full-size football pitch that sprung up, complete with 21 robots to play with, upon my command – crushed my budding literary aspirations. I barely wrote a word, save for frequent punishment exercises, throughout the rest of school.
In fact, I didn’t really start writing again until ten years ago. Even then it was a case of squeezing it in between jobs, raising a young family, and glamorous international travel – if you count two weeks in Tajikistan nursing a dodgy stomach and being forced to wear a bracelet made from goat flesh in Northern Kenya as glamorous. I wrote literary short stories with some modest success, and a very serious novel focusing on sectarianism in Glasgow that I hid from the world, but when the zombie cows called, I had to answer.
And so, here we are. Apocalypse Cow is out there in the world. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.”
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