There hasn’t been one of these for a while but that doesn’t mean that things are not progressing. I can assure you that they have and the great news is that the final, final, final manuscript has now been signed off and is ready for printing. According to the publishers, Summersdale, that should take place at some point later this month with proof copies being distributed to interested parties in April before the book is finally unleashed into the world on Thursday 11th May. That’s the date for your diary. Clearly I can’t reveal any of the manuscript… oh, go on then. You’ve persuaded me. Here’s the first paragraph…
It was Thursday 9 April 2015 and I was standing on the edge of the Isla de las Palomas, less than a kilometre to the south of Tarifa, in southern Spain. For a few moments, my body was host to the southernmost human heart on the continental mainland of Europe. I was Europe’s most southerly man. Had I waded a few metres into the Strait of Gibraltar, I would have been floating at precisely 36 degrees north of the equator. The plan was to cycle from this southernmost point of Europe to the northernmost point at Nordkapp, in Norway, 71 degrees and ten minutes north of the equator. It would be a journey of just over 35 degrees.
…but that’s it. You’ll have to wait until May 11th for the rest I’m afraid.
In the meantime, here are a few things to whet your appetite. Just before Christmas I wrote a post containing all the contenders for photos to be included in the inside covers of the book. Summersdale made their choice and I subsequently asked for feedback via the Cycling Europe on a Bike Called Reggie Facebook page as to which of the two proposed layouts you, the potential readers, preferred:
(Bloody WordPress plugins never seem to work…)
You commented and the publishers read and agreed with the majority of you (and me) opting for the following layout:
But not only did they take a democratic decision, they also added the key as suggested by several people on Facebook. It was a good call and the list will appear at the very end of the book as follows:
Inside cover photos: 1. Reggie the bike / 2. Conil de la Frontera, Spain /
3. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France / 4. Couture-sur-Loir, France /
5. Binche, Belgium / 6. Redalen, Norway / 7. Folldal, Norway /
8. Schleswig-Holstein, Germany / 9. Benavente, Spain /
10. Kruså, Denmark / 11. Castrojeriz, Spain /
12. Halland, Sweden / 13. Ramberg, Norway /
14. Redalen, Norway
The inside design of the book has also been carefully thought about and each of the 35 degrees / chapters starts with a graphic like the following for The Twelfth Degree:
On the globe, the circle denotes my starting point and the star my finishing point (did I make it as far as Nordkapp?) with the arrow representing how far I have got by each of the degrees. Clever, no? Well, ignoring the fact that I didn’t cycle in a dead straight line it is. For those requiring a little more detail, there will, of course, be the map…
…which does kind of give away the answer to the question just posed. Mmm…
Finally, you will probably now be familiar with the outside cover of the book but there is one addition. Can you spot it?
The book will be widely available from May 11th via Amazon (as an eBook as well as in paperback) and also, hopefully, your local Waterstones or independent bookshop. Why not ask them about it now so they have it ready for you on May 11th?
And finally… don’t forget that if you are anywhere near Huddersfield, Halifax, Clitheroe, Bristol, York and even Lismore in Ireland, come and listen to me talk about the journey behind the book. More details on the ‘speaking’ page of apsykes.com.