We would like to wish Helen Lane a very happy book birthday. Helen has just published her first book, Though Hope Seems Frail.  The love story in Though hope seems frail depicts how with faith, hope and love one can move through life’s difficulties and still find light and joy through it all.

Interview with the author

We asked Helen a few questions about her journey as an author and this is what she had to say. 

Q: What inspired you to write your book?

A: Over the years I would tell people something of the story, and a number of people said ‘You should write a book about this’. Mostly I felt that I didn’t have a way to tell the story to a public audience. But eventually, it occurred to me that if I changed the names of the characters, I could tell the story without making family members feel that their confidence was breached, I then wrote the first draft in about six months, and sent it to publishers. This was very disappointing, as traditional publishing houses are overwhelmed with potential manuscripts, so they take four to six months to come back to you , and tell you that they are ‘not working on that genre just now’. I got despondent and shelved the project for a number of years. Then a very good friend, who had first read the rough draft asked me to try again. She tried editing the book for me, but struggled, as she is an academic, and holding my tone of voice was hard for her. I then found Staging Post met with them, and discussed self publishing, which I had not seriously considered. They suggested a couple of editors that they thought would fit with me, and the process began in earnest. After a number of months, editing completed, I again talked to Staging Post, and began the process of getting the book to publishable format and style, with help from another dear friend, who had invaluable experience in the publishing world, and was able to help with layout and proofreading. Finally it was ready, and I am glad to say that a bunch of people have been excited to read it.  

 Q: What was your favourite part of publishing your book?

A: This is a difficult question to answer. I think that working with all of those who helped me bring my rough document to a professional looking book has been exciting. From having a bunch of full-scap pages to seeing the lovely cover, and professional layout has been amazing. Also having the editing done was exciting, as I stopped finding mistakes every time I read the book, and began to feel that the book was now written the way I would like to tell the tale. In addition, seeing my book up on Amazon and Igobooks, and receiving the final printed copies at my door were moments I will always treasure.

Q: What advice would you give an author planning to publish their first book?

A: Have courage and keep going! Be open minded about self publishing, as it may be the best route to take. And if you do decide to self-publish, find a self publishing partner, who can advise you along the way. It is not an easy journey, but it is very worthwhile.


Buying options for Though Hope Seems Frail:

  • From the author for R190 + courier if necessary – helenwendylane@gmail.com.
  • On Amazon.com – Kindle copy for $4 (under R100) and Publish to Print for $15 (about R245) Print copy not delivered in SA, but obtainable in USA, UK, NZ wherever Amazon does deliver.
  • On Igobooks.co.za – Publish to print for R245 (they deliver anywhere in SA).

To find out more about how you can publish your book with Staging Post. Send an email to info@stagingpost.co.za with your inquiry and we will get back to you with all the information you need and a quote.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *