What a crazy summer. Eleven weeks ago I posted a first draft of #OnlyOneOfMe online, hoping – but not expecting – to find a way of getting Lisa’s book published.
Getting published is never easy. Publishing a picture book (two, in fact!) in such a short period of time is pretty much miraculous, and it’s been an absolute pleasure from start to finish, thanks to the team behind it.
Thank you a million times to our artists, Catalina Echeverri (who worked while juggling other deadlines and moving house) and Tim Budgen (who worked while juggling other deadlines and on holiday), Peter Gill and the team at Graffeg – Damon, Daniel, Hazel, Joana, Matthew, Megan – hope I got everyone! (Peter said YES at first sight and his team have gone above and beyond in delivering the books, a website and a whole lot more besides), James Catchpole (who pulled more strings than Mr Geppetto), Gemma and the team at WHY We Hear You (who provided clinical insight and organised the launch party – watch this space), Maria, Tanya and Dee at Walker Books (who gave Cata and Tim a place to meet, a sounding board and a vote of confidence), Emily Lamm at Orchard Books (who sense-checked the text early on and suggested some wise changes), Dr Konrad Jacobs (who has provided some invaluable information for the book’s users), to journalists like Charlotte Eyre who got behind us and helped spread the word, and to all of you who donated, shared and showed your support along the way (special shout outs to Steven Lenton, David Roberts and Cole Henley who sold art for the cause – thank you, chaps!). Thanks also to my family to bearing with me through a couple of crazy busy months.
Last but by no means least I want to thank Lisa Wells for being an absolute smasher. Through regular chemo, ongoing pain, feeling like crap and getting abuse from strangers (believe it or not), she’s stuck to her guns to see this project through. She’s an incredible person and a dream of a woman to have as the public face of #OnlyOneOfMe. The book would simply not exist without her drive to stick two fingers up to cancer. Eff you, cancer. LONG LIVE LISA!
I know I will have forgotten someone in my thank you list – sincere apologies; I have a nagging feeling…! I’ll come back and update it when I remember who I’ve forgotten. Please forgive me.
It’s been a wonderful, humbling, exhausting and thoroughly worthwhile project. The book has come out in time to help a couple of Lisa’s contacts who have been given devastating prognoses in the last few days. The crowd fund has purchased HUNDREDS of copies that are being sent out free of charge to charities, hospices and families. The entire team hope the books will continue to bring at least a small degree of comfort to many families in the years to come.