It seems like such a long time ago that I began on this arduous journey. In retrospect, writing "Zhetybay" was the easy part. I sat down at my computer, looking at the list of things that I had written before, then decided I had to do something else, something new. Then it hit me! My first visit to Kazakhstan!
The story was easy to relate because all I had to do was rely on my memories. Three weeks later, it was complete, or so I thought. Read it again, edit as you go, I told myself, trying to identify my errors. The strangest part of editing is that you just don't see your own mistakes! I never bothered about tabs for speech or page layout, I didn't care too much about punctuation, "the flow" had me and I had just typed as the events came back to me. So, read it again, and again...
When I submitted it by e-mail to various publishers I had a good feeling about it, a strange positivity that seemed to tell me I was doing the right thing. So now, more than 18 months later, my novel finally hits the shelves and I can't wait to see the photos that my son and my brother will send me when they pay a visit to their local bookstores.
In the meantime, I continue to write the sequel, "Zhanna", in which the story continues and the bold Kazakh heroine of "Zhetybay" reveals her true self. I'm not saying any more, no spoilers, except on your favourite sports car!