Friends, today is my birthday and it's also the release day of my new and first novel, Charlie Walks, the fictional story of a machine learning engineer who wants to be a writer.
Over the next seven days, I'm going to be posting a chapter per day (up to the first seven chapters). This post contains the first chapter.
If you enjoy reading the sample chapters, you'll love the rest of the book, there's 42 chapters in total.
It's the best thing I've ever made.
And if you want to buy it, the digital version(s) (PDF, EPUB for non-Kindle eReaders, MOBI for Kindle readers) are available via Gumroad. Print and paperback versions of the book will come later in the year.
1. I've died twice.
We were told to write down two facts about ourselves on Post-it Notes and stick them to our hands. One of those team-building exercises. The ones some might call awkward, but I loved these situations, when everyone feels like worms are in their stomach. Worms made me feel alive.
What the hell, I thought. I hadn’t told anyone but now seemed like a good time. I put the first one down and then the second, then got up and started to walk around.
I circled the room reading and talking to others about what they wrote about themselves.
I’ve got two dogs.
I practice kickboxing.
I harvest honeybees.
I’m a rock climber.
No one else died twice yet.
The fighter girl circled back and started speaking.
How can you die twice? she asked.
Her paper name tag spelled out her name, Sarah. The letters drawn in warm colours which matched her dress.
I’ve got a heart condition which takes advantage of me now and then but the doctors don’t know what it is.
Thank you for telling me that, she said.
Sarcasm or honesty? I couldn’t tell. I kept talking.
Do you thank people who punch you in kickboxing?
Only after the fight, she said, then read my other note. So, what do you write about?
People. Mostly people.
What about people?
I like hearing people’s stories and remixing them with my own, I said.
Are you going to write about me? She smiled.
You can be in my book if you want.
You’re writing a book?
We kept talking, she kept asking questions and I kept spinning answers. It was my turn when the announcement came over.
OKAY EVERYONE! I hope you’ve learned something fun about your co-workers this morning, we’re going to move to the next activity now.
We went on to the next thing. I didn’t see Sarah for the rest of the day. After, I walked to the train and caught it home, the whole time wondering what I’d say to her next. Ask her more about the gangsters from Greece, I thought. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Real good.