(If you are a new visitor, then that last sentence probably makes no sense at all).
Let's roll back about 3 years, to Spring 2008.
I had been doing the school-run for some time and was slowly getting to know the mums and occasional dads in the playground. One of the mums, whose youngest son was in the same class as my youngest, I'd known for some time as her eldest daughter had been in the same class as my eldest a few years before. Over some months we went from casual nods of hello to actually talking to each other. I'm sure many of you will be horribly aware of how lonely the school playground can be for parents if they don't have anyone to talk to.
Occasionally, her husband picked up her son and we, too, progressed from nods to brief conversations.
Then they announced they were moving to Canada. Soon. Off he went, settled, bought a house etc. A few months later and it's the final day of UK school for their children. He'd come back to collect them all and, as we parted, we exchanged pleasantries and business cards and promised to keep in touch, with the full expectation that it probably wouldn't happen (or, at best, would peter out after a few random emails).
I let them settle for a few months and then dropped him an email asking how things were going. His reply: "Great! Get on FaceBook, loads of pictures and updates there".
We kept in vague touch after that, odd replies to status updates, comments on photos, that sort of thing.
Then, one day, he posted an update: "I've a great idea for a book. Who wants to help me write it?"
All his friends replied along the lines of "Are you mad?", that sort of thing. I left it a couple of days and, having seen no sensible replies posted "I'll give it a go. Send me the details".
This is (part of) what he sent:
"Imagine a day where the choices you make determine how everything else progresses. Imagine having the ability to rewind to any given point in the day, to change the thing you did. Imagine having the power to affect something/someone else's life."
I was intrigued... a flurry of emails ensued and, three days later the story began. March 19 2009.
Two short months, a mass of emails and MSN conversations and 115,000 words later it was finished. Well, it's first draft anyway.
By the end of June 2009 it had been edited (repeatedly), tweaked and prodded and we began the process of finding an agent...
But that's for another time.
"THE LONG SECOND - The Book that FaceBook Wrote".