The long game

Last December my agent sent The Rebirth of Henry Whittle to all the big publishing houses.  Nievely I thought one of them would love it as much as she did.  That horrible word ‘subjectivity’ keeps squashing my dream.  It was too risky, too tame, too dark, too light.  So it was back to the editing draw board.  Considering I have no literary credits I am at least receiving a masterclass on how to make my book publishable.  Pengiun, Bloomsbury, all the editors that my manuscript went to took the time to critique it and that feedback was passed onto me and beween my agent and I we are nearly ready to hit round two.  There is still some issues to iron out first but I think in the new year I will be waiting, hoping for, my lucky  break again.

My agent warned me that it takes an unpublished author sometimes years to get published.  Unknown quantities are risks. Have I felt like giving up?  Not exactly…I’ve had days when I’ve been too ill to work on it, days sometimes turn into weeks.  Illness, tiredness converts to poor motivation and a loss in confidence.  Ultimately I return to the manuscript because I’ve travelled full circle…I write because it’s fun and it takes me out of the house and into the lives of others – ok they aren’t real people.  I think it’s like when a kid has an invisible friend.

When I’m not working on Henry, I work on Random Attachment.  It’s my back-up plan.  I’m writing a new book to get the first one published.  It’s not unusual.  One thing the editors agreed on was that they liked my writing style and would like to see more of it.  So Random attachment is similar to Henry in that it is a young adult romantic crime novel – but it’s not as edgy or risky.  It’s a safer bet.

I sometimes wonder if sending my manuscript to agents was good for me or not?  I could have simply wrote for pleasure.  I googled the odds of getting published and I knew I had more chance of winning the lottery.  I found a good description of trying to get published

“It’s all a Catch-22 situation: your odds of getting published are miniscule because the only way to get published is to have been published..”

My husband worries that I’m putting too much pressure on myself – but that’s not the case.  Pressure comes from fear of failure and I don’t feel a failure.  I think I’m pretty amazing actually.   Writing a book was one of the most satisfying challenges I’ve set myself.  I don’t need an agent or a publisher to pat me on the  back.  I’ve set myself a new challenge – getting published.  There’s no rush.  It might be Henry, it might be Random Attachment or another book that’s upstairs in my imagination.  There’s no real timeframe – before I died would be quite nice though!





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