Friday, 15 September 2017

Drawn To The Deep End

So, a novel that I've been working at, on and off, for seven years is finally available for public consumption. Yes, seven years. More than five writing it, in fits and starts. A year of editing and reviews. Nearly a year trying to find an agent and/or publisher. You might infer from my failure to do the latter that the novel isn't very good, and you're entitled to your opinion. I think it's alright. Not very marketable, perhaps, and a bit downbeat for some, but alright, nonetheless. You'll have to buy it and make your own mind up. Here are the links you'll need for that:

Paperback

Ebook

If you like the book, it'd be lovely if you could leave a nice review on Amazon or Goodreads, or wherever you write your reviews. Feel free to blog or tweet about it, if you like.

If you don't like it, well, silence is golden, eh? Or better yet, come on over to this blog or Twitter and let me know off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush ;)

Saturday, 9 September 2017

The end is nigh

I gave myself a deadline for finding an agent and/or publisher for Drawn To The Deep End that has seen me submit to 36 different organisations of one sort or the other since last Christmas.

That deadline expired today. Here's the state of play for those 36 submissions; in this context "Live" just means "haven't responded and don't publish a timescale for responding". So notionally live but, in reality, elapsed. Dead, if you prefer.

So the work on producing a self-published version starts tomorrow...

Thursday, 13 July 2017

If you're not ready for rejection, you're not ready to submit...

...has become a personal motto this year. I am so ready for rejection, I can even share it with you.

I get lots of nice feedback, usually along the lines of "it stood out but...". There's always a but. What follows that seems most often to be a variation on either "this isn't quite right for our list" or "this isn't something we feel we could get behind" and that is, of course, all fine. Other feedback seems to suggest that my work is not commercial enough, and that the story in question doesn't make the reader care passionately enough. Not so fine.

A common thing to say to struggling writers in submission purgatory is "well, Carrie was rejected 30 times before things took off for Stephen King" and that's true. The accepted response to such well-meaning platitudes is to nod and force a smile. The real response should be to point out that most struggling writers are not Stephen King (and whatever you think of him, he undeniably knows how to craft a page-turner), and that the publishing landscape has changed immeasurably since the early '70s. But on we go, regardless: nod and smile.

Since the 19th of December last year, I have so far made 36 submissions of which 58% have been rejected and 31% have elapsed, that is to say the "if your haven't heard from within n weeks you're not going to" category. A precious 11% - four submissions - can still be considered "live" but only because those agents don't have a "haven't heard" category...

But onwards - I gave myself a timescale for Drawn To The Deep End, and have a self-publication fallback plan if that timescale elapses without success. And for the novella in progress, working title Nudge (a title which will change, by the way), I have novella competitions that I want to enter.

Better get writing then.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Song Books - a recommendation

I have nothing new to post about my own writing, but I am very happy to recommend having a listen to this: my good friend and supremely talented writer, Deborah Arnander, talking about short stories on the radio. With bonus Velvet Underground and Nico content! Here you go:

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A definite trend is emerging...

...and it's downwards.

I know I gave myself until September to find an agent and/or publisher, but self-publishing Drawn To The Deep End is starting to look inevitable.

And in other news, my submission to the Escalator programme was also knocked back.

Onwards though, right?