Oh gosh I’m excited.
Four novels so far this year, with number five starting soon. The existing ones are with publishers and one prospective agent at the moment, and I’m hoping before the end of October I’ll get a letter saying “Yup, we like it, let’s talk.”
For some reason I gravitate towards writing for youngsters. I guess it’s because there’s a strong child voice inside that wants to tell stories, which is hardly surprising since as a child I was already telling stories.
I’ve written a mature novel as well, full of violence and anger and pain and nasty baddies and flawed heroes, and that was cathartic to write to say the least, but I reckon my heart’s with my young self for the most part.
After sending off a manuscript with its collateral, there’s that agonising wait of course, but the best thing to do in that time is to just keep writing. Never give up writing. The best advice I can offer anyone who receives a rejection slip for their manuscript is to simply accept that publisher isn’t the right one. Your baby is beautiful. It’s well crafted, well structured, beautiful to look at and sings to the heart. Its grammar is exemplary, the spelling is spot-on, the characters are rounded and develop in fascinating ways. It’s commercial, it’s inspirational and it’s everything you’ve worked towards for goodness knows far too long, yet they rejected it? More fool them! Find a better, more enlightened publisher! Just think of all those publishers who rejected JK Rowling’s manuscript for the first Harry Potter book! Did she give up? No! She just needed to find the right one, and she did, and good on her!
So now number four is off and running, I’m onto number five, and it’s going to be a corker. Lots of research for this one, but I reckon it’ll be my best yet, just like number four was, number three before that, and so on.
Just keep writing. Whatever happens, the world needs great stories.