Thursday, 23 February 2012

Agents and publishers

Having enjoyed the buzz of being in the last three of a big competition, I'm now able to get on with stage 2. The editor of Mslexia called to congratulate me on the book and to pass on the news that an agent would like to have a look at the book. So I duly rewrote and rewrote the synopsis, agonised over a query letter, checked every comma and full stop in the first five chapters and sent it off. Naturally, I gave it a quick kiss for good luck (but who doesn't?).

Having done so, I put together another synopsis (they all want something different) for a publisher who has expressed some interest in the book, and sent that off by email (less kissing). 

My book is now officially out in the world. My daughter has just left home and it feels rather similar. I probably won't take it so personally if she is rejected.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


The Mslexia judges have judged and I haven't won. But Borrowed Time did make it to the last three, and an agent is interested, so the perfect result for me (though five grand would have been nice!). No pressure on me, but people have noticed my book and have commented on my writing. 
"The judging panel were extremely impressed with the quality of your writing..."
 Sarah Waters, Clare Alexander and Jenni Murray know about my book and it was in the top 3. Result!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

New blog

I've been blogging for three years now, and it's been very helpful to have feedback on the journey towards publication. I will continue to bemoan, wrestle with combining writing and family and work on my writing there. I did feel that now I'm getting the odd bit shortlisted and published, I need a presence on the internet that takes my writing seriously. I'm starting to take my writing seriously.

So this is me. Writer of novels and poetry.

My first novel is actually my third. The previous two are gibbering in bulging folders in my computer. They are desperately flawed, structurally and writing-wise, because I was just finding my voice as a writer. So novel no. 3 is called Borrowed Time, and is a supernatural thriller. It isn't polished to a publishable standard yet, but it has been shortlisted for the inaugural Mslexia novel writing competition. It has good characters, a good story, but it still has pacing issues. I'm planning to get it out there this spring.

My 4th novel is much better structured. It's the story of a puzzle - how did two bodies, one a baby, end up down a well hundreds of years ago? It's up to Sage Westfield, county archaeologist and emotional bombsite, to find out. The unfolding story leans over the village, as the truth of a terrible crime affects the people who live there. Sage's best evidence is the writings of Vincent Garland, the Elizabethan steward of the Banstock estate, who watched the pennies and shillings, and all the people of the village.

My novels are presently unpublished and I am about to look for an agent. Any tips gratefully received!