Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rebecca Alexander. Writer.

I was hugely honoured to be invited to a networking event run by New Writing North. Having been to Newcastle for an all day session of practicing my pitch, I was at least informed a) that I cannot pitch a book for toffee and b) The Secrets of Life and Death is hard to pitch anyway. I spent some time the day before in Waterstones in Durham, and realised the book would be hard to place on the shelf. Alongside the Gothic books, maybe, like Kelly Armstrong. Or, just with the 'A's in the fiction walls.

The networking event allowed us Full Nine Yarners to finally meet in person, and in a room full of editors, agents and other publishing notables. A lovely evening, and especially lovely to meet the other writers. Many were from New Writing North, though I didn't have much time to chat to any of them because they were busy - networking and pitching.

That's not to say it hasn't been pitched, though, but by someone with a lot more experience, my agent. She sent it off to sixteen editors, and after a time, two more asked to see it. Now, most of this people have passed on the book, which was expected, but a few would like more time to consider it. The deadline has been set for the 16th of August, so I'll know one way or the other by then.

I should also have finished the second draft of A Baby's Bones, at least the contemporary strand by then. I was thrilled to receive a letter saying it had been shortlisted from over 1000 entries and is through to the next round in the Yeovil literary competition. It's a helpful affirmation that the book is working, although I have made it darker in the transition between first and second draft. I'm hoping to have a coherent, finished draft including the historical strand, by the end of August, ready to finish my MA dissertation and hopefully, put a children's novel I wrote last year in to the Mslexia children's novel competition. I don't think writing children's fiction is my forte, I don't read enough any more to be current with what is a fast moving market. But I really love the characters!

But for me, at the moment, having wandered around in a room full of writers and publishy people, a huge satisfaction was wearing a little badge with "Rebecca Alexander. Writer."