Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Well overdue for a holiday

I don't know whether to be uplifted or depressed by Rosie Garland's amazing success, generously shared on the Mslexia blog. Here am I, same competition (but not the winner, of course) and same situation. The book is out to editors, which is great. But I haven't heard one word. It's early days, maybe. Perhaps they all have loads to do before they take their summer break (I've heard this a few times). It is possible the book just isn't commercial enough. I am uplifted, to be honest, that it can happen to someone  who works at their craft, develops it and certainly has paid her dues in the publishing world. There's hope for me yet, then. But there's an element of preparing for disappointment in the waiting. I'm grateful for the opportunity, I really am, I know what a great position I am in just to have an agent. But not all agented work is published. 

Worse, I really want to get on with the sequel, but that doesn't seem like a good idea if I can't sell book 1. I have treated myself to a few research books, but only the ones that are really cheap second hand. The story is telling itself every time I close my eyes at night, causing a number of late night note taking sessions which are difficult to decipher in the morning. I have even found a delicious narrator, the under-valued Elizabeth Jane Weston, the Elizabethan poet who grew up in Europe following her step-father, Edward Kelley, and made a life for herself in Prague. 
Elizabeth Jane Weston

We think of people in the past as hardly going outside their village but so many of them travelled. She travelled a lot more than I have, and she was little more than half my age (and the mother of seven children) when she died. Not to mention having written a best selling volume of poetry. What on earth have I been doing with my life?

So I am uplifted by Rosie's story, but a little sorry for myself, in a pathetic, self-indulgent way. I'm off on holiday, nine days of just husband, no kids, no whiny cats, no household chores and appointments or shopping, and I'm going to try and put the whole thing out of my mind. I shall get some perspective. For goodness sake, Ms Garland had cancer to beat, as well. I shall rise above the whole thing, and get on with what I really get out of writing - crafting my new story. I'm now at 40k with A Baby's Bones, draft 2, and loving doing it. That's the heart of it, not publication. Somehow in the glamour and wonder of hearing about Rosie's success, I lost sight of that.


  1. I can totally relate to how you feel. When my book had been out to publishers for ages and a couple of writer friends were offered a deal in a matter of weeks, it was definitely a mixed bag of feelings. Pleased for them, certainly, but a bit sorry for myself too. We're only human!

    Hope you hear something good soon :o)

  2. Thank you Karen. I do feel a bit lacklustre! Isn't your book out in Germany any minute? Will you be involved in the book launch there? Exciting stuff, although I suppose a UK deal would also be good.