The bad news is the deadline for my novel has been moved to the 16th of August. The good news is it's because the important people who need to discuss my book in meetings have been on holiday. At least four editors have asked for more time to allow other people to be consulted. Sounds good to me!
The other good news is that my next book, now nearing completion, has just been shortlisted for the Yeovil literary prize. I just hope Sophie Hannah, the judge, likes it. And it's sunny, and I've decided not to move house because I already live in a beautiful place and none of my cats are in real danger here. Who doesn't want to live up a hill by the sea?
The networking event in London was awesome, read Nicola Vincent-Abnett's blog post about it here. I sat there, realising the nine of us sat around a few tables, were really strong writers. We have been selected out of a huge pool of good writers, and can do anything we want. An editor said to me that she was in awe of us, we seemed like such a strong team (although we had only met an hour or two before) and we could do the magic trick that is to take a blank page or screen and create characters so real she loves or hates them. She said if she could do that she would be a writer, not an editor. Wonderful validation for all of us!
It was lovely to see the New Writing North writers circulating and chatting and hopefully picking up agents. The event was so full of energy and laughter and real enthusiasm. In my mind, editors were stern, cruel people but it turned out they were friendly, chatty and passionate about books - like us.
It was a great evening, and I'm so glad I went. I hope the nine of us will meet up again, and share adventures and triumphs. That Mslexia prize just keeps giving... although some of us were sad we didn't get a commemorative certificate or pen or something we could show off. But I did print off the email... Meanwhile, I can look back on an evening where I sat in a room with agents and editors wearing a label that said: Rebecca Alexander. Writer.