Sunday, August 28, 2011


So, what's happening on the novel-front? I hear you cry. There was the German deal you were rattling on about over a year ago (God has it been that long?!) and then ... everything went quiet. What's happening?

Well ... not much is the answer. Apparently, my timing is off. No reflection on me or my writing, just that publishers have over-bought in the romantic-comedy (chick-lit) genre and aren't taking on anything new right now - or for the forseeable future.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how that news has made me feel after my excitement last year, having allowed myself to believe it could actually happen. 'It' being an actual book on a actual shelf in an actual bookshop with an actual cover and everything. *pauses for a prolonged bout of teeth gnashing, hair-pulling and general weeping session.* In the UK that is. Thank GOD for my lovely German deal. It gives me hope.

So, what to do? Well, I could keep writing in this genre and wait for the market to pick up, then trying submitting again down the line. Try and find another agent. Did I mention I no longer have one? (Sob.)

I do understand. It's business after all, and if a client isn't making you money you have to let them go.

I've been advised to try writing for Young Adults - a growth market right now - but it's not for me. I read and enjoy YA books; there are some brilliant ones out there and Meg Rosoff is one of my favourite writers, but I don't think it's possible to write convincingly in a genre you don't feel completely comfortable with, or passionate about.

I do have a psychological thriller all mapped out though, so I could try that.

I'm dithering. I feel a bit jaded. A lot less sure of everything. Not about wanting to write - I'll always want to do that, and the short stories are going well so I do have that, but -

I still believe in my novels.  I'm six chapters into novel 3. Another romantic comedy. I'm enjoying writing it, so maybe I'll plough on and finish it for my own satisfaction then pop it in a drawer with the others.

Remind me again why I do this ...

Hope I haven't come across as a self-pitying whinger. I know it's a brutal business and it's one I entered into with my eyes wide open. I just wanted to explain, in case any of you were wondering.

I kind of feel better for it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cake-free summer

Hello August - what the heck happened to July? I must have blinked and missed it.

I know it's summer because it rained, hailed and thundered yesterday, and then got dark quite early.

Also my mum's staying which she does every year, and oddly I manage to squeeze in quite a bit of writing while she's here as she likes a lie-in in the mornings, so I get out my net-book and type away in bed before she gets up. Maybe if she moved in permanently I'd be sure of doing some writing EVERY single morning.

They say it takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit, but I'm still pretty bad at establishing a routine where writing's concerned - though I have managed to give up cake.

This is no mean feat, as I'm sure regular readers will know, and I have to confess it's all down to hypnotism. I don't mean I looked into someone's eyes while they were swinging a gold watch in front of me (do hypnotists still do that anywhere outside fiction anyway?) but rather I've been listening to a download recommended by a friend, of a reassuring chap called Trevor from who assures me every night before I go to sleep that I actually DON'T NEED cake at all. Unbelievable, I know.

Of course I despised him at first, wanted to punch him in fact, and even tried to argue with him, but slowly, surely his monotone words have dripped into my sub-conscious and I've found myself not even wanting to eat anything remotely sugary AT ALL. For a whole month now.

I'm highly suspicious and doubt it will last, but in the meantime my bottom has shrunk, I'm saving money (I used to eat a LOT of cake, especially those lovely ones in Costa - and I can type that now without drooling)and if I ever meet Trevor I might have to take him out for a coffee and say thank you.

 Just a coffee. I won't even look at the cakes ...