Showing posts from January, 2009

Out Of Touch

I'm moving house this weekend, and any minute, my computer is going to get buried under a pile of bedlinens or kitchen equipment and I won’t see it for days! I’ve moved it ten times this morning but it keeps finding its way back in the ‘To Be Stowed’ pile!

I have had some encouraging comments on ‘The Maze’ at Authonomy – from complete strangers who have no reason to tell me my writing is any good. I decided to try and approach the manuscript in the same way I search for books to read, with no preconceived ideas about the story.

I'ts amazing what you see when being objective. The editors are right in that if you ask, ‘Is there a reason for this paragraph?’ and the answer is No, remove it. It’s not as painful as I thought.

I’m reducing the word count without really trying. Hopefully, the prose is crisper, and easy to read. I need to get it down to 100,000 words as it seems to be a basic requirement for most publishers.

I worry that the more I re-write a particular storyline, the m…

Book Deals at Authonomy



Recommended by my critique partner, Gemi, I signed up to the Authonomy site run by Harper Collins and uploaded my latest wip. The purpose of the site, is to have your work read and commented on by other authors. If they add comments to your work and recommend it to others who in turn read it, your book ranking climbs. If you participate regularly and comment on other books and on the forum, your member ranking climbs too.

The higheryour workclimbs,the more chance it has to make 'The Editor’s Desk' and the ultimate aim is to be one of the five manuscripts a month that are read by a Harper Collins editor.

My manuscript has been on the site for five days and four people have added it to their bookshelf and I have had five constructive and complimentary comments on it. My ranking has climbed considerably, but part of that I put down to it being on the ‘new’ list and those books are bound to get attention.

However, browsing through the forums, I have noticed that some people seem to …

I Hate January

The London Eye

In fact I hate January so much, I even made my heroine in my third 17th century novel hate it too, allowing my angst to vent through a sixteen-year-old girl. How sad is that?
Christmas is a fond memory and the last of the chocs got put in the bin a week ago – you know those, the yellow wrapped toffees everybody ignores to get to the nut and soft centres. The decorations are back in their boxes and the weather forecast is for wind, rain, possibly snow and more rain.
What’s to look forward to before spring – not that spring is a certainty in England. For all anyone can tell it will stay wintry until July. Does anyone feel the same, or do you have a fondness for the first month of a brand new year?
My critique groups have slowed down to a crawl, what my Southern friends would say, ‘slower than molasses in January’ – and there’s a distinct lack of enthusiasm amongst the online community for publishing in general, all blamed on the so called depression. All that hype has affe…

What Agents DO Like!

I commented on a blog last week which was a hardnosed expose about what a particular author thought about literary agents treating authors like frangible commodities whom they find tiresome and wouldn’t deal with unless forced to.

I joined in and had my moan, although being a Libran, it's in my nature to try and find out the other guy’s perspective, and usually empathise with it. That makes me a lousy decision maker, but that’s another story, at least I’m fair!

In Poets and Writers, I found this article written by a journalist who plied four reputable literary agents with food and alcohol and threw questions at them.

The agents were: Julie Barer of Barer Literary Agency, Jeff Kleinman of Folio Literary, Daniel Lazar of Writers House and Renee Zuckerbrot
Snippets are paraphrased here, but if you would like to read more, go to Poets and Writers and read the other three pages – it makes for fascinating reading.
And proves that agents are people too – which is what I did say in my comment,…

Mainstream Versus Romance Genres

I was offered a contract for my Victorian Novel by a small press with a growing reputation who have been enthusiastic about the story. I was happy to cut 10k of the manuscript to suit their wordcount requirements. However, there is usually a catch isn't there, and today I received this:

.... the hero and heroine must meet much sooner and the romance between them needs to be increased.......and, it must be written only in the hero and heroine’s POV's.

I know it’s my own fault – the story is really a Mainstream Historical Novel, but as an unagented writer, the vehicles for querying manuscripts is restricted and to be fair, this particular company is a romance publisher.

I realise I may be too close to the story as it’s my ‘baby’, but after careful consideration and compiling a synopsis to conform to all the changes I was asked to make, what remained left me cold, and certainly not something I would want to read - A run of the mill boy-meets-girl story with the two of them wanderi…

The Only Way I Know...

What my kids are getting up to is to go onto facebook and see what they have posted!

This was New Years Eve 2008 a la Davison!!!

Kick Start to January

On 7th of this month, I will post a review of Jean Fullerton's debut novel, 'No Cure For Love', set in the East End of London in 1838.

Released by Orion this month, Jean won the Harry Bowling prize in 2006, for an unpublished novel written about London. This book has also been long-listed for the Romantic Novel of the Year 09 prize. An amazing achievement for a first novel, so my congratulations to Jean.

Do drop by The Historical Novel Review Blog to read the review and on the 11th January, there is an interview with her heroine, Ellen O'Casey.

It's a heartwarming story of a young widow in a time when women were frowned on for even trying to survive without a man, and as a result were morally suspect too. Ellen is an engaging heroine and I dare you not to sympathise with her struggles.
Jean's Website is here.

And My New Year?

My critique group have asked us to supply a list of goals for 2009, and I couldn'tbe the only one who didn't make an effort!

-I finished…

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