Monday, 23 June 2014

Location Scouting in the Great Yorkshire Forest...

This weekend, as myself and my charming young gentleman friend both had a Sunday off together, I was finally able to go on a research outing for my second book. 

As a fair bit of 'Grey Sister's sequel takes place in woodland, we hopped in the car to visit Dalby Forest. It's an absolutely gorgeous place, with so many beautiful walks and trails to try out. We spent the day exploring and enjoying the warm (if grey) English summer while I hunted for inspiration...

So, with plenty of photos to sustain me, I can return to my natural habitat: under a blanket with a laptop and a big mug of tea!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Rejection #4

Date Submitted: 10th June 2014

Date of Rejection: 16th June 2014

Response Time: 4 working days

Rejection Type: Form, no further request.


Although this was the fastest response I've had, my phone decided to stop alerting me to emails, so it was an extra few days before I could read it, which is a little frustrating.

I really liked the sound of this agent, so it was a disappointment not to get any further with my submission. I did find some great author's already on her list though and ended up ordering two books, one of which I've already almost finished reading. So, at least I can fuel my book lust! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Getting Back on the Horse...

So, my first two months of submissions have been a little rough.

I've had three out of four submissions come back rejected. Of course, this is no big deal. Harry Potter was rejected twelve times and 'The Help' a whopping forty-five times! So really, three is nothing to worry about.

But worry I have.

So I went back over my opening chapter, picking apart every niggle. I re-worked scenes that fell flat, removed unnecessary characters and changed them for ones more central to later plot lines. Thanks to another feedback session with the critique group, I tweaked the opening page to make it clearer. I even went  so far as to change my main character's age to give her choices later in the book more impact.

And I do feel better for doing it. Which just creates more worries. What if those little changes could have meant the difference between a rejection and a request? What if those few little issues cost me an agent? I fear now that I was (and, quite likely, still am) under-prepared for submission. Even though I want to keep trying, a big part of me just wants to put everything on hold so I can edit, edit, edit all over again.

Nevertheless, I've gotten back to the agent hunt and have two envelopes full of submissions to take to the post office tomorrow morning. I've developed something of a phobia of the bigger agencies, I've found. After all, why would J.K.Rowling's agency (honestly, I've looked into them and everything) have any interest in a silly little book about a library written by a girl who works in a shop? And yet, here I am still writing to agencies with celebrities and leading names on their books.

Such a glutton for punishment.

My confidence hasn't been overly bolstered by my continuing inability to secure myself a real-world job, either. Getting back rejections from agents and potential employers makes for something of a downer. There's been lots of sulks and cheer-up songs blasted in the past week or so.

But on we must press. An agent can't accept me if I don't send them anything, right? Nothing comes from nothing, after all. So here's a little pep talk that's kept me going...

Monday, 2 June 2014

Rejection #3

Date Submitted: 28th April 2014

Date of Rejection: 30th May 2014

Response Time: 23 working days (1 month)

Rejection Type: Form, no further request.


This was the first submission I made, so it was a tough one to receive. I got pretty down about it to be honest. 

The submission was via post, but I received an email  response, with my material to follow later. It was considerate of them to get back to me as soon as possible, rather than making me wait for the post. 

Fun fact: every rejection so far has come on a Friday. My guess is agencies clear their submission piles at the end of every week...?