novel

Last orders?

So, the re-revised book went back to my wonderful agent on March 3rd… and I am waiting nervously for the thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s now March 5th, just in case you’re feeling a bit confused and suspect it might be July, and there is a new email from Claire in my inbox.

I scan it quickly. Few little changes. Then we can start submitting… Track Changes document attached…

The changes require me to replace one sentence I cut in the last edit, and to remove three ‘ands’ in the first scene. I blink at the computer screen and then rush off to fret over the ‘ands’.

It’s my opening page, I want to wail. I like my ‘ands’! I hear them when I read the manuscript…

But I completely see where Claire is coming from when she says that I may have worked on this page so much it’s not quite as natural as the rest and the ‘ands’ seem a bit contrived.

There’s one ‘and’ I really like… But I can keep that for my version. It’s an ‘and’ after all, and I’m too close to the manuscript – and especially that page – to put my stamp on those three tiny conjunctions being critical. Now is the time to trust my wonderful agent, who has given me so many brilliant, insightful comments – all of which are directed towards helping me get the book I want to write down on the page. This is exactly the time to sit back and say ‘Claire’s the expert. She’s proven she really gets my writing and my book. She can see far more clearly at this point than I can.’ If you can’t trust your agent with these things, then you’ve probably got the wrong agent.

So I put back the sentence, I cut the ‘ands’ and the book goes back to Claire on the afternoon of March 5th.

A few hours later, Claire emails me with the list of publishers it’s gone out to.

It’s a terrifying list. Wonderful, but terrifying. Claire seem confident, but I am a nervous wreck.

I do my best not to think about it and, instead, set to work on my next book.

Can we pretend it’s still March?

park bench

Where have the last few months gone?

I’d like to say I’ve been overwhelmed with research, but it would be stretching a point. Although I have been busying having one of my very own ribs removed, like Evie in The Bone Dragon, calling it research would involve a bit of fibbing because (a) been there, done that, have all the info I require, thank you very much, and (b) the book was already finished by then.

But perhaps we could just pretend that I am the most devoted writer ever and have had my latest rib out purely for research purposes…

Which would (sort of) excuse my woeful backlog of posts. But I shall endeavour to catch up now that I’m recovering from all the ‘research’.

So, going back to March, after being signed by the wonderful Claire Wilson of RCW, what happened next?

Assuming cooperative ribs, I’ll start explaining tomorrow…