Book, Writing

What happened to the book

The long-suffering reader might remember that some time ago, I wrote a novel. After typing the magical words The End under its last paragraph, I put it aside several times, edited, re-edited and re-re-edited a couple of times more, and finally submitted the manuscript to a handful of agents.

Surprisingly, I have found an agent at the second handful. Anyone who has ever contemplated looking for a literary agent will appreciate the gravity of these nonchalantly expelled words. Rest assured, champagne has been drunk and silly little dances have been committed.

Since signing on, I have written the outline for a potential sequel, compiled summaries and extracts and finally, the manuscript was ready to be sent out to publishers.

Aka the waiting game commenced. The painstakingly slow process of approaching the right people, waiting for them to read the manuscript (they get tons of them, who’d have thought…), hoping, praying, bracing yourself for an answer and accepting a No, ready to submit your work to the next person.

Although there has only been one No so far, I find the whole process a little trying. Patience is not my greatest asset. I am not one to sit around and wait. I want to do stuff. And when I say “do stuff”, I mean write.

To be honest, I am a little unsure where to go from here. Should I plunge into the sequel? Head first into a different kind of novel? Fiction? Non-fiction?

This is where the beauty of having an agent lies: not only is someone happy to sit down with me and discuss ideas. This someone also manages to make a No sound like a compliment.

Thanks, Adrian! 

13 Comments

  1. right I need to pick your brain about how to even get an agent in the first place. I am a good way behind you. two thirds of the way through my first novel, no edits done yet. If you’re going to Britmums I shall become your stalker to pick your brain 🙂

  2. Wow. That’s pretty amazing getting an agent, seriously. I know one blogger who has self published and has been seriously successful with that…but I know nothing about it otherwise. Just writing a book is incredible.

  3. Margarita says

    I think you should go ahead with the sequel, see where it takes you, you never know! I am so proud of you for finishing a book regardless, is self-publishing a back-up option for you?

  4. Agents are a wonderful thing when they are the right one…soon to meet a potential new one at a huge agency after many years with the same agent (we parted ways amicably last year).

    This game like the TV/film industry takes time and not everything, however brilliant is commissioned/ published so I always approach freelance life with quite a few eggs in enough baskets to keep me stimulated/happy/hoping at least one I love will hatch, always expecting the best while being prepared for the worst.

    I’ve worked as a writer/director since 2007 and think my thick skin developed very soon after- I accept rejection is a fact of my working life and I accept it wholeheartedly…in fact projects which were rejected and later commissioned were for the best (I grew as a writer/director in the interim-boy were the rewrites worth it and what came-the end product far surpassed what would have been made if I’d had the greenlight when I was so desperate for it).

    All a learning curve (as is every single project and I never want to stop learning) and like my Mum always said-you just need the 1 husband (unless you’re greedy)-and you just need the 1 yes-to start. Keep trucking! Never stop. Always love what you do. And the best advice a major film producer once gave me, ‘Don’t take no for an answer’. It will happen.

    P.S love the picture of you-beautiful x

  5. ‘Making No sound like a compliment’ sounds perfect! 😉

    I would guess getting started on the sequel would be good–you have the idea fresh in your mind, the outline is there, and getting more finished on that would only help with the first one perhaps?

    I can’t wait to read the novel!!!!

    xx

    PS LOVE the new look here.

  6. Ah… patience…

    Sounds like you have a good agent, and I’m glad for that for you.

  7. Do what you love doing, which is writing. The fact that you have an agent is fantastic – leave it in his capable hands and you concentrate on what you obviously do well. With an agent you are half way there, you just need the right person to read and then everything else will be history! Like Honest Mum said – it’s similar to the film industry, I found when I was acting “no” just became a part of life, once I learnt not to take it to seriously that’s when I found more “yes’s” came about. Good things happen when you least expect it. Good luck xxxx p.s. lovely pic btw

  8. Well, if it is of any help, it took 6 years for a friend of mine to publish her book. You still have time. I wouldn’t worry. You are already ahead of most of us!

  9. I would get on with the sequel I think, while you feel inspired

    and great necklace 😉

  10. Fabulous news (and you in the red lippy is fabulous too). Start writing again – the first will be a hit and you will be a star! It was memoirs right? Must have been hard to keep going but you did it. I have been working on a novel and its hard enough but the other day it occurred to me in a depressing wave – this is just the pregnancy and the child is getting it published. But can’t think of that now…

  11. That’s fantastic, so many of us rooting for you to get your baby out into the world. It’s wonderful to have an agent that acts as your cheerleader. I’ve watched one of my cousins go through several agents and publishers recently, so I know it ain’t always an easy path! Best of luck always x

  12. I’ve been told that sometimes it’s easier to get a book deal with a publisher when they know the sequel’s nearly finished.
    So I’d say get going with the sequel and good luck!
    I’m so jealous you’ve got an agent…and a finished novel 🙂

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