Well, the year is almost half gone and I'm still editing. I made a pact in late 2014 that 2015 would be my year. My book will finally be complete although should I be successful in finding an agent I know that the edits will continue. That's the nature of the game and there will be more work to do before a publication date is in sight. It may take time before I'm fortunate enough to find an agent who thinks I might just have a great story in the making, and they're willing to take a chance on me. I've dreamed, chatted, walked and flown across the blue siren with my characters for so many months and it's time to let them breathe. Stories need to be aired, given a voice and add to the rich tapestry of history that is ever growing, evolving and shaping our world and heritage. 'Lest We Forget.'
In January I was lucky enough to join the New Writers Scheme which is run by the Romantic Novelists Association. It's fantastic as it enables me to submit my entire manuscript for a full appraisal. Apparently their readers comprise of editors and authors and the feedback is thorough, identifying all errors and flaws. I'm hoping to be in a position to send mine away by July, so I'd best get moving.
A few months ago I attended my first crime writing workshop. As many of you will know, I don't write in this genre - but I could if I tried, and I found myself tempted. It was fascinating to be engulfed by a beautiful, effervescent crowd of authors who love nothing more than exposing the rotten side of people and life in all its gruesome gore and depravity. It was revelatory and after first introductions I forgot I wasn't one of them and became engrossed in the day's proceedings.
The highlight of the day was the pitching workshop and learning the 'tricks of the trade', in other words, how to pitch to a literary agent. I hear what some of you are asking - 'Do you really need an agent?' Unless you’re self-publishing you probably do. Apparently around 90% of publishers will not accept unsolicited manuscripts so without an agent you’re left with a rather small publishing market.
It was a fantastic workshop delivered by Mr David H Headley of DHH Literary Agency. Incidentally he also owns Goldsboro Books, an independent bookseller in central London. They sell hardbacks - the ultimate, original book (remember paperbacks were a revolution just like Kindle when launched in 1935) and they specialise in rare, antique books.
And the pitching event itself? Well, I was nervous but the agent, David Headley put me at my ease almost immediately. It was a fantastic experience and I'd recommend it for those who have never done it before. There's something far nicer about meeting people in person before sending off your work.
And so, that's all for now. This year has been about de-cluttering - my mind, my writing and my objectives. I know what I want and exactly where I'm heading. All that's left to determine is by what means will I arrive? So for now I wish you all well in life, happiness and writing. Enjoy the weekend.