Friday, September 17, 2010


Apologies to those giving a gentle nudge. I've been really busy, honest! The Book! Okay so way back in the spring the book went out to about half a dozen of the big publishers. The agent's plan was to put it out to a few, see what the feedback was and if it was positive then hit another half dozen.
The feedback was pretty good. I recall three out of six of the editors said they loved it but were gutted because the marketing department for various reasons ranging from 'already have our new thriller writer for this year to 'it's too tough a market right now for literary thrillers'. How much of that is bullshit that really means 'didn't like it enough' I'll never know.
One said they didn't like it and one we never heard back from ever.

But that was enough for the agent to send it out to another 8 publishers. To me this is quite a long time ago and I tend not to look back but I recall about 4 positive feedbacks going from ' 'I loved the story and characters but didn't like the location' to 'He is a remarkable talent with a fantastic book and it is with the deepest regret that I can't convince the marketing department that ,,,, etc (okay I remembered that one)
Again, how much of that is bullshit I don't know.
I think two didn't like it but didn't really give any feedback and two never replied.
I'm not one for flogging a dead horse, and my agent seems convinced that though this might not be book 1 it will sell eventually. Or in plain English, get another away and suddenly it's good enough to sell.

Being a writer and therefore by definition having a mental disfunction, I started book 2. Unfortunately, as anyone who has read my meanderings is aware, I've joined the ranks of those working for a living after ten years of pissing words on paper for pay, so book 2 is slow going. In my work I'm pissing more words on paper but the job satisfaction isn't quite the same and the hours are considerably longer. I work in the City so by the time I get home I'm pretty much either fucked or drunk, neither of which is conducive to good writing.
Anyway, that's the state of play. No mega deal for the book I spent months writing, but am I discouraged? Nah.
I spent years as a screenwriter and so spent many cumulative months on various projects that never saw the light of day. It's all subjective. Right time. right place, right person.

As writers you know that my way will be 'as soon as I get a deal the City can go screw itself.'

It's the way it always will be for writers. We're cursed, and God bless us for it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moment Of Truth

Well I guess all I can do now is cross my fingers. My agent returned from Australia last week after a month away, read the latest draft and announced it was going out to publishers this week.
I'm pretty excited but not hyperventillating, probably because as a screenwriter I'm used to work going out to producers with little chance of anything happening with it. I know this situation is different, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. Just because a book goes out to publishers doesn't mean anyone's going to buy it.

However, I wrote a book. Got an agent. Got it to publishers. I'm counting that as a win! Some dosh would be an added bonus. The other thing is that my agent has smartly targeted just a few publishers to see what the feedback is. If it's 'We like it but...' then I'll take note of the 'but' and possibly re-write.

Obviously I'm hoping the response is positive, in which case it will go out wide. I've been over a year farting about with the book for various reasons and frankly am getting a little punch drunk with it. Especially bearing in mind that it hasn't changed that much since about April last year. Most of the interim period was messing around with agents, waiting for responses, summer holidays etc. It's really hard to believe it's taken so long to get to this stage.

Anyway, my agent says it will now go quiet for a couple of weeks, which for a screenwriter is no time at all. My mate Dublin was getting offers on his book after about a fortnight which he found pretty incredible after a career as a screenwriter. I should be so lucky!

So that's the state of play at the moment. In two or three weeks I should know if it's a dead duck, a re-write or sold. (which will mean a re-write but at least it will be a paid one!) Either way I've absolutely enjoyed the process of writing a novel, something I didn't know I could do. Whether I've written one that makes it to the shelves is now in the lap of the gods.
I'll keep you posted.