Archive for the News & Announcements Category

Feck-All Comes To Those Who Wait

So there I was, back in my home town, vacuuming my dad’s living room carpet and thinking how I really should ask my agent to send my  manuscript for Crusher to a publisher, when the phone rang.  It was my agent, and she already had, and the publisher she’d shown it to – Random House Children’s Books – wanted the book, plus sequels.  I had to sit down for a bit.

It’s official now – in The Bookseller, even – but I still can’t quite believe it.  When I went to meet Random House for the first time I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t find out I had written Crusher in thirty days as part of the NaNoWriMo event (see my blogs from last November.)  However they very sweetly pointed out that if I hadn’t wanted people to know how quickly I’d written the book, I shouldn’t have blogged about it (see my blogs from last November  – they certainly had.)

Of course, they knew it was not quite as simple as that.  The nuts-and-bolts writing may have taken a month but coming up with the characters and the storyline had taken me a lot longer – far too long, in fact, on and off over years.  And I only confessed it to a few of my fellow Nanites, but I had bent the rules, just a bit.  When I took part in NaNoWriMo I had started writing at Chapter Two because I’d written most of Chapter One ages beforehand, then left it aside because I didn’t know what happened next.

It was thanks to NaNoWriMo’s deadline that I had to focus, think hard and figure out what the hell did happen next, and how all the supporting characters came into the story, and what became of them.  I’m not the first NaNoWriMo graduate to get their work published (Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants is perhaps the best-known example) and I’m sure I won’t be the last.   But when I think of how long I pissed about and stared out the window instead of writing the bloody thing…. The moral, dear reader, is the same as it always is – for Christ’s sake stop making excuses and get on with it – because, like the title says, feck-all comes to those who wait.

I am now in that privileged and terrifying position of preparing the Difficult Second Novel, and I’m not staring out the window – I’m doing this.  Which frankly is no improvement… so I’ll just say, thanks to all my family and friends for their good wishes regarding Crusher, and I hope come September you find it was worth the wait.

Absence of Malice

The tens – nay, dozens – of readers who follow this blog may have been wondering about my recent resounding silence.  The fact is that for all of November 2011 I have been taking part in NaNoWriMo, a world-wide organised hysteria where the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month and share the inevitable fear, exhilaration and frustration at the same time as one hundred thousand other people doing the same thing.  Even at its most challenging it is so addictive and engrossing that I feel guilty just writing this note instead of getting back to my text.  But I am learning, and relearning, an awful lot, and some day when it is over I will come back and post some of those lessons here.

For weblinks and word counts, check out the Miscellany pages.