This blog may appear quiet, but beneath its metaphorical waters there has been a MAD FRENZY of activity, for LO! I have been doing THE WRITING!
Regular sufferers of my MIGHTY MUSINGS will be aware that a year or two ago I very nearly got signed up with an AGENT for my book 'Storm House'. It got as far as me signing a contract, but not quite as far as THEM signing it, as the Agent who'd liked the manuscript moved to another job JUST as it was happening. It was all a bit distressing, and I ended up releasing the book MYSELF instead last year, which was a whole LOT of fun.
The Agent Who Wasn't had told me that 'Storm House' was actually a CHILDREN's book, so I sent it off to a couple of Children's Novel competitions and BLOW ME if it didn't get longlisted for BOTH! One of these, the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction competition sent me some GRATE notes, including a suggestion that the reason it hadn't got SHORTlisted was that it didn't feature children enough in lead roles. I took this as a CHALLENGE and did a larger re-write, which I then sent out to MORE agents.
To cut a long story short, there then followed a LENGTHY period of rejection, followed by a request for a full manuscript from one agent, followed by a telephone conversation, followed by a MEETING, and then an envelope containing a contract whicj THIS agent had ALREADY SIGNED!
Thus I was, this week, in the very happy situation of being able to email all the other agents who had not yet said "no"to tell them that I had Taken On Representation and was no longer available to them. HA! It did feel good I must say, although it was a little bit of a struggle to find the time to do it because the above mentioned MEETING had then led to a REVISIONS OUTLINE which in turn has led to me doing a MASSIVE rewrite of the book to bring a LOT more younger characters in. There's name changes, age revisions, a whole bunch of new characters, LOADS more monsters and an entirely new subplot. Perhaps most of all there's a change to the TITLE and, most fun for me, the generation of an APPENDIX giving a whole history of the institution.
I have been enjoying it ENORMOUSLY! The current plan is for me to finish this big re-draft by the middle of December so that My Agent can read it over Christmas and then come back with (hopefully smaller) further revisions so that he can take it out round publishers early in the New Year. It is RATHER EXCITING but, as I'm sure you can understand after last time, I'm doing my best to contain it all by not saying too much (I hope) about it. All being well there'll be some news next year, but in the meantime I've got a whole lot of typing to get on with!