It has quite a history, this book. I first wrote it at least six years ago – a 180,000 word fantasy. Far too long, of course, but I was carried away with writing. I sent off some submissions and one agent actually asked to see the whole book. With great rejoicing I told family and friends - my kids even baked a cake - and I parcelled it up and had it hand-delivered. After a few weeks it was refused, and it was hugely embarrassing having to tell everyone after the initial euphoria. Back to the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook.
Then I fell for a scam. I paid £350 “expenses” to another agent who said my book was fantastic and he wished he’d found something similar to read when he was young. I waited six months for him to find the promised publisher, and I had written a 190,000 word sequel before I realized he was a crook. He is still around playing the same tricks, so don’t fall for it!
But he’d done me a favour in a way because, when I started re-reading my books after a six-month break, I could see a whole raft of things I had done wrong. I did a complete re-write and split the two books into a series of five. Each one is self-contained but there is a theme running through the series, and I sent the first book out to every agent who would consider fantasy. All I got was rejections. Again.
Now, some years later, having read lots of advice to writers, I have written three other novels and am giving my fantasy series another major overhaul! I have already cut 10,000 words from the first book, re-named it and the whole series. It’s very different now, but last time round I approached most of the possible agents. I am afraid that even now some of them might remember my original submission and reject me without a second glance.
The moral of my tale? Don’t submit too soon.
The pollinators are sitting on the nearby aloe vera plant with their arms crossed, tapping their feet with impatience.
Three days ago the bud was as long as my thumb - now it's bigger than my hand.
Imagine what the flower is going to be like!