Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Bad News Post

Many congratulations to Clare, Caroline and Lucy on their productions, how lovely to hear some good news. My week has not been quite so good...

1. Last Sunday I trashed my laptop when I stupidly downloaded a virus.

2. Last Thursday night I was in a small boat that was foundering off a rocky headland on the Welsh coast. We finally made it into Fishguard harbour with a boat full of water and a failing engine.

3. Yesterday I caught a bus home to have a shower and collect the car so that we could get everything off the boat. I stopped to check my emails and there was a message I'd been waiting for since resubmitting my novel to the agent who had made suggestions for a rewrite. She described my book as 'good' and 'fun' but had ultimately concluded that she didn't think she could find a publisher for it in today's 'very difficult climate'.

Other than having a good whine, I think what I'm trying to say is that I guess you really have to raise the stakes to get published at the moment. I'm going back to the drawing board to think about what to do next and in the meantime would just like to repeat my congratulations to all of you who are getting published. Well done.

15 comments:

Graeme K Talboys said...

Huge hugs. I hate that phrase as it always sounds like code to me for 'I can't be *rs*d'.

Can you try placing it yourself? I know it's a long slog, but might be worth a try. Much better than giving up on a project or feeling you have to start it all over again.

And have some more hugs.

ChrisH said...

Thanks, Graeme, much appreciated. Yep, I've just got to regroup and push it out there again. Thank you.

liz fenwick said...

Chris ((()))S. First things first -that is one agents view. So now that you have reworked it - take a deep breath and pick three other agents that you haven't subbed this work to in the past and try them. They may well love and have a different view of the market. Also what about the pubs that take direct and are looking for new work - Avon Uk is one. Ebury with Gillian Green is another. i am shooting in the dark here as I don't know the work. Also I know you belong to the RNA - are you on ROMNA? If not get on and their will be tons of advice winging your way. In the meantime huge commiserations. You have come so far so pat yourself on the back for that.

Recently I have had three R's but I am taking heart that two of them left the door open for my next work - the other was a form r. Just goes to show that what is a total reject to one set of eyes has potential in anopther.

lizx

wordtryst said...

I've heard many stories of agents rejecting work that went on to do great things. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron was one that her agent (at the time) said would never sell. Another agent took it on and the rest, as they say, was history.

A blogging agent (Miss Snark) used to say: Don't give up until you've submitted to 100 agents. After that, take a good look at the work because the story might be the problem. So just keep right on submitting.

That said, rejections hurt, especially after the agent or publisher has shown interest and gotten our hopes up. Keep in mind that once the work is publishable, it will get published. The only way it won't is if you stop submitting.

So, more hugs, and chin up. Setbacks sometimes serve to make us more determined.

wordtryst said...

Oh, and glad to hear you're safe. Really glad. I have a seafaring brother who intermittently gets into serious difficulties 'out there', so I know whereof I speak. Laptops can be replaced; people, no.

ChrisH said...

Liz, Wordtryst, thank you both. Honestly, the difference a bit of kindness makes!

Jorge said...

Hola amigo: quería invitarte que visites el blog que estoy realizando con mis alumnos de segundo año de la secundaria sobre LA DISCRIMINACIÓN.
http://nodiscrimine.blogspot.com
Tema arduo e interesante.
Seguro será de tu agrado.
Tu aporte será valioso
Un abrazo desde la Argentina.

Debs said...

Sorry to hear all your bad news. I'm just catching up after downloading a revolting virus too, nightmare. Glad you're all safe and well though and as awful as the rejection is (they are grim) you do know that your book is good and fun. Hugs.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

So sorry to hear you've been having such a horrible time. However, (a) you're alive, (b) you've written a whole novel - and an officially good one, too - which is in itself something to be proud of, and (c) there are lots more agents out there. So don't give up, sub to more of them - I'd suggest at least half a dozen at a time. Hang in there, keep chin up, think in motivational cliches. You can do it!

Lane said...

Your novel is 'good' and 'fun'. The next agent may well think it's 'good', 'fun' and 'absolutely sellable'. Keep putting it back out there. Please.

Big sympathies with the boating disaster but at least you're both safe. And as for your laptop. Mine has just blown a gasket and I'm semi distraught. But in the scheme of things ...

Keep on keeping on Chris. xx

ChrisH said...

Debs, Zinnia and Lane - not forgetting Jorge of course - Gosh, thanks! I'm getting that thing now, you know when folks are kind and it makes you feel a bit tearful. It's also sinking in that I could have sunk on Thursday - a big fat publishing deal wouldn't have been much good to me then! Have just got to arm myself with that extra layer of skin and send the t/s out again. Thanks for being there.

Flowerpot said...

Oh Chris I am SO sorry. I can really empathise with how you're feeling. Oh my God. But remember that is only one agent's POV. Send it out again. And again. Oh I do so feel for you. Take care. Have a large glass of wine and dont give up!

ChrisH said...

Thanks Flowerpot... and, guess what? We are going down to try to retrieve the boat tomorrow!

L-Plate Author said...

Oh Chris, I've been there and lived to tell the tale. It's hard to pick yourself up but somehow we do. I've just decided to shelf my book one, I've been working on it for years now, with an agent who led me up the garden path, and I feel that it is out of date now. But there's always something else in us, whether it is a new book or a new twist on the one we will never give up on.

I hope you find your way back again. It is hard to hear that everyone else is 'getting there' but really some people do so we mustn't give up hope.

I really feel for you, take care.
Mel x

ChrisH said...

Thank you very much Mel - I think the 'circle of grief' is kicking in today and I feel stupidly tearful! Everyone's very kind comments have really helped.