Monday, 15 June 2009

My Book Published

Hello all...

I hope you don't mind me posting this here, but my blog died a death recently so this seems like the most appropriate place.

My second novel was published last week, which is of course a momentous event. Only the second book I ever wrote, only the second publishing deal I've ever had, and it's a major international publisher at that. And the advance (approx 4500 quid - I don't believe in being coy about these things; apart from anything else it can be helpful for fellow writers to have some idea what's involved in each other's careers) was nearly five times as much as the advance I got for my first novel, so I ought to be dead excited. Not that money is the most important thing, but it's a vague indicator of progress, recognition-wise.

But I have a confession to make: I'm not excited. This is partly because I've been quite depressed this year, which is more post-natal than anything and another matter entirely, but of course colours everything I do. It's also because the book wasn't published in England, or even in English. It was in a foreign country, and has been translated accordingly.

Which means that nobody I know can read it. It also means that, for me, it's a non-event. No author publicity, nothing at all to indicate that it's even happened - indeed I was told the publication date was July, and only found out it had been published by accident. I'm struggling to find out if there are any reviews out there (I don't think there are) because of course if I google it, then all the results come back in a foreign language.

At first I thought it was all rather hilarious, but that was when my agent was assuring me that other countries (specifially the UK) would all be offering me deals very soon, and it was only a matter of time before the book was available here. But, for reasons I sadly can't go into (although not my fault at all), I no longer have an agent... and it's looking very unlikely that there'll be any more deals.

Not only that, but I haven't received my complimentary copies of the book, and am having trouble tracking them down. So I haven't even seen the damn thing, apart from online (link below).

Here I am, in this weird limbo... my baby is out there, it's going to be read by people... but it's like there's an embargo, and everyone I know and care about is banned from reading it.

Anyway. I'm sorry this is a bit negative. I thought about doing an upbeat "Yay, I've just been published!" post, but that would have been dishonest.

On the plus side, my life in general is looking up, and I'd tentatively say that the depression has lifted. As a result I've started feeling good about people reading my book. Who cares if they speak a different language? They're people, and they count. I also managed to find this (translated into English here), which is my book on someone's ListMania list on Amazon. I'm not sure if it means someone has read it and is recommending it, or that it's on their wish list, but anyway. Somebody put it in a list! This makes me happy.

I also found this, which is the publisher's page on the book (scroll down to see a high-resolution version of the cover) (translation here), and seems to contain one of those browse-the-book thingummies which allows you to read some or all of it online. I particularly like the way, according to google's translation, I am in their "Women's Novels" category, in the sub-category "Naughty Women"!

It's a weird old life, being an author. When my first book was published I was the most excited I've ever been. I knew the road wouldn't be easy from there, but I confess I thought it'd be a little more straightforward than it has been. My first publisher ceased trading less than two years after the book was published. My second book is only available in another country and I've already been through two agents... and this September, mainly due to financial constraints, I'm starting a new career which will take a lot of dedication and commitment and will mean I'll have to stop writing for at least two years. I've had to accept that Novel III, my current WIP, is unlikely to be in a publishable state before September, so will have to be shelved for a while.

I'll still be a writer and I'll pick it all up again in the future, but this publication feels more like an end than a beginning. And in a few weeks I'll probably be hanging up my Novel Racers hat and vacating a space for someone new.

But I console myself with the thought that it was always like this; is supposed to be this way. Whatever people say about the current state of the publishing industry and how it may have waxed and waned over the years, the majority of writers have always been penniless, stressed out and slightly insane. I knew this. For that reason alone, I can call myself A Proper Writer. ;O)


Update: here is the English-language blurb, in case of you know any German speakers who might like to read it:

It's completely mental. Or so Leo thinks, and he should know - because Leo is a mentalist.

Henrietta thinks people should stay the hell out of each other’s heads, keep their hands to themselves, and dance with people they know. Not with strangers. Not in public. And especially not psychically. That’s just ridiculous.

Psychic Dancing is a New Age sensation, but is it a trick of the mind? A harmless self-help technique? Or a breakthrough in human consciousness, which will end all pain and disease?

Leo makes money from reading minds, so he knows full well it’s a con. But Leo’s gigs are poorly attended, and Psychic Dancing’s a hit. So when his dead grandad sends an insult from the grave, Leo does something drastic.

Henrietta’s past won’t leave her alone, her son wants a father, her new neighbour's a Psychic Dancing fanatic and Henrietta’s fallen in love with Belle, who loves Leo, who loves Denzel, who will only love him back if Leo admits he’s gay.

The climax comes in the Albert Hall in the presence of thousands, when something magical happens. Something which surprises everyone.

Told with humour, a twisted eye and some magical know-how, this book is an energetic and intriguing tale of love, lust and illusion. With a cast of tricksters, worshipers, lovers and bent spoons, it will have you guessing - and believing - to the end.

After all...

We easily believe what we ardently desire to be true.

17 comments:

B said...

well let me be the first (?) to say CONGRATULATIONS. i'm excited for you. which i realise isn't the same.....

i'm kinda tempted to get my sister to read it. she speaks very good german and has been known to read french and german novels. for pleasure, i think.

i'll get her to take a pic if she sees a copy!

glad to hear things are picking up. and good luck with the new career. do pop in regularly even if you aren't officially here any more!

B said...

yes first :)
i think it's a new releases list, the first one?

Mrs Boob Pencil said...

"new releases list"

Yes, but to what purpose? The list-maker could be recommending them... or just indicating they would like to read them...

But anyway, thanks for the congrats!

Here is an English blurb, to give you a better idea of whether your friend might like to read it or not:

Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex

It's completely mental. Or so Leo thinks, and he should know - because Leo is a mentalist.

Henrietta thinks people should stay the hell out of each other’s heads, keep their hands to themselves, and dance with people they know. Not with strangers. Not in public. And especially not psychically. That’s just ridiculous.

Psychic Dancing is a New Age sensation, but is it a trick of the mind? A harmless self-help technique? Or a breakthrough in human consciousness, which will end all pain and disease?

Leo makes money from reading minds, so he knows full well it’s a con. But Leo’s gigs are poorly attended, and Psychic Dancing’s a hit. So when his dead grandad sends an insult from the grave, Leo does something drastic.

Henrietta’s past won’t leave her alone, her son wants a father, her new neighbour's a Psychic Dancing fanatic and Henrietta’s fallen in love with Belle, who loves Leo, who loves Denzel, who will only love him back if Leo admits he’s gay.

The climax comes in the Albert Hall in the presence of thousands, when something magical happens. Something which surprises everyone.

Told with humour, a twisted eye and some magical know-how, this book is an energetic and intriguing tale of love, lust and illusion. With a cast of tricksters, worshipers, lovers and bent spoons, it will have you guessing - and believing - to the end.

After all...

We easily believe what we ardently desire to be true.

Liane Spicer said...

I also am excited for you, Clare. I wish the English version gets published because it sounds like a great, quirky story and I'd like to read it.

As for the rest, the only thing that makes any sense is something that my agent said to me once: You're a writer. It's what you do. Whatever happens, whether you're published or not, whether the writing turns financially rewarding or not, whether you take a break from it all or not, I think that remains true.

B said...

i was hoping you would take it as read (so to speak) that i hope it's published in english at some point. my german just isn't up to that. but just in case - i do :)

Leatherdykeuk said...

Oh! I can understand your disappointment and the non-event feeling. So sorry.

Fia said...

Please don't leave us and please try to keep writing.

It is a huge, huge thing to get published. You've become desensitived perhaps with ye old black dog. Post natal depression is no joke. I had ECT back in the seventies so I know something of your pain.

Give yourself some breathing space but don't give up Clare.

ChrisH said...

Firstly of all congratulations because you're feeling better - climbing out of the Pit of Doom is not easy. Congratulations, too for having two books out there, truly it's worth celebrating. Good luck with the new career.

Lane said...

I was both sad and pleased reading this post. Sad because of the lack of information you've been given about the release of your book in Germany. I can understand how it all must seem very remote.
But - happy because you say the depression is lifting. Yay! Getting through that is really something. And you have firm plans for a new career. Double yay:-)
I hope your book is out in English soon. I would love to read it.
And thanks for telling us the advance figure you received. Appreciated.
Congratulations and good luck. x

Debs said...

Congratulations for being published, and I hope we can get to read it in english sometime soon.

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better now too.

pierre l said...

Obviously, I too would like to see a copy in English. The strangest thing is that, somewhere in the front-matter, the book actually says that it's translated from with the English title.
It is also beautifully produced, with a lovely cover; only problem is that I don't speak German.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Yay. Woot. Dieses ist wirklich gute Nachrichten.

Flowerpot said...

Well done you Clare though I can appreciate how strange the whole experience must be. Depression is something that I have experienced more than once and can only commiserate about, so I am very pleased that yours is finally passing. The new career sounds exciting and your writing will always be there, even if it doesnt take centre stage for a bit. Sounds like lots of possibilities which is good. Go for it and best of luck!

Karen said...

Well I want to blummin' well read it, so I do hope it gets published over here at some point!

Big congratualtions anyway, and glad you're feeling better :o)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

First of all, a huge congratulations to you for having the book published, whether it's in Germany or Timbuktoo! It's my dream and ambition to be able to class myself as a published author and I admire you immensely (as I do all the published authors on NR).

I have a lovely friend who is German and will email her about your book. It's being read by strangers in a different country but hey ho, I'm sure they'll be enjoying it just as much as we WILL when it's published in English! I knew I should have done German at school!!

Love and best wishes,
CJ xx

Kate Lord Brown said...

Congratulations Clare - it's a real achievement. 'Penniless, stressed out and slightly insane?' aren't we all? x

Mrs Boob Pencil said...

Oh thank you all for all your nice comments.

I'm really sorry though, that's it's very unlikely the book will ever be published in English. I'm resigned to that now.

Liane, you're right! I'm a writer. It's what I do. Hurrah for that.

B, no need to specify you'd like to see it in English, I knew you were saying positive things.

Leatheydyke, thank you. It's really nice to have people understand.

Fia, you're right, being published is a big thing and it's worth being reminded of that. I'm afraid I will be leaving Novel Racers though, simply because what with having two kids and my new career being very demanding, I need to be gentle and not put big pressure on myself, which means laying the writing to one side and will also mean I don't have time or energy for this corner of the internet for a year or two. But I will be here in spirit!

ChrisH, it's funny, I feel disingenuous for accepting congrats for climbing out of the Pit of Doom. It just kind of ended unexpectedly, and now it's gone it's like it was never there and I was making a fuss about nothing. But anyway, thank you.

Lane and Debs, thank you for understanding.

Pierre L, yes, it says translated from the English, and gives the original title... but of course it was translated from the English and that was the original title, it's just that it was never published.

Graeme, ja, Ich glaube du bist korrect.

Flowerpot: Lots of possibilites. You're right. That's a good way of thinking about it.

Karen, so sorry, but it's unlikely! But thank you anyway.

CJ, feel free to email the whole of Germany! :)

Kate, ha. Indeed we are.