There has been a point this summer where rejection has become routine. I’ll check my inbox, see an email from an agent, read the usual text saying something along the lines of ‘thanks but it isn’t for us’ and then just move on, forget it and casually send out another to someone else. I kind of knew when I started that I was going to get a lot of rejections… It’s a competitive market and not everyone is going to be enthralled by my work. Second is the books I’ve been sending out. D.S Proctor is short (only about a hundred pages) and the Rebels is already published (albeit in e-book form). I knew they might not be what agents are looking for and whilst it stung at first, especially the very first rejection, I now take it all in my stride now and just send out another email whenever a rejection comes through. You can’t let it get you down. You just have to keep fighting and keep going.
They’re coming to the end of their gauntlet anyway, D.S Proctor and The Rebels. I’m a few weeks away from Max and Anna (Which may yet end up being called The Princess and The Spy… I haven’t decided yet) being finished and once I’ve edited it to an acceptable standard that will replace them. I’ll e-publish D.S Proctor (the only reason it hasn’t been publish yet is because it’s been making its way round the literary agencies of the UK) and Rebels will go back to being my underappreciated masterpiece (featuring such gold standard dialogue as ‘He meant the bathroom? I thought he was just talking limey shit!’) Somewhere in the future I’ll make sure that they’re published properly, along with the Dark Legend books (which I haven’t been sending out,) but with Max and Anna taking the fore they’ll have to go to the back seat.
It’s a book that has taken me by surprise, one I never planned to write just yet. I’ve had the characters around for a while- Anna, though older, made her debut when I started writing Charlie Fuller- Which I still haven’t finished by the way (Though he’s finally about to cross the border into Spain… Hooray!) and Max in an attempt to write a military based story (The Khyber) which I discarded. I’ve toyed before, coming up with various ideas about how they met, it was originally going to involve an opium den and be set entirely in and around Victorian London and she would be hiding from would be assassins in some sort of slum dwelling. But then the optician told me my eyesight had degraded by forty percent so I had to find some way of stopping them from degrading further… Cue one day a week without my computer and the subsequent need to do some work on that day to prevent me from getting bored. I started to write by hand and what resulted is a mostly light hearted romp around North Wales- The story of a Princess, hiding from a group of revolutionaries, and the man assigned to protect her.
It’s been the fastest book I’ve yet written- I seem to write more when doing it by hand, it appears. And it is quite fitting that I should finish the book at around the same time as the summer ends and the leaves start to turn… And (with a fair amount of hope) this will be my last summer in this dump so it will forever be a reminder of that, a good reminder of how I got out from this place. My next hand written book is already in the planning stages… I don’t want to say too much about it yet except that the plan is stupidly detailed, as a matter of necessity. The main plot is another one that’s been floating in my mind for a while but the idea behind what I want to do with it (and the reason why the plan needs to be stupidly detailed) is another product of the summer.
It hasn’t been a great summer in all. The only adventure I had was right at the start when I tripped off to Bangor and the mountains for a few days and the weather has been more than a bit foul for the rest of it. Most of the time I’ve been stuck inside, dreaming of the future and the places I might soon be able to go… Copenhagen and Florence have been occupying my mind for the last week though I’ll still probably try Dublin first. It hasn’t been a great summer but it has been one that, despite those rejections, has had some good results… The winter ahead may be a long one but the summer has provided fruits that I may yet feast on for years to come.