I want to be a published author!
For the last 7 years on and off, I have been writing a YA Fantasy Adventure novel. Yeah, I know… That’s a loooooooong time.
When I went off on maternity leave with my son, I started writing. When my son arrived, for obvious reasons, I stopped again. I tried to continue writing infrequently for several years until my second child started preschool and I was working just two days. At this point I saw a Groupon voucher for an on-line writing story books for children course. After completing the course, I decided to follow some of the advice and plan out my book more fully, write character studies, draw maps, etc which I did, and thoroughly enjoyed. I knew exactly where the story was going and could imagine the main characters, knowing why they act the way they do, what their position is in society, what they do when they are thinking, angry or happy – their traits.
Since then (and now both children are in school) I have been able to write more. I do not write regularly, although the advice is to treat it like a job with set hours and days, it’s just not that practical for me especially after going up to three days work again. But there have been days when I have sat down between the school runs and typed 3000 words which is such a great feeling. I want to write regularly and am willing to do that when I get a bit further on in the process.
I am at the point now where I have written the first book. It’s 53,000 words and the first in a series. Ideally, for a YA fantasy it needs to be longer but it needs critiquing first, rewriting then final edit. While I’m saving money to pay the wonderful Jeni Chappelle for a critique I’ve entered some competitions.
As an aside, let me tell you how I have come to know Jeni. I entered a competition called PitchtoPublication where you pitch your book and provide the first 5 pages to four editors. They accept 100 pitches then narrow it down to around 10 where they ask for more pages, after that they choose one to work with for a month before the agent round. After submitting, I followed (stalked) my editors on twitter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get through to being asked for a partial but made made Jeni’s long short-list so I asked for just a little bit of feedback. Jeni’s email was so helpful. She was brilliant.
A couple of weeks ago I entered a competition (#pitchCB) where you pitch your work on Twitter, therefore 140 characters. If an agent favourites it you send a partial. I got a favourite! I have set my first 10,000 words to Stephanie Thwaites of Curtis Brown Publishing and am waiting for a response. I know that my query still needs work so I’m not overly optimistic (it’s easier that way), but maybe… just maybe, I might get a ‘Do this… And get back to me,’ response. That would be awesome. By the way, that competition runs on the last Friday of every month for those who are interested.
I am now gearing up to enter #pitchwars on 17th August. When you enter you can submit to up to 5 mentors. If one of them chooses your work they will mentor you for 2 months to make your manuscript shine. Then you go to the agents round in November. I have to sort out my query and have a lot at all the mentors to see if I think they are suitable all without being permanently attached to social media via phone or hudl. With that in mind I’d better go.
I will keep you updated if I have any news.