Friday, March 30, 2007


To Patricia Wood, whose debut novel Lottery will be out in August - and just got a huge spread in the Putnam catalogue!

Here's her blog post about it....

Pat is one of those people you love to love, and I'm pleased and proud to be part of her writing world.


On my submission status:
The Ballantine acquisitions team turned down White Night.

Something tells me it's going to be a long, long wait.
One thing you need a lot of in the publishing world is patience.
Patience, patience, and yet more patience.
Nothing moves quickly.

So the question is: do I regret it?
Do I regret my little private rebellion against HarperCollins?
Should I have written that option novel just the way my editor wanted, taken the advance, and ran?
If I had, would I be big by now, and writing what I really want to write, like she'd promised, back then in the Grand Hotel Eastbourne?
A part of me does have regrets. That's the part of me that is struggling to keep my family above water financially. A part of me that wants to lie down and rest, to just write whatever they want, and to hell with everything else.

I'm tired. My husband is ill; he's contracted Parkinson's Disease, and just when I thought the kids are big enough to be on their own I've got someone new to care for. He's now retired and our income is cut by half. I'm tired of the struggle.

And another part of me says: it's OK. One day, it will be worth it.
One day I'll find the editor who can say a wholehearted YES to my work, and an acquisitions team who'll agree. One day, I know, I'll find my readers.

I truly believe that if I had given in back then, written a book by numbers instead of from my heart, I'd have lost whatever it is that makes writing special for me - a certain magic.
I want to preserve that magic, find it again and again. I want an agent who roots for my writing and wants it to be the best it can be and will help me to get there - not one for whom a quick success is more important than growing into the best writer I can be.
In that sense, all is well.

I shall wait.

I'm back!

A few weeks ago I made this blog private, only visible to those with invitations, and invitations only going to other writers.
The reason:
I suddenly got paranoid. I thought of all the mistakes I've made in publishing, some foolish, some risky, some possible downright self-destructive, depending on how the next few weeks, months and years pan out.
I thought of the editors currently reviewing my manuscript.
I thought of the one who currently loves it (YES!) ; loves it enough to send it to the editorial board of Ballantine, Random House.
That's where it's been ever since.
What if They (They of the editorial board) read this blog? They'll think I'm a loose cannon! So, that's the reason I privatized it.
So if you came here in the last few weeks and found yourself locked out, I apologize (but then you wouldn't be reading this would you? Unless I've invited you back in). It wasn't personal. It was just my paranoia.

And then, things in my personal life weren't going so well.
They still aren't.
I did the equivalent of jumping into bed and pulling the blanket over my head; I more or less withdrew from the blogosphere.
But hiding in a cocoon of self-pity didn't do me any good, so here I am again: that ms is still out there, and news could come at any moment of any day. That news may be good, it may be bad, but whatever it is, I'll just keep on trucking.
What choice have I got?
Welcome back, me!