The Waiting Game

October 15, 2018
The waiting game is something often talked about when it comes to the path of an author.  Waiting for inspiration or the perfect time to get on with that first draft of the first book (spoiler there is no such time I'm afraid), waiting for critique feedback, waiting for agent response, waiting for the publisher to get back to your agent.  Everything seems as though it is on a go slow in this wonderful, crazy, unique business.

Over the summer I submitted some work to two agents.  Waiting for their response was fairly easy as I went on holiday with my family and then had some terrible health news concerning my mum (happily resolved now) so I was preoccupied.
I have finally had a reply from one of the agents - no thank you - and have assumed the other is not interested enough so I'e started to send out manuscripts to some other agents at the top of my list. 
Now the waiting begins yet again.
This time have decided to tackle differently the long process of checking my inbox a million times a day, trying to foresee when likely submission reading days may be or checking Twitter to make sure the agents I am hoping to hear from are still here and haven't decided to take a short holiday to Venus.
For good and bad reasons as I mentioned, over the summer my mind was kept busy with other things which meant that agent submissions and replies were far from the top of my thought list.  So this is what I am going to try and achieve again now.  I'm not wishing Mum gets sick again, nor am I going to book another trip abroad but there are plenty of other things I can do in my life to take my mind off the thought of my submissions sitting in inboxes waiting to be looked at.

Firstly I have thrown myself into my latest WIP.  When I am writing I think of nothing other than my characters and the world I try to build for them.  When time has allowed I have immersed myself in my writing for hours at a time and the great thing about that is I now have a complete first draft of something new to be excited about.  I always have to leave things for a few weeks on completion as I can't see the glaring faults when I've only just written it.  So I now need something else to fill my writing hours and am taking a leaf out of my brilliantly creative Dad's book who is a great one for a project.  Luckily for me his current project is to make me a new art deco style fireplace.   My new project is a stained glass light box to fill that dingy space between the top of the kitchen cupboard and the ceiling.  It is so much fun choosing colours and putting designs together that it really is helping me survive the waiting.
Oh and my two daughters, dog, friends, dance classes and teaching days also help!

My husband sometimes asks me if I'm doing too much but I have to say that without the full days and busy life I think the waiting would take over and that is just time wasted.

So my advice to anyone at any stage in the writing journey who comes across another round of the waiting game is to try and put it on a shelf.  There is nothing to be gained by wasting head space on something that you have no control over so get a new hobby, go out for a walk, read a book, bake a cake, learn to dance, plant those spring bulbs that have been waiting for you.  Keep busy and the e-mail, call or feedback you are waiting for will pop up and surprise you out of the blue when you are least expecting it.  


Huge decisions and the highs and lows of writing.

June 10, 2018
I have noticed how often social media and blogs are filled with the positive aspects of the life of a children's author.  Agent signings, book deals, places in various charts, award shortlists or big wins, that sort of thing.
This is brilliant to read and I find it hugely uplifting and cheering but also not all that realistic.  For every author who has achieved these great things there have been struggles along the way.  Rejection letters, missing out on the shortlists and awards then there ar...
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I'm on a list!

May 12, 2018
One of the things I adore about being part of a fabulous writing community is sharing the successes of other writers.  I genuinely love spotting a friend's name on a long-list, or finding out someone I admire has won a competition.  One of my wonderful writing group friends was recently short listed for the Times Chicken House prize and when she told us all, our shrieks of delight made everyone else in the bar stop talking and look to see what the excitement was all about!
The other bonus of t...
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London Book Fair 2018

April 13, 2018
Yesterday I got up early, paid an extortionate amount of money for a peak rail ticket to London and headed up to Olympia.  From previous experience I put on my comfiest shoes and easy to remove layers, both of which I was very glad of by the end of the day.
Olympia is a pretty huge place and so the first thing I did was pick up a map and try to get my bearings.  I had a moment where I felt like I needed to put the map on the floor and stand on it to get a better idea of where everything was (m...
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Book Launches

March 27, 2018
The thing with book launches is that, before I go, I am always filled with utter joy and excitement at the birth of another children's book as well as being pleased as punch for a friend who has made it to the bookshelves.  Some of these books will go on to win prizes, huge critical acclaim and top best-sellers' lists everywhere whilst others bumble along well enough without making particular waves.  Whatever the end result, every book that makes it to the shelf has already jumped over so man...
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Book Buddy

March 13, 2018
A lovely fellow children's writer and booky friend of mine, the delectable Maz Evans, spotted a problem when she was visiting schools to give author talks.  Simply put she noticed that there is a huge hole in the budget for libraries, school librarians and books.  BOOKS!  Surely the building blocks that every school should be amply equipped with.  But no, Maz found teachers dipping into their own purses to buy books for their classes and libraries sourced mainly from charity shops and donatio...
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Still waiting

September 13, 2017
Who said the world of publishing is slow?? Was it the snail or the sloth?  Having spent the last 6 years living and breathing the world of books I thought I had a pretty realistic grasp on the length of time it takes to get anything done.  I know how pressured everyone's time is, I know the phenomenally huge piles of work every agent and editor have.  Yet there is still a little (ok medium....fairly large if I'm honest) part of me that still nurses the bubble of impatience.
Jo and I went out o...
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Final push on the edits

May 18, 2017
Since signing with the rather lovely Jo Moult I have been revisiting The Boy From The Cellar which has been lovely as it feels like seeing old friends again after a bit of a break.
Jo has made some suggestions which have all made the book a better beast.  We are now almost ready for it to be fledged and find it's way in the publishing world.  Then it will be fingers crossed all over again that one of the publishers who reads it thinks it is worth taking.
I am going to have to fill the next roun...
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Officially agented and officially OVER THE MOON!

March 1, 2017
The title of this post about says it all really!! Last week I became an agented writer and am so very very excited!
Getting an agent has been something I have been trying to do for such a long time and now I can hardly believe it has finally happened!!!
I am utterly delighted to announce that I am now represented by Joanna Moult of Skylark Literary Agency.
🎉🎉🎉🎉 (this calls for my first ever emoji blog post!) 
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A Little Bit of Success

December 7, 2016
A small foot note to the NaNoWriMo post.
I mentioned that I believe fate plays a hand in the things that happen in my life.  The chain of events that led me to completing MIMA MALONE AND THE MAD BAD INVENTOR were not planned by me.  I had expected to spend the whole of November writing my 1984 story but had to scoop up Mima when I realised the problem with re-imagining a story written less than 80 years ago.
I am so glad I did though as, not only did I have an absolute ball writing a story that...
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