A new country, a new life

Finally.  I´m sitting at my laptop looking out over the pool under an azure Portuguese sky trying to keep Puggie the one-eyed cat off the keyboard, even though he’s probably better at typing than me.  I´ve never been retired before and it´ll take some getting used to the fact that I can no longer define myself by my job and when someone asks me what I do, I can say, ‘Nothing…except a bit of writing now and then.’  Then they’ll change the subject.

 After so much emotional preparation, leaving Germany was more a matter of filling in time between the removal men leaving and my flight the following day.   I stayed with my neighbour Alastair; Marion and Jupp invited us to an al fresco meal and it was a lovely final evening.  The next morning I walked to the bus stop and took a final look over the valley that had been my home for seven years.  We parted friends.

OK, back to the writing and an update on the progress of Flight Into Darkness from cradle to grave.  My agent has not had any luck with three of the bigger publishing houses.  Now you will be thinking, ‘Oh yes, that´s so typical…just the arbitrary subjective nature of the publishing business…moan, moan…conspiracy…etc…’  However, I must point out that the independent feedback from each representative was absolutely objective and exactly the same.  Spooky, eh?  So, the bottom line is that this genre cannot afford to let the pace decelerate, even a bit.  Nothing serious, mind, more a matter of polishing but it’s an indication that,  when a manuscript is sent to a publisher, it needs to be absolutely perfect if it is to compete with the likes of John Grisham or Ken Follett.  The solution is to have my editor Debi Alper have another look at it and turn it from 99.9% to 100%.  In fact,as I am always in a rush, she never saw the revised draft, so there’s a moral there somewhere.  The search for perfection never lets up, it seems, but it´s all new to me and I happily accept it as part of the learning process.  If this novel ever attains perfection, believe me, it will have been a team effort!


4 Responses to A new country, a new life

  1. Alanboy says:

    I also seek to make my novel pefect, but it is an unrealistic goal. Perfection for me is so-so for another. My tastes are not Joe Public’s tastes, and I need Joe Public to buy my book.
    I could be here in another 3 years if I was obsessed with perfection.
    My novel is as perfect as I can realistically get it, and that’s enough. And doing this has taken 4 years.
    I am not going down the agent route. I don’t want to risk being demoralised, and I don’t want to sit around for another 4 years while the hardcopy publishing industry dwindles still further.
    I am now working on my cover. Afer that I will do the required reformatting, and then it’s off to Amazon, etc.
    Wow! I can’t wait.

  2. rogerjhardy says:

    I wish you the best of luck! I don’t knoiw if you’ve been following Tony Slater’s progress with Amazon (he’s tonygetslost on the Cloud). He found the marketing and pushing a lot of hard work; once Amazoin had taken him on, he had to do most of the work. I always publish on Lulu (apart from the last book because I don’t want to upset the big printers) and it’s fun but there’s no money in it. The MS for Flight Into Darkness has gone back to Debi Alper so I await her verdict (always constructive and positive). In the meantime I have a house full of boxes to unpack…

  3. Alanboy says:

    Yes, I intend to read Tony’s blog. I will find it eventually.
    I’m sure it is hard work, but I would rather involve myself in the publishing process than have someone else do it on my behalf – maybe half-heartedly, and with no guarantee of either urgency or perseverence.
    I want to see progress. I want Instant Gratification (well, almost)

  4. rogerjhardy says:

    Ah, instant gratification! But, it’s nice to be in the driving seat. Have a look at Tony’s blog; I think there’s a link from the Cloud. I seem to recall that he felt he was working for 1€ per hour during the launch but things may have improved since then.

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