I spent a lot of time last year (and the year before), submitting, re-writing and again submitting The Merewoods Witches to various agents and competitions.
I got a couple of ‘nearlys’. But nearly isn’t good enough, and yesterday I found that not only did I not make it to the longlist for the Writementor Children’s Novel Prize, I didn’t even make it to the top 100.
I know everyone says not to give up, blah, blah, blah, but it’s time to pop Skye and Poggit on the shelf for a while and concentrate on something else.
I’m not leaving them forever. I’ve invested too much time and effort in them, as have all the lovely people who’ve beta read for me (and I hate to think their time might have been wasted).
I love my characters, and feedback shows that other people like them too. They like my writing, the characters, and the setting. It’s just… I think the story’s not strong enough, and there are so many other ‘apprentice witch’ stories out there that agents aren’t looking for more right now.
So maybe in a year or two I’ll find the right story for my witch and her family. We’ll let it brew for a while and see what ferments.
So, what now?
Well, I’m re-writing a book I wrote a few years back which has the working title of Goat Girl. Let’s see if I can get some agent interest with that. At least all my submitting practise from last year will be put to good use.
At the same time I’m impatient. I want to be traditionally published and I believe that it’s the right avenue for my MG books. But it’s a looong process, and I’m hungry for publication. So I’m following the example of my writer friend Suzanne Fox, and am also writing another novel with the intention of self-publishing it.
This will be an adult paranormal / mystery / romance. I won’t need to panic about the word count (I tend to write ‘lean’ which is fine for MG, but adult novels expect more), and I can get something out there in front of an audience.
So that’s two strings on my bow, three if you count my short stories. Let’s take aim and see where the arrows fall this year…