For Part Two of our January updates we are so delighted to introduce our three former Inspiration Project attendees – Casey King, Clare Daly and Tric Kearney – who will share monthly musings on their writing year. We have three words to say to these ladies: GO, GO, GO!
Casey King (@letstalkcrime) – Parking My Dreams
It is close to the date, my self-imposed deadline to call a halt to my writing pursuits in the face of rejections. I wasn’t firing my laptop out of the window – though there were many times this did seem like a logical option – nor was I abandoning all writing ventures, no, I was going to complete the project I was working on then shelve my ambitions for the time being, and, as such, park my dreams. It had the effect of clearing my mind.
I went to events and festivals, not with expectation, but with a clearer picture of what I wanted to achieve, and I set about clearing the rubble. Despite my deadline, I continued to submit, changing my query letter somewhat, remaining professional, but I refined and focused my points. I began to get requests for more, one agent looking to see the whole thing within two hours of reading the first three chapters and synopsis. As well as having a play longlisted, I won an opportunity to pitch to an agent at Wexford Literary Festival. Bag of nerves wouldn’t begin to describe my demeanour. I’d held my passion and belief in my book, and while surrounded by the most wonderful well-wishers, hugs and support, I pitched and it went great.
Then I received another two requests for full manuscripts, including follow up email correspondence with one agent and an invitation to meet another while she was in Ireland. Just before Christmas, I accepted an offer of agent representation, close to one year after travelling to Wexford to attend the inaugural Inspiration Project. It did no harm to take a step back, but I’m so glad I did not park my dreams.
Casey King is represented by Kate Nash of Kate Nash Literary Agency.
Tric Kearney (@trickearney)
Firstly, let me into introduce myself, my name is Tric Kearney … and I’m a writer. There you go, that’s my first time publicly describing myself as such. For a long time I’ve struggled to justify that title. Over and over I’ve asked myself, is a writer someone who writes, or someone who is a published author? I’ve decided, a writer is someone who takes their writing seriously, and this year I intend to do just that.
Currently, I write a weekly column in the Irish Examiner newspaper called ‘It’s My Life’, but I want more. My New Year writing resolutions were to call myself a writer (job done) and by the end of 2019 have finished my book and hopefully found it a home.
This time last year I attended the Inspiration Project weekend. I was floundering, drowning in a sea of doubt and deafened by the voices in my head, laughing at my writing ‘notions’ and criticising everything I wrote. That weekend put an end to my doubts and gave me the courage to stand up to those voices and write on. I’d an idea for a book and by the time the weekend was over I was determined to get it written.
And I nearly did. I wrote over 40,000 words and entered a chapter to be critiqued by an agent. The feedback was very encouraging. However, the words stopped. Another book was calling me. A less than easy write. A voice from my past whispered the idea and it was not easily silenced.
Write what you know they say. Well this was a story I knew well. My story. A tale of abuse, loss, love and healing, the writing of which I’d like to share with you here over the next few months and hopefully in time we’ll celebrate together as I type ‘The End’.
Clare Daly (@claredalyauthor)
Let’s start with a few numbers. Books on release: 1; Books in progress: 2 (2nd drafts) Agent: 0; Rejections: Plenty, thank you very much.
I approached 2019 with a big NO to making plans and setting out writing goals. In 2018 I was laser-focused and well, nothing of great repute happened, other than attending The Inspiration Project which basically has kept me in the game. Maybe my goals were too ambitious – to self-publish the second book in my historical fantasy series and find an agent for my third novel, but then 2018 beat ten bells out of me and it just didn’t happen. But the thing is my goals are still the same and if I want to make them happen, I’m going to need a plan. I released my debut Our Destiny Is Blood in October 2017, so I’m eyeballing this October for its sequel Heavy Lies The Crown.
If I’m honest I’m not sure had I written a standalone novel I would self-publish again, but I began something with these characters and I’m not ready to give up on them. The self-publishing came about from being told by agents that the book and its characters (there be vampires!) weren’t on trend, so doing it myself was my best bet. It wasn’t a disaster. It’s selling, I’ve had some nice publicity opportunities, and readers even like it, but I find it a lonely ship to steer and an expensive one (it costs very little to put a book together on Amazon, but to meet professional standards and then be visible, costs plenty). Going again does require another leap of faith.
But then if I hadn’t taken the chances I have, I wouldn’t be three books deep and thinking of my fourth. So lots of work to do this year. My heroine Evelyn is heading to Victorian London, so we have quite the bags to pack and though writing is a lonely pursuit, I get to share the journey with Catherine, Hazel, Carmel and you! So come on 2019, *rolls up sleeves* let’s just get this done, shall we?