April, Part Two: Notions and Emotions

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Like ever-changeable April showers, our intrepid writers share their latest ups and downs on their quest for publication.

Clare Daly @claredalyauthor

Submit. Defeat. Repeat.

The rejection for my third book came at the end of March, two weeks after meeting the agent in London. It read, “I like the idea and plot, and think it has legs. However, it did not quite resonate for me. This is an entirely visceral response and I am confident you will find the perfect agent for you.” If a knock back can be called encouraging or responsible for keeping the fire lit, then this is the form it takes. I’ve had enough to know a good one when I see it. No response is the worst, closely followed by a one-line form rejection. It’s generally noted that if a writer is getting any more than that in the way of feedback, then they’re on the right track. So, I’m going with that.

I’ve sent it out to a few others (I’m taking a staggered approach), including an agent who really enjoyed my first book. I’ve also applied for Date With An Agent at the International Literature Festival in May. I didn’t get it last year (with the same book, ouch), but with a new revised draft, I’m having another go. And all the while and competing for my time, is my second book Heavy Lies The Crown – one who’s path will not know rejection as the others do, as I’ll directly self-publish it. It feels strangely liberating to know it will be spared that. I also have a gorgeous cover that I’m delighted with and will reveal as we get closer to release.

As the series begins to take shape, it was time to name it – a dark canopy under which multiple books in the series will reside. It therefore gives me great pleasure to announce The Hunger Chronicles. Our Destiny Is Blood’s working title was The Great Hunger, a two-fold reference to the Irish famine and vampires, so hunger has always been a touchstone for these characters and their fates. It’s not lost on me that it also relates to my own quest. I’m hungry for this – the dream – and the only way to achieve it is to Submit. Defeat. Repeat. That YES can’t be far away, can it?

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Casey King @letstalkcrime

Us Irish have a morbid fear of notions. I had to face this fear at the end of March when, after getting my Agent’s advice, and more from fellow writers in the know, I got some author pictures done. I was surprised at how nervous I felt, and how the closeness of the shots made me feel quite ‘out there’. Of course, being ‘out there’ is a necessary part of the process, but I have spent most of my career getting the job done, keeping my head down and powering on through shift-work and everything else that comes with being part of the emergency services. This is such a new experience for me. I really did enjoy it and a lot of that was down to the wonderful photography skills and experience of Ger Holland, and it was great craic – another thing us Irish love – and another step to enjoy on this amazing, bonkers journey.

So, London Book Fair 2019, the feedback from my Agent was fantastic, with expressions of interest in my novel and enquiries of further novels in the series. Very exciting. This leads me to some of the best advice I have received in my writing journey, and that is to keep writing. And I did, I kept going because, as you will hear time and time again, there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes work, dedication and sticking with it. (Ahem, Inspiration Diaries Part 1 and Catherine’s FAB news). Because I have stuck with it, I was able to relay to my Agent that yes, I have a sequel in the pipeline and have a third outlined in the same series. Phew, less pressure, I hope!!! So, keep writing, keep improving, and most importantly, don’t give up.

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There is no entry from Tric Kearney this month due to a family bereavement. We all send our love and deepest condolences to Tric, and family.

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