Friday, 3 October 2008

The oracle has spoken

My universe has shifted on its axis... not spinning smoothly yet. I've heard back from The Editor, she who has a hotline to The Publisher... so far the signs from the oracle seem positive, but I'm not skilled in reading the signs and won't relax until the MS has definitely been given the green light. In the meantime, my internal universe is beginning to dust itself down and dare to entertain the hope that this time... this time... no, I can't even think it, let alone write the words.

What a marathon producing a book is! Or am I inordinately impatient? (Yes to both, I fear.)

I can only compare the experience to being young and in love, waiting for the phone to ring...

39 comments:

Debs said...

Best of luck.

I agree with you about waiting. Horrible business and simply not easy to do.

Leigh Russell said...

"Horrible, horrible, most horrible"
Thanks Debs. I do feel slightly self indulgent, to be making such a fuss about my book when there are people waiting for medical results, etc, which are genuinely important. But having a book published is life changing. One day (I hope!!!) I'll be able to reply "I'm an author" when people ask me what I do. But this is back to my ego, I suppose, and hardly important (except to me).

Bill Clark said...

The problem with publishers, like so many other organiz[s]ations we must deal with on a daily basis, is that they simply do not understand the transcendent importance of our books/needs/opinions/wisdom/whatever.

I just tell myself it's their loss, pat myself on the back a few times, and move on to the next job of brilliant wordsmithing.

Remember, too, it was ever thus, going back to the days of Grub Street and before.

Among well-known writers who became impatient with publishers and decided to do it themselves are: Rudyard Kipling, Ernest Hemmingway, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Carl Sandburg, James Redfield, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Think of what the world would have lost if they'd waited for a publishing house to come to its senses!

Just sayin', is all.

Leigh Russell said...

The anecdotes of outstanding authors serially rejected by publishers are legion. Perhaps understandably, given the time and money they invest, publishers are wary of untested writers. Unknown names may or may not sell. That's why many authors who've suffered many many rejections end up winning awards. It's precisely because they are original and different that they struggle to find a publisher in the first place. We'd all like publishers to be less risk averse but they have to keep solvent. It's a catch 22 situation. I'm sure Kafka would appreciate the irony if we poor struggling authors don't. I daresay many publishers are equally (well, almost) frustrated by the need to be commercial.

BernardL said...

No, with the delays you've experienced, it can't be called impatience. You will definitely have proven your endurance when you see this through.

Leigh Russell said...

What other choice do I have, bernardl? (sigh) But I never thought of myself as someone with 'endurance'. I like that!

Charles Gramlich said...

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Leigh Russell said...

Kill or cure... I could do with feeling a bit stronger, Charles.

Leigh Russell said...

(I hope my editor doesn't read all this!)

Eryl Shields said...

At least you've managed to make it sound romantic. I now have a vision of you pacing your garret, your dark curls falling about your face as you wait to be set free by your love/publisher.

dabrah said...

The whole long drawn out process sounds quite tedious. I think you're wise to get on with book number 2. As for coincidences, I agree with you. They happen all the time in real life, so why not in fiction? One of the things that keeps me reading is when there's some unresolved issue that the author seems to have put aside as if to deal with later. My curiosity won't let me put the book down until that issue is brought forward and dealt with.

Leigh Russell said...

Eryl - in the nicest possible way, I hope we never meet. Then you can retain your romantic image intact. One look at me would be enough to dispel any romantic image - although I do have dark, curly hair...

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, dabrah. But there are limits. To begin with, I had so many unresolved issues it was like War and Peace in three hundred pages, with a few more story lines and extra characters for good measure. Totally insane! but great fun to write. As I think I've said before, I began writing just for myself, without a thought for the poor reader. I never expected to be published. It was a whim, really, sending the MS out at all. I just thought, this is really rather good, so why not give it a go? Had I known where this path would lead, I would have given the exercise far more care from the start.

Monique said...

Good comparison Leigh. I do remember the feeling.

Leigh Russell said...

I suppose it's facing up, almost palpably, to one's individual helplessness. There's nothing I can do to influence this person on whose actions my current state of mind seems to depend... As a teacher, I can get away with being bossy. As a writer, paradoxically, I have less control.

fizzycat said...

Must be the thought of finally being published, enhancing the drawn out feeling of waiting.
Probably is an ego thing but I bet if it was me , I would be acting the same.

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, fizzycat, you're right. It's such an exciting prospect - terrifying too! But I'm sure you wouldn't be impatient. You'd sprawl in front of a fire, stretch out and then curl up, purring. Cats are gloriously detached, aren't they? unless you've been fooling me all along and you're not really a talking typing cat at all!

Sleepy said...

I'd be plunder!
Have serious 'deferred gratification' issues'..

Rick said...

We all know the publisher will love it. But if the publisher is hit by a brain meteor, then there's a better one out there with your name on it!

Leigh Russell said...

plunder ? fizzycat ? But yes, seems to be more delay than gratification!

Rick, that's kind. But if this all goes pearshaped, I don't think I'd try again. Life's too short to waste it waiting. One of the aspects of writing that attracted me in the first place was the freedom and sense of control I thought it offered, creating one's very own universe! As a writer, you can do anything. Perhaps I should have stuck to the writing, and never sent my MS out to any publisher. Or is that just taking the easy option?

Barbara Martin said...

Waiting is the worst. Here's hoping you'll get your green light.

Working on project number 2 or 3 is always a good idea.

Leigh Russell said...

To be honest, I'm starting to feel rather dejected about the whole process. It's fairly depressing, really. Not much fun any more.

The World According To Me said...

Arrg! The telephone that never rings. The love sick teenager who fears life will never be the same.

I hope you get your green light soon. Keep us updated.

Leigh Russell said...

I will! Soon as I hear anything, you'll be the first to know. It's sometimes easier to share fears and feelings on the blog. Like a confessional, faceless sympathy.

Rick said...

Come on, give. Any new info.

Leigh Russell said...

Real life has crossed over into my virtual world. I've discovered my daughter reads my blog!! She only mentioned it because I'd threatened to take up knitting again! Panicky email from said daughter - "please don't start knitting again!" Looks like I'll have to stick to writing, then.

So if I'd been a brilliant knitter, would the future course of my life have been different?

Rick said...

Leigh, you don't seem like an "easy option" person. I'll make a deal with you- you be stuck being a writer and we'll all be stuck being you're writers. The grammar is impaired, but you get the point.

Leigh Russell said...

I'd settle for being a writer with you being my readers... Damn, it's hard typing with your fingers crossed.

Leigh Russell said...

For my daughter, in case she reads this... Hi!

Aggie said...

Congrats on the book. I once went through the agony of waiting for publishing after producing a competition entry that was to be published if you won. Yay! It did ... but it sure was an endurance test. And all that AFTER the endurance test of writing it. Phew! I survived. You will too.
I love Crime stories, so I hope we get to read it down under sometime.

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks Aggie. The book will be available world wide, as far as I can tell, as well as on Amazon in any case. I'll let you know when it's available and you can let me know what you think of it - and of course tell everyone you know to buy it!! (It's an awesome thought that someone on the other side of the globe might one day read my book.)

Akasha Savage said...

Just to let you know, I have now posted part 2 of Bethnal Green. Hope you like.
;)

ChrisEldin said...

Are you working on your next project? Sometimes that helps...
Can't wait to see the finished product though!!
:-)

(I'm over from Charles' blog)

Leigh Russell said...

Hey Akasha - will be over to look later. At work right now... (hope the boss isn't reading this!)

Leigh Russell said...

chriseldin - yes, I am working on book 2. I've been extremely fortunate to have a 3 book deal so I have to produce at least another two books featuring the same detective. My Grand Plan is that the books sell so well that there'll be a third, and a fourth, a fifth... I already have an idea for the twentieth, and final volume in the series... Gotta dream the dream!

Leigh Russell said...

Will do a new post in a few days/weeks. All in a spin at the moment as I've heard back from the editor...
She likes the changes I've made, and wants to meet to discuss final amendments.
In the meantime, Cut Short is in the publisher's October catalogue, so we're on target for publication in March! I am so relieved. I was beginning to think the book would never appear in print!
Will have to do a new post about this soon - have I already said that? Must go and reread the editor's email, and start thinking!

Leigh Russell said...

forgot to say

:)

Fiona said...

I'm only on a second draft of my novel and if I'd have known how hard and how l o n g it would all take, I'd have...don't know. Probably do it all again because if feels good to write doesn't it? :)

Leigh Russell said...

I'm right with you, Fiona.