Yes. You are going to get these at regular intervals. Sorry. But this is my writing blog. If you want to read my waffling about life and other stuff go here; http://www.susanjboulton.com/
Now, I have a huge list of agents to plow through. I need to sort out those that are fantasy, SF and Horror agents first and foremost, those that will look at genre fiction and those that might look at a ghost story. Hand of Glory is a ghost story, and a very English one at that. And now I know where it was submitted I can at least give any agent that shows an interest all the information they need. So I am going to spend a lot of hours looking at websites, agent query and the absolute write forum. Though I did come across a superb list of all UK agents that are members of the Association of Authors’ Agents: and just a brief look has shown me that a lot more look at genre than the nay-sayers on writing forums would have you believe. If folks are not prepared to put in the hours researching agents, and just going for the same old list that is posted on forum after forum then tough on them. Sorry, I don’t have much time for the whinging and whining some, “want to be authors,” or, “balancing on the first rung of the ladder and trying not to fall off, writers.”
I fell down quite a few rungs, thankfully I landed, not quite on my feet, but on my arse instead of my head. So the landing was softer than it could have been. I do have some baggage, everyone has it to some degree.
Enough of that; Hand of Glory is due back from the editor, in the next two weeks, so it is then a matter of going through their notes, making changes and preparing the submission. Now a number of the agents seem to want a paper submission. I am ok with that. I know a lot of folk aren’t, but in someways, preparing and printing out your submission gives you time to go over it with a fine tooth comb. Emails are so easy to fire off and it is so bloody easy to miss the mistakes in them.
Oracle; The editing is going well. I have cut a good couple of thousand words. It now stands at 126,000. The first three chapters have been tightened a lot and the prologue ditched. Thanks to the feedback from the good folks on Sffchronicles. So, the aim is to get this edit done before the end of July.
It is my intention to have both Oracle and Hand of Glory out on submission by the 19th August. This is the day I go back to working just 20 hours a week. This will give me back the hours I used to have to devote to my writing. It is then my intention to finish the first draft of Stoneman Green.
My target is to have either an agent or publisher for Oracle and, or Hand of Glory by World Fantasy Con at the end of October, or have a polished draft of Stoneman Green ready for submission.
No pressure then?
Having parted company with my agent I have had to do a lot of stock taking.
I have compiled a new list of agents and publishers I want to, when the time is right, submit too.
I have obtained submission information from my agent for my work.
I have Hand of Glory out with an editor to see how and what can be done with it. Once I receive the edit, then I will decide what to do with this work. I really love this story and want it published.
Oracle is being stripped of a lot re-writes and tightened up. The aim is to get this novel down to a neat 100,000 words and then submit to the editor mentioned above. Then again I will then decide what to do with this novel.
I have been playing at editing my old fat epic fantasy. This is a default action, which I tend to go back too when s***e hits the fan. It reminds me of how I love writing and how far I have come. How much I will do of this goodness knows.
I have listed plot lines and edits and make out a number of index cards for my current WIP. Once Oracle is done I am going to start work on this again.
I have another one or two part works, which I need to, look over and make out outline cards for at some point.
I have a short story to try and write, but I honestly am floundering with this at the moment.
WIP, work in progress. This is a phrase constantly used by writer type folk, published and wanting to be published. It means a story is being created.
I started creating stories, well, actually writing them down in a serious fashion, thirteen years ago. At that time it was mainly to see if I could actually write a novel from beginning to end. I did. A vast long-winded epic fantasy. One day I might actually get round to editing it, but then again I might not. It served it’s purpose and was immense fun to research and write and I met a lot of good people during the adventure.
Over the years I have written three other novels. A bunch of short stories, some of which have been published. Thousands of words of collaborative work on various story forums. A selection of which, written with Dan Bieger, were published in an anthology called, Seven Threads.
It even chalked up a half decent review.http://www.sfsite.com/09a/st183.htm
I was, and still am, proud of the stories in this anthology. It is long out of print. Maybe one day, Dan and I may get round to putting up am ebook version. The whole project was fun, and that was the main reason behind the stories, we wrote them for fun and to see if we could. That was the main driving force behind my writing in those days. Fun, along with could I actually do it.
Then my writing took me on another adventure and for awhile I was represented by a literary agent, but we parted company in April this year. No hard feelings on either side.
Since the beginning of April I have been doing a lot of thinking with regards to my writing and wondering where did the fun go? When did the let’s see if I can do this become I can’t, it is too much.
The conclusion of all this pondering is;
I have novel called Hand of Glory. This is currently in the hands of a very talented editor. When they report back to me, I intend to have fun seeing if I can actually put into practice their suggestions with regards to this novel. Where I go from there, well I will see when I get there.
I have a novel called Oracle, this I am currently stripping out edits I had previously made, and re-writing sections. Once this is done I will send it to the editor mentioned above, and again have fun seeing what I can actually do.
I have a novel called Stoneman Green, which is half written. I was trying to shoe-horn it into what I now realise was a unrealistic form. I now intend to allow it to go the way it wants too and have fun with it.
There are two anthologies currently calling for short stories, which I am interested in seeing if I can write suitable stories for. I might not make the submission dates, and the odds of the stories making it are next to zero, but I intend to have fun and see if I can.
So, there it is, my WIP.
Why this title for this blog?
Well it is simple.
While sitting in a bar talking about my writing the following phrase was uttered by a gentleman sitting opposite; “You write gentle horror, no, gentle parochial horror.”
At first I took this remark as a bit of an insult. No, I thought, I write fantasy. But the longer I thought about it and the more I looked at the work I had actually sold, plus the novel that I feel is my best work to date, the more I realised the statement was correct. The gent that had said it had hit the nail on the head.
So, I write about the normal world circa 1900-1960 with a large dash of the creepy drip-fed in. I also write fantasy, which edges towards the gaslight-romance type.