Friday, 18 November 2011

My truly horrific side project

Oh dear.

Driving Exile came back from another agent today. Another rejection. I think that's four but hey, who's counting? Still, at least I got a personal message with this one:

Unfortunately the market for this type of novel has collapsed and editors are dropping rather than taking on new authors. So, sorry ok! 

I placed the letter down and raised an eyebrow. I should have been grateful for the 'warning' about the current state of the women's fiction market. I mean, wow...I can stop sending my book out now and wasting my time and money.

Yes, I'd have definitely valued this nugget of information if they hadn't have also enclosed a postcard advertising a brand new novel from one of their women's fiction writers.

Yay! I'll run right out and buy it!


Onto the next one, methinks. Keep on keeping on and all that.

I should be more disheartened. After all, I've been off work ill over the last few days which I think has a lot to do with stress. I haven't been to the gym in weeks. My book has been rejected again.

I should be miserable.

But I'm not.

You see, something very odd happened on Sunday. I spent some time with Driving Exile editor and fabulous friend, Uno and we got to talking about...bloody hell, I can't even remember, but it culminated in us giggling about Twilight and how the worst consequence of stepping into the sun for Edward Cullen was that his skin went all glittery and magical. It funny because I'm used to the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and tales from folklore where vampires would burn to ash in the daylight.

It got me thinking about my passion for Point Horror books when I was younger. The more terrifying and unpleasant they were, the more I loved them. I had the full collection in my bedroom, taking pride of place on my bookshelves and I read them over and over again.

I remember a teacher scowling at me sat reading one when I was in the third year.

"Emma, why on earth are you reading those books? They're for young children. My nine year old reads them and you're nearly fourteen."

"I love them," I'd shrugged.

I'd been reading them since I was nine after all, so I didn't care what other people thought. As soon as my mum bought me the first one from Bury market, I was hooked. I'd sat on the train home tracing the shiny lettering on the front with my index finger and looking at the cover for it (Dream Date if you're interested) depicting a girl asleep in bed and a shadowy hand reaching out to her.

I ended up giving them all away to a young girl next door and I regret it deeply. I've spent a bit of time scouring Amazon to track them all down and eBay to see if anyone's selling a job lot I can buy.

I class writing as a bit of a self-indulgent, guilty pleasure but as for Point Horror....well, that's as guilty as it gets.

So, as I lay in bed on Sunday, I started to formulate an idea. A horror book for teenagers that's horrible again. No romances with vampires, no magics wands casting spells, no helpless females.

It's very much a side project as I continue on my quest to get Driving Exile published and, because there's no pressure, I'm having an absolute ball. It's been strangely comforting to write as a teenager and put myself in that mindset again. In fact, I think it's done me a lot of good. It's only when you put yourself back there that you realise how much fire you had in your belly. It's made me realise how much of an 'adult' I've become - bogged down with the day-to-day crap of being a grown-up.

I'm getting that stir of fire again though.

And in the true mindset of a teenager, I've dedicated the below picture to the agent who told me the market for my kind of book is dead whilst sending an advert for a brand new book alongside.

Your loss.

You'll see.




Tuesday, 8 November 2011

I'm really tired.

Tired to the bone.

I can't even say I've been burning the candle at both ends because that would imply I've been partying like a maniac and I haven't.

All I've been doing is going to work, coming home and writing my book into the night. I've not even been to the gym and that's really not like me at all.

Got a funny feeling (and bear with me here) that I'm sad. Sad about all sorts of things. Sad and stressed.

My new job stresses me out and the dark winter nights make me sad. Randomly enough, even writing makes me sad because I keep finding doubts creeping into my head about whether I'm any good or not. Is the book just really very...weak? I keep looking at copies of Driving Exile sat in a pile in my living room before completely ignoring them and concentrating on hammering out Book 2 instead.

I know I'm not the best writer in the world. Not by a long shot and you can't help but loathe your own inability sometimes. On occasions, I'll be reading a book or a magazine article and I'll come across a word that I realise I've never once written in my life. Then I get angry with myself.

"How can I have never written or even spoken the word effervescent? Am I completely stupid?"

"And what about the expression fait de compli? Or the word consummate?" 

God, I'm inarticulate. And the more tired I get, the less I feel like I can string a sentence together.

I haven't even read a book (other than my own) for months.

Now, that makes me feel like an idiot, especially as I profess to be a writer.

I sent another pack of to an agent last week and have already received the receipt postcard I put in with it. Every time I open the door of the flat, I wince in anticipation of it hitting my manuscript and pushing it along the carpet. I had a false alarm today.

My contact lenses had been delivered.


A plus point has been music, and new additions to my life line (i.e. iPod) have been:

1. Frank Zappa - Camarillo Brillo
2. Rush - Working Man
3. Queensryche - Jet City Woman
4. George Thorogood - Who do you love?
5. Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Work Song

Ah, lovely :-) Typing those out has cheered me up.

Come on, Em! Let's do this!

Keep rockin'