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.
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.