The Ones That Got Away (and one that didn’t)

Hello and ahoy to everyone. I’m just back from a relaxing and contemplative week on the Isles of Scilly. But more about that in a separate post, teaser that I am.

It appears I’ve been more circumspect than I intended recently, regarding my progress in securing representation for one of my novels. I had an email from someone upon my return, asking if in fact I now had an agent for my Brit thriller Standpoint. So it seemed only fair to clear the air, like a literary twitter.

In a word: no. The agent was concerned about my novel’s distinctiveness and felt an agent specific to that genre would be more likely to secure a publishing deal for me. Since then I’ve approached his three recommended publishers directly and I’m waiting to hear from two of them (one will only talk to agents).

Elsewhere, I finally got a response back from a sci-fi / fantasy publisher in the US about another novel Covenant (God loves a trier, as our mum used to say). Writers typically expect to wait around 3 months for a response to a submission, whether it be by email or the trusty envelope. But I think I have reached something of a record here – something that even rivals the year it took to get a proof edit of the same novel by a previous publisher (who then went out of business).

Cue drum roll…

Dear Author,
Thank you for your patience as we considered your novel. Unfortunately, it does not seem right for us. Due to the volume of manuscripts we receive and the press of other business it is impossible for us to go into particulars. Please do not take this rejection as necessarily a reflection on your work; we can accept fewer than one percent of the manuscripts submitted to us. Best of luck in another market.

And how long did it take to get that feedback? Take a breath…
1 year, 3 months and 16 days.

Patience, is is said, is a virtue. This timescale, however, is just a week shy of the gestation of the Grey Rhino (source: Vaughn Aubuchon). Still, it could have been worse; it could have been an Indian Elephant.

And because I know everyone likes to end on a high note – there’s a joke in there somewhere about the sex life of an opera singer – I do now have another little book out there in print. I was going to wait for the link to be set up then badger you all mercilessly about it (I still might), but there’s no time like the present. And no present as suitable as this book.

The Wanderer is a contemplative read, described by an editor from another publishing house as ‘wonderfully reflective’. It’s a short tale of a man who wakes up on a beach and who then sets out on a journey of self-discovery.


  1. motheroad says:

    a) I'm sorry
    b) I love the cover of The Wanderer. Also the inside. I also want to wake up on a beach. But I suppose we wake up on a sort of beach every single day of our lives, don't we?

  2. Derek says:

    a) Very kind of you to apologise of behalf of a US publisher!
    b) Sometimes it's a son of a beach.

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