Saturday, 31 August 2013
As most of you probably know by now - and if you do not, where on earth have you been - I have just signed a publishing contract with small independent book publisher Crooked Cat. This is for the ubiquitous Victorian novel, now possibly re-titled and coming out, all being well, some time towards the end of the year.
It will be my 12th published novel (there are many many more unpublished ones festering in the ether drawer) and my first 'adult' one. Difficult to place it in a genre, but I have decided:
''Darkly comic Victorian crime thriller'' probably sums it up adequately. Am looking forward to some 'interesting' reviews. The history trolls will not like it .....
What has been fascinating is seeing the varied reactions to my news. The overwhelming response has been positive. Lots of lovely cyber-hugs and congratulations. Lots of tweets and complimentary comments. A few people have even hinted to Crooked Cat that they are lucky to sign me!! A statement they may well query as the months go by!!
However, there has been one sour note. A former contact (I maintain very few now) in the literary world has suggested that this is a retrograde step for a writer who has always been published by mainstream publishers, and that I would be better off biding my time and continuing to beat my bruised and bloodied (my analogy) fists on what is clearly now a very closed door (my interpretation).
A picture of the current 'To Be Read' pile on my bedside table provides an interesting commentary upon the suggestion. Top of the pile is 'The Redbreast' a novel by Jo Nesbo. I've only recently started reading his books. I enjoy the whole 'Nordic noir' genre and he is a bit of a find. Mainstream published. Widely stocked in most bookshops and hugely popular.
Second from the top is a book by Sarah England called 'Exposure'. I won this in an online competition, and it is signed by the author. Sarah, coincidentally, is published by Crooked Cat. Her novel, a funny read about the life of a hapless heroine called Sam Sweet, is out in ebook and book. The book is POD (Print On Demand), so only available through Amazon and other online outlets.
Middle of the pile is a non-fiction book. I always have a 'non-fiction' book on the go. Usually historical. As I'm possibly about to start writing 'DCVCT 2' I need to get back into the Victorian world. Apart from my own extensive collection of novels and books on this period, I have 4 books I borrow on a rotating and continuous loop from the library. Currently it's Judith Flanders' 'Victorian City'. Mainstream publisher again. Not widely stocked, as not a ''popular'' title.
Bottom of the pile --- and a bit of a ringer, as I have actually just read and reviewed it, is 'Flying Lessons' by Francis Potts. Francis' wryly amusing and very readable novels are entirely self-published, so only available online.
My point is that all of these books, published in a variety of different ways, have one common denominator: me. I don't really care what route the writers took to bring their work to market .... I just appreciate that their books are there for me to read and enjoy. They all end up on the same pile anyway. Or have I missed the point?