Being a published writer has been my ambition for a loooong time now and today my dream of becoming a published writer seemed one step closer when the postie delivered a parcel. I managed to rescue the package from the dog’s grip just in time to discover that it contained an exciting memento of my writing journey.
I’ve often been tempted to indulge myself by paying to have my ms printed as a real book just to be able to put it on my book shelf rather than it staying hidden in the hard drive of my laptop. To have the book, albeit a plain proof copy, in my hands feels amazing!
For anyone who hasn’t crossed my path in person or online (but I doubt I’ve missed you out) my novel, ‘Buy, Buy Baby’ has been shortlisted in the next stage of the Hookline Books Novel Competition.
At Hookline Books novels are chosen for publication by book groups from around the UK. Their process is to run an annual competition and invite manuscripts from students and graduates of MA/MLitt writing courses. The entrants submit the first three chapters, reading groups create a short list of interesting work, and those writers submit their complete manuscripts for book group review. Hookline Books then publish the works that book groups endorse as well-written and engaging. No pressure at all then!
Here’s a short video made by the BBC which shows a book group in action mauling discussing an entry.
My book is now through to the final four and the book groups have until the end of October to make their judgment whilst I have weeks of wondering if my story is being pulled apart or praised. It will be a long wait and although I’m really excited at the possibility of winning, I’m not buying a new outift and shoes (any excuse) or organising a book launch party yet!
I also read a sobering article by Joan Smith in the Guardian and a blog post, ‘An Open Letter to New and Would-be Writers’ by James Smythe. Both pieces highlighted the harsh reality of being a debut writer, if I ever get that far. In the week that JK Rowling was outed as using a pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, for her first foray into crime fiction, this piece gives any other wannabes like me a reality check and a reminder that although my copy of ‘Buy, Buy Baby’ clearly states, ‘not for sale’, there’s value in writing that doesn’t relate to fame and fortune. You only need to ask why JK Rowling, with an estimated wealth of £560 million, felt the need to write, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ to understand that writers write for the love of it, although winning the Hookline Book’s completion wouldn’t hurt one wee bit!!!