There are no signposts in the sea…

Part Two of Judith’s blog about getting her novel published..


So – I’m back to square one.
For a month I hibernated (my family and friends call it sulking but I prefer to think of it as re-grouping). I have a brilliant manuscript that no one wants ( at this point I think it’s important to say that, as an author, if you don’t have self belief how can you make anyone else believe that.) – no agent, no publisher.
So there are moments, days, of despair.
I wrote for years without ever sending anything out in case my work was rubbished. Then, finally persuaded that rejection was part of the process, I grew resigned (well almost) to those A4 self-addressed envelopes plopping through the letterbox. The weekly wail of ‘I’ve been rejected again,’ has been a ritual that my long-suffering husband has also grown resigned to.
Right, deep breath – make a resolve – time to get out there again.
I print out a new copy of my novel, ignoring the ‘printer low on ink’ sign during the last thirty pages (from experience I’ve learned it will do ten more copies before it finally gives up the ghost). In the meantime I trawl through my list of possible agents.
And then, out of the blue, a phone call from the editor who resigned from that first agent to tell me she has set up her own agency, is still interested in my novel and could we meet in London in a week’s time. Could we? Try and stop me. ‘We’ll meet at Waterstone’s Studio Lounge and go for a meal,’ she says, ‘I’ll text you.’
And now comes the incredible bit – fifteen minutes ago an A4 envelope plops through the letterbox onto the hall floor. A white envelope, with an offer of a contract from the publisher who’s previously published my short stories
I phone the agent. ‘Send it to me, don’t sign anything,’ she says.
So for the last four days I’ve been waiting: I can’t eat, sleep or even write. I’m sick with excitement and trepidation.It’s like being in a tiny boat in the middle of a storm.
But – I’ve been given a lifeline.

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