My debut fantasy novel, The Archguardians of Laceria, is now available in paperback, and in all ebookstores!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ask Me Anything

Following on from last week's question about dreams, I don't mean this in as harsh a way as it might sound, I'm just curious: do you truly believe you can achieve your dream?

   In all honesty...I don't know. I'm writing in an obscure genre, and while I'm fortunate that the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit being turned into films, and Game of Thrones being as big as it is, fantasy is of more interest these days, there's also the issue of there being about 6 literary agencies in the entire country that accept fantasy novels. And that sucks.
   However, I can say this: I have no intention of giving up. I enjoy writing immensely, and I have ideas on top of ideas. I have vague plans for about 5 more books, all in different worlds with very different stories, and I built those ideas up over the past year. So you can assume that, for every book that gets rejected, I have four other ideas for new books. Yes the rejections suck, but you have to remind yourself that it's not just because it might be badly written that it gets rejected. It can also be because the agent doesn't feel they can represent your work well enough, maybe they're not taking on new pieces at that time, maybe they simply didn't like it, or maybe the market isn't ready for it. All you can do is press on and try again.
   I do have a plan, though. The first thing I submitted to literary agencies was the first book of a trilogy. I hadn't yet finished the trilogy, though I was a quarter the way through the second book when I sent the first out. When I got my rejection letters back I was understandably heart broken, as it was my first go. I kept writing the second book, but I gradually lost interest due to hopelessness. It was then that I took a depressed sort of break and stopped writing for a few months, then decided I missed it too much and started work on something new. It fell apart, but then I began work on my current book which is very nearly finished. But! Instead of sending it out and waiting for a response before getting to work on a new book, I'm going to polish it off, proof read it, clean it up so it's ready, write the cover letter, synopsis and so on, and then put it all to one side to start work on a new book. That way, when I do get around to sending the book out, I'll have already moved on and the rejection won't hit so hard because I'll have moved onto something new already and likely become obsessed with that, instead.

   I feel I'm blathering and making no sense. So, in short, while I can't say that I honestly believe I'll get where I want to the way I want to, I will be published one day because I can self-publish if I have to. I'm fortunate in that aspect, at least. But will I be able to convince an agent that my work and I are worth the time? I don't know. There are a lot of factors to consider. I do believe my work and I are worth it, though, but of course I'd say that, I have to believe in myself, otherwise why would I keep trying?

   Either way, I will continue to write. I've been doing it for nearly 11 years now, I've found many of my weaknesses and fixed many of them. There are still a few that exist, I can admit that, but I'm overcoming them, too. And it will take a lot of rejections on a lot of my books to get me to give up, but even then they are the opinions of the few. Those 'few' are professionals in the industry, yes, I am certainly not disputing that fact, and whether they ever accept me or not, I respect them and their experienced decisions, but there are only about 6 of them. Those 6 can't speak for all the fans of fantasy. For example, people love Game of Thrones; I, on the other hand, have neither seen it or read it, and 'nor am I interested in doing so. I don't like shiney, happy, heroic fantasy, but I don't like exceedingly dark and gritty/sexual fantasy either. I like it in between, and Game of Thrones doesn't seem that way to me. Admittedly I've not given it the chance in order to find out, but I'm quite happy not watching it, and I don't feel I'm missing out at all. I'm following too many complex programs at the moment to add another to the list, anyway.

   But, I'll end with this: I do believe that, if you stick with something and let yourself grow with it, accepting help and criticism where you can, you can take it where you want to, and I don't think my work is any different.





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