Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Hard Part

When I first started writing seriously, I thought completing a book would be the most difficult part of the business. Sitting down every day, writing 1,500 words, not watching a movie on my laptop, not taking daily naps... Turns out, I’m a self-motivated writer. As Kingsley Amis wrote: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s trousers to the seat of one’s chair.” I do this really well. Sometimes my family has to pry me away from my laptop or at least tempt me with chocolate or a movie (or both!) to see my face instead of the back of my head.

I completed my second manuscript, The Bodley Boys, in less than a year after deciding to write full time (thanks to my fantastic critique partners!) and my third manuscript, a collaboration with Pamela Hammonds, is past the half-way mark. (Did I mention Center Court Seats and a Pair of Jimmy Choos is really funny?)

Now comes the hard part. Sending my baby out. I’m fortunate to have met an editor at a recent conference who is interested in reading the manuscript. And wouldn’t it be incredible if she’d fall in love with it, snatch it up and offer me the name of a few agents she believes would also love my work? But, realistically, I need to query agents as well.

First I’ll approach the handful of agents who liked my query enough to request the full of The Cemetery Garden. Even though they all passed, they saw something in my writing they liked and hopefully they’ll recognize my name on a new query.

My friends and family have been so encouraging, it would be really nice to answer the question, “Have you sold a book yet?” with “Yeah, that was the easy part.”


Anonymous said...

The part you are working on now is always the hardest part. Hopefully we will both get to grumble about how hard it is to edit galleys, to go on tour, to sign copies, to fly to Switzerland...


Anonymous said...

Hello Joan, it's Philip.

This is the only way I know to get in touch with you. I wanted to get your opinion on something. If you get a chance mail me at pdfullman@hotmail. Thanks.