On The Path Once More


It’s Monday, and the gorgeous child is back at school. Half term is over – this year is flying by already – and I’m now back to my regular schedule.

A Thousand Rooms is now starting to go out to agents and publishers. I have a carefully crafted cover letter, a sweated-over synopsis, and have had the first three chapters professionally critiqued (thanks, Esther!). I’m also getting very strong feedback on the finished manuscript from my lovely, lovely beta readers – thank you to each and every one of you for your time and honest words.

I managed to get it out the door to three agents last week. One has already got back to me, with a rejection. Ouch. But that is the game I am in, the ring I have now entered, and so I must duck and weave and armour myself against the slings and arrows of rejection, for I doubt it will be the last. I read somewhere that if you get rejected more than ten times, it’s your manuscript that’s the problem. Honestly, I think ten is far too low a number – The Help was rejected something like sixty times, to cite just one example. I think Harry Potter was knocked back at least a dozen times, to cite another. So I have a list of agents and publishers to approach before I decide to go it alone. I believe in the story and, with the feedback I’m getting, hope that it will get somewhere.

Hills and Valleys remains in the editing stage, but I’m still hoping to publish next month. There is a cover design to finalise, then the whole formatting thing to go through again.

And finally, I’ve decided to take advantage of my free KDP Days and am offering Oak and Mist free to download until February 25th. I’ve offered it for free once before with positive results and, while I’m not a fan of giving work away, I do believe these short promotions have their benefits. In fact, I blogged about it here and here.

Wishing you all a Happy Monday x

The Joy of Synopses


Well, I’m being a little sarcastic, in case you hadn’t guessed. It’s no secret how much I love to write, but there are some things I enjoy writing far less than others. One of those things is the dreaded author bio – it’s such a fine line between sounding interesting and sounding like a tosser (and to be honest, not sure which side I’m currently on) 😀

The other is the synopsis. Right, I muttered, as I slogged and sweated my way through the very first one I ever wrote, I bet Tolkien wasn’t asked to distill Lord Of The Rings down to a single page summary.

Well, I bet he probably was, actually. And I’m no Tolkien. I’m just a writer with a book I need to send out to agents and publishers, and part of that process involves writing a synopsis.

I remember hearing an agent saying once that a synopsis was simply a blow-by-blow account of everything that happens in the book. All the main plot points and character, distilled into This happens. And then this happens. And then that happens. Sounds pretty easy, when you put it like that. But the actual writing of it is something I find quite arduous, trying to choose which events to include and which ones to omit.


So when Sacha Black posted a few weeks back about a book she’d read called ‘Write a Great Synopsis – An Expert Guide,’ by Nicola Morgan, I decided to check it out. And it was well worth doing so. Not only was I able to distill my story down to a 26-word pitch, perfect for the covering letter, I was then able to expand that pitch into a synopsis that fitted onto one page. The book was an easy read as well – short, well written and engaging.  So I would definitely recommend it to anyone caught in the snarls of their synopsis, as it definitely helped me.

I still sweated and slogged a little, but not nearly as much as before 🙂