In August 2013, I signed up for Misha’s 5 year project. My goal was to finish writing a novel and to get it published. Since then, I’ve written and published a number of non-fiction pieces, and I’ve actually completed two novels:
- The Reluctant Scribe: a historical novel set in the Tang Dynasty, 6th century, China, following the fortunes of a young boy who dreams of becoming a warrior.
- The Orbital Contract: a YA sci-fi novel, set in a futuristic world and full of spaceships and danger.
No agent has taken a serious interest in The Reluctant Scribe, but I do have had an agent considering The Orbital Contract.
The problem is this: I’m not a young person anymore. Time isn’t on my side.
And I’m very impatient with the whole process of traditional publishing.
It’s soul destroying to wait around for first an agent, and then a publisher, to show an interest. I’m fed up with researching agents, writing query letters, rewriting synopsis, and agonising over every submission.
Yes. I’m fed up.
I’m keen to get both books launched. I want to have control over the publishing process, to keep the books available in print for as long as I wish, at a price I decide, with a cover I like, and in whatever format I choose. None of these decisions are mine to make if I go via a traditional publisher.
This isn’t the first post I’ve written on this topic, nor is it the first time I’ve talked about going the self publishing route. It’s worked well for my non-fiction. So, perhaps I need to stop dithering and get on with it.
Novels in progress
In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about the following stories, which keep playing and playing in my head:
- A sequel to The Orbital Contract, following the same main character as she sets out on a new mission. I’ve already written the first 1,000 words or so, and fleshed out a rough plot.
- A sequel to The Reluctant Scribe, where my hero struggles to make his way in the Imperial Court of Empress Wu Zetian.
- Revisiting an early YA book I wrote, which features a protagonist with OCD. I’ve learnt the craft of writing since I finished the first draft of this story, and think I could turn it into something much better.
- Revising a soppy romance novel – one I began but couldn’t finish, because I decided romance just wasn’t for me. It would make a good horror story instead!
Non-fiction work published
I’ve just issued my book, Walking the English Coast: A Beginner’s Guide, as a series of four eBooks. My aim was to make the book more financially attractive, and to allow people to purchase only those sections they’re interested in.
They’re all now up and running on Amazon. I’ve quite a collection there now. Visit my Author’s Page.