Musings on the Art of Writing

As a child, I discovered fantastic worlds created in books. When I began writing about the worlds of my own imagination, I realized how hard authors work to set their characters free to live for our enjoyment. This blog will explore that weird and wonderful process.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


My agent sent me a list of publishers who have recently rejected my Sceptre of Terran-Gayle manuscript. Not suitable was their only comment. I could rail about what is suitable and what is not but I won't. I will do what I usually do, pick up the pieces and continue to write and submit. Why? Good question. The only answer is: I have no other choice. I'd go mad if I didn't write down the stories in my head.

I've been receiving rejection letters for over 30 years so you'd think I would have either gotten used to the pain or given up. But no, it is the odd personal letter from a publisher that keeps me doing what I love to do. My picture book, Mama's Big Black Umbrella, was on the 'perhaps' pile for months before being returned. I was elated by that rejection. It meant I got close. Last summer, Terran-Gayle made it through several editorial committees before being rejected. The publisher loved my writing style but in the end, it was 'not right for them'.

Why do my manuscripts miss out?

For one, I don't write main stream fiction or non-fiction. I wrote fantasy before J.K. Rowlings picked up a pencil and yet I am told I shall never compete with her. I have no intention of doing so. My fantasies spring from my love of history so that is where I base them. I've researched medieval culture and witch hunts so my stories have a sense of time as well as place. Historical fantasy seems to describe my work best but today I am working on a science ficiton/fantasy so no wonder publishers find my work unsuitable. They can't classify it. What can't be shelved in a bookstore, won't sell. I understand that.

Will I stop writing? No. Will I stop submitting my work? Probably not. So rejection is in my future as it was in my past and, as it was today. Tomorrow I pick up the pieces and continue.

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