So, having pinged No Man’s Land out to agents, I’ve subbed to 20 and have only had one request for a full. So, at this point I’m shelving the project. And that’s fine.
Seriously, it actually is.
No Man’s Land is a weird book; I knew it when I wrote it. It’s not hard to describe, but I can’t really do it in a sentence – or at least I can (“apocalyptic urban fantasy”) but that really doesn’t describe any of what goes on, and what in my opinion makes the book awesome. I knew it might not be quite right for the publishing world at this stage, so this is just a step in the plan. I’ve got a couple of options now: I could keep an eye out for publishers with open doors; try other agents; try small presses; self-publish; serialise on the blog or Wattpad; or shelve the project completely. None of those are bad options, so it’s just a case of deciding what I want to do.
My friend Adrian commented that it took Brandon Sanderson 6 books to get accepted by his agent, and his plan was to get rejected on 6 books and then hit the bestseller. Adrian himself screwed up and got picked up on his first one (because he is super talented!), but I think I’m of the same mindset.
No Man’s Land is a good book, and it’ll stay in my “done” pile. I’ll work on the next one, and the next – I’ve already got ideas for two, with another four in a pile! So while this one isn’t quite right, it doesn’t mean the next one won’t be – I just have to write it.
On that note, I’m plotting. I started plotting out a necromancy-mafia-grimdark thing, but I’ve now gotten sidetracked onto something that’s started as a medieval-fantasy-politics (ugh, that sounds like GoT…it’s not, really, although maybe as that’s popular I should take advantage) and I’m throwing around ideas of how to make that one work. I need some enemies is the problem…
So, while NML may be currently shelved: onwards to the next story!
If you haven’t read the first book, Green Sky & Sparks, then you’re in luck – the Kindle edition is just 99p at the moment!
Empty Skies & Sunlight is the fifth book in the GreenSky sparkpunk series, and you can get hold of it from today in Kindle or paperback.
When Anoé Meerla is given the chance to escape a war-torn city with her daughter, she accepts an assignment to find missing people on the beautiful islands of Tao. But she finds more problems than she expected waiting for her; a Floating Island that roams the waves, a Mage trying to forget a war, an old lover with plans of his own, and a tangled web of runaways and murder – and there’s her daughter to protect as well.
And if you want to hear an excerpt, have a listen to the Bristol Fringe podcast for a teaser!
I have one hundred and thirty-five submissions to read. One hundred and thirty-five. If we give an average length of, say, 6000 words, that’s 810,000 words. Considering some of the submissions are longer, it’s probably closer to 900,000 words. I’m reading a whole shelf of novels in short story form!
I am exaggerating slightly, I admit, as I’ve already read forty-five of the submissions. It’s just the rest that I have to work through…
Forty-something of the submissions are for an anthology that I’m editing along with Ellen Crosháin, Terra Nullius – so I actually get to make story choices for that one! The others are for two other anthologies, Infinite Dysmorphia and Holding On By Our Fingertips – as I’m one of the slush pile readers for Grimbold anyway, I’m being a reader for those to narrow down the submissions before the editors make their individual choices.
I love reading new subs, and this call has been really fun. The open calls tend to have a percentage of manuscripts that lose me some braincells when I try to read them, but all the stories for Terra Nullius have been fabulous, and I haven’t lost any brain cells so far! I’m really looking forward to seeing what else is in the pile.
This is why I love my job!
Not yet got paperback copies of Green Sky & Sparks, Grey Stone & Steel and High Flight& Flames? Fancy winning them? Just enter the giveaway below!
Win a paperback copy of the first three GreenSky books!
The third book in the GreenSky series is now available in Kindle or paperback from Amazon!
The land of Quorl is under attack. S’ian, badly injured when her Glider crashed is trapped in a city under siege. Meanwhile out on the plains, Toru is desperately defending his own city and people from the advancing enemy. The fighting is no longer between men: a battle for the air has started, and new weapons force both sides into desperate measures. Even if Toru succeeds in pushing the enemy back from Meton, what will the cost be? Can Toru reconcile his duty to his country with his own dreams?
If you’re not up to date, the first in the series is Green Sky & Sparks, followed by Grey Stone & Steel – both in Kindle and paperback format.