First entry: before publication…..
When I told friends that I was writing a novel about a ladies aquarobics class, they were a bit surprised, even shocked.
After all, I had never written a novel before. If I was known as a writer at all, it was as a writer of EFL courses and other materials. But I had stopped writing EFL about ten years ago. EFL is a world subject to trends and fashions, and my courses do not sell very much at all now. Some of the other materials however –my six modest little ‘readers’ (stories in simplified English) still do quite well, and in the most unexpected places.
(See section on EFL materials in this web-site).
So friends were curious about my turning to novel writing , to say the least! First, everyone knows how hard it is to get noticed by an agent. These days, it seems that unless a) you are already well established, or b) popular in some other related field (eg pop music), or c) well connected, or d) extraordinarily lucky, or e) extraordinarily talented, then your chances of having your first novel accepted by an established agent are very slim indeed. I tried twenty-five agent-companies, and none of the eighteen that replied was really interested in my manuscript.
Thanks goodness for self-publishing! I do not remember exactly how I came across Troubador/Matador, but I am glad that I did. It has proved an interesting and efficient way for a neo-novelist to proceed, and well worth the necessary investment.
After their initial surprise, friends then asked all sorts of questions, including ‘Why choose aquarobics?’, ‘What do you know about it?’, ‘Why a novel?’, ‘Is it funny?’, ‘Where did/do you get your ideas from?’, ‘Do you think your book will sell?’ aand so on. And the killer questions ‘Are you writing a second novel?’