19 Nov The Never Ending Journey by Lorraine Gregory
I used to read posts about writers finding agents and signing book deals and there was always one thing I wanted to know.
How long did it take???
Of course, everyone is different and every journey will take a different amount of time and you can never know what yours will be like … but I do think it can be interesting and useful to hear some actual timescales so I’ve given you my author journey here:
- Writing seriously began in I wrote three books in two years, edited and submitted two of them and although I came close once or twice – full manuscript requests, meetings with agents and revises and resubmits – there was no cigar, so to speak.
- I started my current book Mold and the Poison Plot (4th actual M.S) in June 2013, finished it three months later, redrafted it in September.
- Had my first editorial meeting with Imogen Cooper from Golden Egg Academy in Jan 2014 – cue lightbulbs and fireworks!
- Met the lovely Maurice Lyon for my first Mentoring session in March 2014
- Redrafted the novel based on his excellent feedback from March – May 2014
- Redrafted it again in the summer based on Imogen’s impeccable feedback June – August 2014
- Sent it out to agents in September 2014 – cue nailbiting!
- Signed with Kate Shaw from the Viney Agency in Oct 2014 – CUE EXCITED DANCING!!
- Redrafted AGAIN based on Kate’s feedback – (yes, more edits!) sent it back to Kate in December 2014 – CUE A BIT MORE NAILBITING
- My book went out on submission with Publishers in Jan 2015 – CUE EXCESSIVE NAILBITING!!
- After months of waiting, some very positive rejections and interest from a few publishers, I signed my book deal with OUP in May 2015 – CUE CELEBRATIONS ON AN EPIC SCALE!!!
- And guess what I’m doing now in Oct 2015? Yes, MORE editing! It literally does NEVER stop.
- My Book will actually be out in Spring 2017 and the journey will hopefully continue with more books to come, just as soon as I write them…
So, that’s four years to get an agent, five years to a book deal and nearly seven to an actual published book! Is that a long time? A short time? (ACTUALLY QUITE A SHORT TIME! (Mother Goose:-)) It certainly felt like a never ending journey at many points and I considered giving up many times and taking up something simple like Yak farming!
It was SO hard.
Much harder than I had imagined when I started, much harder than I thought I could cope with, but despite the setbacks, rejections, editing mania and never ending revisions, I somehow kept going.
I’m pretty sure this was only possibly because of the people I met, my fabulous crit group, the lovely Golden Egg gang from editors to Eggs and latterly my super-amazing agent Kate.
Having an agent made such a huge difference to me. It was the one thing I’d been aiming for all along and I never quite imagined I would find one as perfect as Kate. From the first time we met I was utterly charmed by her professional approach, her honesty, her warmth and her humour. Being told that she wanted to represent me and guide me on the next part of the journey felt like a blessing. Whatever happened next I knew I wouldn’t be alone and that was a ground breaking moment for me.
Whatever I expected from an agent, Kate has surpassed it with amazing client care, consistent truth, never ending enthusiasm and general loveliness. She helped keep me sane* during the submission process, inevitable rejections and eventual offer.
We’ve been together for nearly a year now and our first anniversary is coming up so it’s a great opportunity for me to say:
Thank you lovely Kate, Agent extraordinaire, I look forward to what future years will bring!
I hope you’ve found this post useful; thank you to Andrew for asking me. I wish you all well, fellow writers. My advice, if you want any, is to try and enjoy the journey and the people you meet on it. There really is no final destination, but there’s a hell of a lot of fun to be had on the way!
*big shout out to Miriam, Vashti and James who were also very important to my sanity during this time and remarkably patient with me. Love You! x