I should have called this post Letting Go, or rather, Not Letting Go!
I ‘m usually fairly good at taking advice, particularly when it comes from someone whose opinion I respect. So I don’t know what it is about this particular little pocket novel, but I’m having a tough time giving up on it.
‘Through the Eyes of Love’ started life more than two years ago. I struggled with it because the plot was quite complicated … complicated? Now that should have been enough to ring the warning bell, but it didn’t.
My story started in London, moved to Cornwall, and then on to Yorkshire, as one exciting new character after another came into the plot.
I was on a power high as I moved my cast of players all over the country.
I did loads of research and shoved all that in there, too.
Are you getting the picture?
Convinced it was the best ‘pocket’ ever, I emailed it off to Maggie Seed at My Weekly and settled down to enjoy one of these.
Isn’t it funny how the most glaringly obvious mistakes never show up until you hit the Send button? In that split second your whole novel reels past your eyes, warts and all. But too late – it’s gone!
So then I waited … and waited … and waited. The weeks passed, and my confidence in the novel I had been so proud of began to wilt. Eventually the ever-busy Maggie got back to me.
There was good news, and bad news. Maggie could definitely see a pocket novel here, (yes, that’s what she said) but the plot wasn’t believable and needed reworking.
No problem. I followed her suggestions to the letter, made the changes and emailed it back. Not long to wait this time. It still wasn’t right, and needed a bit more work.
More changes were made, more editing, new characters put in and others taken out – and back it went to Maggie. She loved the location, thought the characters were excellent – BUT THE PLOT STILL DIDN’T WORK! It was a rejection.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I’d put so much heart and effort into that little novel. I had pinned so many hopes on its success. How could she not want to publish it?
It was with a heavy heart, and an excess of chocolate, that I put ‘Through the Eyes of Love’ into the virtual drawer and tried to put the whole depressing business down to experience. But at the back of my mind I always knew the MS was there, which is why a year later, I got it back out, dusted it down – and gave it another re-write before sending it off to Harper Collins.
The rejection arrived six months later, but it was a lovely rejection. I was told I had “an engaging, warm voice and was obviously familiar with the genre.” The feeling was, however, that the story was more targeted to the family issues and not the developing romance.
The advice was not to revise it, but write a whole new novel.
So back into the ‘drawer’ it went, until a few months ago when I retrieved it with some idea of People’s Friendifying it. I was still convinced the story
was good. I just had to find the right market.
By this time, of course, my story bore no resemblance to the original novel. And once I’d started it soon became obvious, even me, that it was never going
to be a ‘friend’ pocket novel. So it went back into that over-used ‘drawer’.
I came across it again the other day. And you know what? … I’ve had an idea!!
Here’s another People’s Friend Pocket Novel that did make it to publication, and is now a Kindle book. It will be free to download here for the next five days, June 12 – 16.
Happy reading everyone!