So... I spent the most of the end of 2017 getting sick, and then recovering, then getting sick again. I gained a distinction in my Higher National Diploma in Illustration and a mostly ruined immune system.
But 2018, I am in better shape. And my illustrations plans are on hold as I concentrate on my literary efforts.
2017 was a tough year literary wise. While it was fantastic to win the Molly Keane short Story competition, my novel dreams were dashed. The publisher for my IWC Novel Fair winning novel, went to the big bargain bin in the sky. I had to accept that my life long dream of being published, which had been soooooooooooooooooo close - I had been a mere two months from launch day - was dead. I won't lie, there were tears.
But you've got to 'And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools... and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss', to quote and massacre good old
Rudyard Kipling. I'm not quite not breathing a word about my loss, but you get the idea.
With all this in mind I've been working like a demon on book two. I thought it was ready and decided to fire it into this years IWC Novel Fair. I had such a wonderful experience last time, and it was a great deadline to boot.
He has a point...
It wasn't picked. But it ended up being shortlisted! While initially I was disappointed not to be picked in the top 12 again, I reaslised making the top 24 was a blessing in disguise. I had reviewed the book before the results were announced and realised I wanted to add an extra element. And as happens with adding something extra you get other ideas, create problems and basically I'll be rewriting until the summer! So, if it had been picked as a finalist, it wouldn't be the book it will be come June. And that would have been a waste. BUT, being picked for the shortlist was such a huge confidence boost. As my 15 year old said to me 'It means the first wasn't a fluke!'
So, there we go. I am rewriting book two, and sending book one out to agents and publishers. I am trying not to refresh my email every two seconds. And failing. I'll let you know how I get on.
Probably from a secure unit somewhere...