A writer’s life is a waiting game. This month, I’ve been in various stages of waiting, but the main wait (and for perfectly good reason) was for a title and cover to be finalised.
If you’re an unpublished author, following the traditional route, you’ll be waiting for that email offering agent representation, or a ‘yes, please’ from a publisher. A close cousin of waiting is hoping. Depending on which way things roll, hope can turn to joy or disappointment. Overall, hanging on for the cover, the final edits, the agent, the deal, represents the hidden, frustrating side of the business and, occasionally, it can be wearing, if not downright exhausting. So what to do to avoid going stir crazy? This is not a formula for all but, for me, this worked:
I gardened. I walked. I shopped (not for food). I spent time with friends and family, and read a couple of books, about one of which at least two trusted people asked me: ‘Why are you reading that?’
I should explain that the author has a problematic past – and this is an understatement – but when said author wrote a ‘best selling and international bestseller’, I wanted to know what all the fuss about. I should also add that I’d had an encounter with the author who, in a previous life, was a commissioning editor who allegedly wanted to sign me up with a major publisher only for the deal to fall through for obscure reasons. Anyway, I digress. Casting aside every preconceived idea, dare I say prejudice, the fact is I loved the novel, but felt extraordinarily guilty for doing so, which is why I’m neither mentioning the author nor the book by name. Perhaps I’m being unfair, silly or cowardly. Like I said: waiting can make you stir crazy. The truth is it hardly matters a jot whether I endorse the novel or the author. With a movie in the offing and fantastic book sales, he is doing quite nicely without a pat on the back from me.
But back to waiting: good news: I now have a title for my new novel with Harper Collins: ‘Her Sister’s Secret’. The cover looks glorious but I’m not allowed to spoil the reveal just yet. Can’t wait.