Finally, the verdict
Hurrah! Got my feedback… well, from my editor, anyway. The pages I sent to my agent were delayed by Britain’s creaking postal service so I need to wait a bit longer for that.
The comments from Kate at Orion are so useful and well expressed, even the negatives sound like positives. This way of working is very new to me, but I think that I’m becoming more ambitious in what I write, experimenting with different viewpoints and so on, so having editorial input is far more valuable than, say, with my first novel which was more straightforward.
What she had to say makes absolute sense and she also had some great news about the response The Starter Marriage is getting from the book trade after the proofs were sent out. It’s terrific to get this feedback, though I am trying not to expect too much. With 100,000 plus titles published every year, you have to be realistic about how much of an impact you’re going to make. But then authors have overactive imaginations, so it’s hard not to have flights of fancy about selling lots of copies and being on those tables at the front of every store…
So I am currently in the process of putting whole sections of Brown Owl’s Guide to Life into the first person, and working out how to prune back on some of the other characters’ stories. Kate’s right that there’s too much going on, as I currently have the stories of four women in the present day PLUS lots of flashback to the 1970s centring on the life of one of their mothers. And it’s a bit of a mishmash. It’s possible a better writer than me could pull it off, but I think maybe I’ve over-stretched myself. Still, keeps things interesting!
I have so many other projects in my head that I am a bit frustrated at never having the time to begin them, but never mind. There’ll be time once the book’s finished, which I guess will be around March/April for the first draft. Am slightly alarmed by the fact that my first book took me three months, and each subsequent one seems to take longer… but hopefully that also means I am getting better.
Other news. Well, it’s cold. I have Christmas shopping to do this weekend. Oh and next Tuesday we get news on all the BBC redundancies. But we still won’t know who’s for the chop till the New Year. My suggestion of doing it by surname lottery – ‘and the first people to go will be….’ Mark Thompson plucks out a letter of the alphabet from a tombola ‘everyone whose name begins with H’ – has been ignored. But it makes about as much sense as everything else they’re suggesting.
Have a great week,