My Second Novel (The One that Made it.)

I haven’t blogged about ‘My Novel,’ for a long while now and that’s mainly because there was nothing to say about the first one, as I waited for agents and publishers to take it on. They didn’t and in the meantime I started to write another.
I thought it would be the sequel to the first but I awoke one morning with a completely different, virtually perfectly formed novel in my mind which I sat down to write that very morning and had completed inside six months.
Those who read the first drafts said the same as they had about the first, everything was complimentary except this time, there seemed far more feeling in their words. As though they liked the first one but had reservations which they didn’t have about ‘From the Edge of an English Summer.’
This encouraged me to submit to agents and publishers again, only this time I had a time limit. If no one had taken the book by June, I would self-publish. There were two main reasons for this, the first that I didn’t want to sit indefinitely waiting again and the second and most important, my mother was getting older and I wanted to be able to put a finished book in her hands, for her to see it and hold it.
Whilst the agents and publishers replied with words of appreciation and encouragement, no one took up the option and on December 1st I launched the book on Kindle. Fortunately, the paperback copies were available to order before that as Mum passed away on the 1st, a copy of ‘From the Edge of an English Summer,’ on her bedside table.
So far, I have been flattered at the way the book has sold. The bulk of them to people here in the UK but copies have been bought as far afield as the US, Canada and Australia. There’s no other language version of it, so I can’t expect sales in other European countries but it would be good to crack the English speaking part of the Indian market.
I’m immensely grateful to those that have already bought it and the response from those who have read it has been tremendous.

I leave you with several examples of what they’re saying about From the Edge of an English Summer:

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well told.
1 February 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a difficult book to define, so I’m not going to try. It’s charmingly set, well written and, after getting the main characters defined, moves along at a decent pace. The plot has integrity and addresses an important issue in our society. Well worth a read.

“streety1”
5.0 out of 5 stars
Funny, good plot and a real page turner.
13 January 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Couldn’t put this down as the plot kept me intrigued but was also very funny. Great characters and looking forward to the next book to see what other adventures they have.

Clare H
5.0 out of 5 stars
What an incredibly well-written novel!
2 December 2018
Format: Paperback
The plot is fast-paced with some very amusing scenes, particularly with Lydia. It’s hard to decide who is my favourite character, but she is brilliant! Lydia is the typically lacking-in-understanding wife of Julian, the narrator. She is horrified at his leap from corporate banker to the depths of society and is appalled by his new acquaintances.
Set in and around Chelmsford, Essex (with a couple of fictional places thrown in) each character is perfectly built and you have empathy with those seeking justice but also with Lydia who is totally bemused by the change in her husband. Wordsworth is a complex character who has chosen a very unorthodox way of life. Julian is trying to establish himself as a writer and to find meaning to his life having worked for years making more money than he knows what to do with.
Julian blunders into a situation he could never have imagined himself in and bumbles his way through, determined to ‘do the right thing.’ The story takes him into some very sticky circumstances, some of which I am sure he will never let Lydia learn of.
Wordsworth is the local tramp, who has begrudgingly allowed Julian to befriend him. They realise there is something amiss with a group of young girls they see each morning and determine to put matters right. Their exploits put them in serious danger and the suspense had me on the edge of my seat, breath held.
For anyone wondering whether to buy ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ I can highly recommend it!

Waiting

impatience
So after many re-writes, the results of critiques, readings and suggestions the novel is complete. However, there’s still the synopsis and cover letter to write. These must be undertaken with great care, you only have one shot at trying to impress the agent or publisher. Time seems to be swallowed up by constant unsatisfactory stabs at creating the perfect letter when you don’t know what perfect is. Eventually though, everything is lined up and I have now submitted my novel. I’m entering the receiving of rejections phase which I felt prepared for, until I was informed the other day, it took Agatha Christie four years to get The Mysterious Affair at Styles published. Four years? I can’t wait that long!!
But…I am waiting.

Celebration Number 1 (I hope)

 

 

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One of my favourite cow photos.

 

Well I’m buzzing and the sun is shining. At last the first draft of my novel is complete and has been unleashed on half a dozen readers. Hopefully they will come back with the flaws, weaknesses and omissions and after a final polish, I can start approaching agents and publishers.

Titled “For Society’s Sake,” it is a crime novel which switches from the island of Madeira to Britain and back again in the hunt for a mysterious gang of vigilantes who are imposing their own brand of justice on criminals they feel the state hasn’t dealt with adequately.  It features Inspector Tandy and his side kick Curly White who have appeared in many of my short stories, but this is their first time in a full length novel.

In other news, the first draft complete and the girlfriend out of town, there was no excuse left to put off painting the kitchen ceiling any longer. The result, glasses like speckled eggs, paint in places the law of physics states it shouldn’t be able to reach and a seriously aching arm. Conclusion: I am no painter and decorator. And after all that, I read the tin and it says I have to give it a second coat!

A bit of good news though, the lawn mower won’t start.