About Me

Tollesbury, Essex, United Kingdom
I was born in the Summer of 1969 in Dagenham, just on the border of East London. School was largely unproductive but enjoyable, setting me up for something of a wayward but interesting life! On leaving school I had various jobs including putting up stalls at Romford Market, working in a record shop, putting up ceilings, gardening and road sweeping. After resigning from an insurance company to play in a band, I found myself unemployed for two years. Then finally I got back on my feet and I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1997. I wrote A Cleansing of Souls when I was 22 years old and followed it up with Tollesbury Time Forever almost twenty years later. I started writing The Bird That Nobody Sees in September 2011 and it was released in July 2012. In terms of writing, my heroes are Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. I would also include Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as literary influences. So that's me I guess - scruffy, happy and in love with literary fiction, music and life...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A bit of an update

Well my first batch of submissions for Tollesbury Time Forever have been notably unsuccessful. Eight submissions from the beginning of September have led to seven rejections with one verdict still awaited. I can't say I'm not just a little disappointed. So all sorts of thoughts have been going through my head as I guess they do with every person that has ever been in this position. The basic questions are:

  • am I just submitting to the wrong agents/publishers?
  • is the book just not good enough?
  • is there just not a market for it?
  • is it just a little too weird?
  • is there a conspiracy against me purely because I believe in angels?

Well I think the first one could be correct. The most common advice I have received from others is to research those people to whom the work is being submitted. I have tried but perhaps I need to try harder.

Is the book good enough? I believe it is. Call it confidence or arrogance or even misguided but I think it's a great book! As to whether there is a market for it - it has The Beatles, schizophrenia, cricket, alcohol and love all set in the loveliest of English villages. Perhaps I need to get the potential market over more in my submission.

Is Tollesbury Time Forever a little too weird? Probably...

Is there a conspiracy against me due to my angelic beliefs? More than likely...

So where does that leave me? After a short hiatus I intend to submit to more lucky publishers in the new year. I still have plenty of options and am still hopeful because, as I truly believe, Tollesbury Time Forever is a very good book.

In the meantime, I have been working on my latest novel, tentatively entitled "Not Only Birds Have Wings." And yes it is fairly weird too - if you consider a novel about midgets, angels, murderers and pool competitions to be weird...


David Barber said...

I'll probably be in the same situation next year, Stuart. Nobody ever said that this writing lark is easy. Keep plodding on. Remove all the negatives from your mind and keep those fingers working. At the end of the day, we are our own worst critics.

Onward, buddy!!!

Nick Wilford said...

Definitely don't give up, Stu. 8 rejections isn't a lot in the scheme of things. And that last one could be the one! I got 12 rejections and 3 non responses from agents for my first book. I probably would have kept going but I'd lost confidence in it a bit - although I thought some bits were good, there were significant parts that didn't work. If you have faith in your book and yourself then keep going. And there's always e-publishing - you stay in control and have no one to answer to. You have to do your own promotion but that is increasingly the case anyway!