Claire King


Jumping for Joy

Posted on: January 18th, 2011 by Claire - 52 Comments

It’s really true! My novel, The Night Rainbow, will be published by Bloomsbury, Spring 2013!

This post is a moving feast as I try to answer some of the questions you’re all asking.

In the meantime, thank you to my agent, Annette Green and to Helen Garnons-Williams, my new editor at Bloomsbury, for believing in The Night Rainbow.


How long has this taken you?

I started thinking about writing The Night Rainbow sometime in 2009. I actually started writing it at the end of that summer. By spring 2010 I had a full first draft, about 75,000 words. And then I started this blog, so you can follow some of my deliberations:

So, in terms of timings: Writing the book – about a year; Finding an agent – about two months; Agreeing to an offer of representation – about two more months; From there to publication – about two more years!


2013? But that’s AGES away!

It does seem like that doesn’t it? But my understanding is that the average time is around 18 months, so it’s just a little longer. One of the things that frustrates a lot of authors in their search to be published is finding publishers who love their book, but whose list is already full. And there is only so much time and money in the budget. Debut novels are a particular case – the marketing effort is also launching an author’s career. In my case, Bloomsbury, even though they loved my novel, had already filled their 2012 quota for debut novelists and so they proposed the following year. Of course I discussed the other options with my agent, but after having met Helen, Erica and Alexandra at Bloomsbury I was pretty convinced I could wait a few more months if it meant having these people launch my first novel and hopefully a great future.


What did you talk about when you met your editor-to-be?

We talked about me – what brought me to France, the fact I had a blog (seen as a good thing), my writing to date and plans for the future. We talked about The Night Rainbow – what people at Bloomsbury loved about it, the different reactions from different readers, one particular editorial suggestion, how it compared to other novels, were there any elements of truth in it, what marketing for it might look like etc. We talked about the fact that the 2012 list was definitively closed, and the quandary that this posed…

And then I had to go and sleep on it. And Helen would go back to the Tuesday meeting to discuss it all further.  Would I get the best Christmas present ever?


What happens next?

I’m not entirely sure! Contracts are being drawn up and will be signed, and then there will be work to be done. A good glimpse into the future can be had at Vanessa Gebbie’s blog here where she is charting the same journey!

And thank you for being interested in all this!

52 Responses

  1. Pete says:

    Well done Claire. Looking forward to reading it but it’s going to be a bit of a wait though. Look forward to hearing more about it.

  2. Rebecca says:

    That’s fantastic news Claire. Congratulations! Enjoy that well deserved feeling I can see in your post 🙂

  3. Martha says:

    Huge congratulations – very pleased for you and looking forward to seeing your new cover.

    • claire says:

      Thank you! I’m so excited about the cover! What will it be? Oh the suspense (although I suspect my artwork may be a long way down the list given the long lead times to publication).

  4. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Helon Garnon-Williams just bought my great friend Vanessa Gebbie’s novel too, clearly an editor of peerless taste!

  5. Charlie says:

    Psst. There’s a bot of the widow Cliquot’s finest in the fridge, all ready. Oh, and two more of something rather more gluggable.

  6. D.J.Kirkby says:

    I am looking forward to reading your post with all the details. I think the title of your book is incredibly beautiful!

    • claire says:

      Thank you Denise. Details coming soon. I’m so glad you love the title (Gosh, I hope they don’t want to change it!). Hope you’ll love the story too!

  7. I am so pleased for you Claire. Many, many congratulations. xx

  8. Sherri says:

    That’s fantastic news, Claire. Really well done! x

  9. Congratulations! Well done!

  10. Catherine says:

    Congratulations!!! Wonderful news. 🙂

  11. FANTASTIC. What brilliant news. So inspiring while I’m slogging through the next draft. Congratulations.

  12. D.J.Kirkby says:

    Just read through the update and links (instead of writing). Congratulations again, you have done something very special.

  13. Jessica says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading your book 🙂

  14. As a fellow writer I admire your success and may it bring you even more. Congratulations.

  15. Kerry says:

    Huge congratulations Claire. Your process, including the timings, is similar to mine with Chatto for my debut – both thrilling and terrifying in turns don’t you think?

    Only just found your blog but very much looking forward to having a squirrel about now!

    • claire says:

      Hello Kerry! Funny I was just looking at your website & blog too. Love the sound of your novel and the title, hate the smell of Findus Crispy Pancakes! Hope to follow you over the next year or so to launch! As you say, thrilling and terrifying…

  16. Rebecca Emin says:

    I can’t begin to say how excited I am for you. This is wonderful. I hope that you enjoy the glow of joy for as long as possible!

  17. Irene Mathias says:

    Claire – looking forward to hearing more about the book and, even better, reading it when it’s published! If I send you my copy will you autograph? 🙂


  18. I haven’t followed your journey to publication right from the start but it’s been exciting following what part of it I have. It’s great to get an insight into how it works – and inspiring and motivating to hear that it does still work, when there is so much doom and gloom around for unpublished writers to read.

    Congratulations again, Claire and look forward to reading more on the blog to keep me going until I can read the book itself.

  19. Simply brilliant news! Many, many congratulations!


  20. Ooh, this is so exciting. And Bloomsbury! There’s something so romantic and lovely about Bloomsbury books.

  21. claire says:

    There is isn’t there? I can’t put my finger on it but I know what you mean!

  22. Hi Claire
    Many many congratulations again – lovely to ‘meet’ another Bloomsbury ‘baby’ – and to be able to follow your fab-sounding novel through its journey to publication. It is so exciting, all this. I keep thinking I will wake up soon.
    I was looking back on my meeting (on first Monday in December – a red-letter day!) – and of course, Helen was key – knowing she understood my book absolutely was an indescribable relief. I’d asked to see the sales and marketing people too – so important – and so nice but sharp with it.
    But (and this will sound v silly…) it was the reception room that started selling this author the publishing house. Lined with shelves, floor to ceiling -all those iconic names! And the thought of my little book sitting there with them. It felt a bit like coming home.


    Back to tidying son’s room now!

    • claire says:

      It doesn’t sound silly at all. The reception room blew me away. I’d been invited to take a seat and wait to be collected but I couldn’t help pulling books off shelves…all that talent and all those beautiful covers *sigh*

  23. Wow, so exciting! Congratulations, I will look forward to reading your book when it comes out.

  24. […] Regretfully, we do not feel that your work fits into that category.” several months after Annette sold my novel to Bloomsbury doesn’t have the sting to that it would if I were still looking for an agent. But it’s […]

  25. claire says:

    Thank you, Chris! I’m over the moon!

  26. […] on how long the agent thing took, you can click the link. And yes, it took over two years from signing my contract to my book launch, which is still 4 months off. And do you know what? 21 months ago, my launch date […]

  27. Bellanda ® says:

    Congratulations, Claire! Thank you for sharing your experience. Lovely to see you will get the recognition you deserve.

    Best wishes,

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