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:
- ‘If it isn’t David it has to go‘ is a post I made in May 2010 when I was editing.
- ‘The cutting room floor’ is the post I made in July 2010 when I was editing some more.
- ‘It’s never the right time’ is a post I made in August 2010 when I decided finally that I was done editing. I was going to find me an agent.
- ‘A Mountain Lover’s Life’ is the post I made in November 2010 when I won representation from my agent, Annette Green
- ‘How many heads would a publisher need’ is my post about meeting Bloomsbury for the first time and falling a little bit in love (in a very professional way, of course).
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.
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!