How things play out – aka, why it’s taken nearly 11 years to publish Glass Block

I’m inches from publishing my first full-length novel under my own name, and I was going to kinda let it pass without comment, and then I thought ‘I think I wanna talk about this’.
The following is a bit maudlin, a bit ‘ow, crossed legs’ for writers, a bit dumb luck and a bit scary really.  So if you wanna skip it, I understand.
But this is the story of Glass Block.

Where it all started

One evening, around October of 2003, which was about three months after I’d kicked my ex out, and just before the Nanowrimo in November, I was parked in my usual place, in the bath, and Elliot came to visit.  I came back from that bath with seven stories to write, which I dutifully noted down in a private post on my Livejournal.  And filed it for the Nanowrimo.
The Nanowrimo led to me meeting my beloved in a very roundabout way, but Elliot was stuck to me like glue.  In fact, in the first few months of our relationship, said now fiancee commented at least once that he was sharing me and was really quite scared (or pretended to be) when I told the merry-go-round story.  But Glass Block sat.  And sat.

Still hearing voices, three years later

(not to be flippant about hearing voices – I do have problems with what is considered psychosis as well, but if you can’t joke about it…)

So, Elliot’s book series expanded from seven to I think 21 in the years between meeting the other half and starting at Uni (including a house move – a really major one about err…400 miles south).  That was 2007.
Meanwhile…

Glass Block went out to a press in 2005.  Press loved it.  Press closed.
Glass Block went to a senior editor at a really big publishing house.  Was accepted.  Imprint curtailed when editor left.  Three year wait.  At the time, I thought I’d find somewhere else (in 2008).  Oooops.
Glass Block got rewritten and went to another house.  House closed.
In that time I ghostwrote other stuff.  I watched those books do stuff.  I worked with people.  I moved into non-fiction.  I went to Uni and did a degree (where, critically, I just solidified how I used voice – I got so much from that course, and I’ll be forever grateful).  Last house that took it, I got a tiny advance, and then three weeks later, the owner was killed in an accident.

So, I went self-publishing.

You’d think the litany…

Would end?  Nope.  So far, the book has been pirated before it was released, and made me rewrite it again, I’ve been in my first ever car accident and damaged my shoulder so badly that I couldn’t write, and most recently, the server we were on was hacked the week I took off to finish up.  Normally, I’d back off after that and leave the book alone, then take another run at it, but Elliot’s been wandering around singing songs, and niggling at 4am, so here I am, at t-6 days, telling people the horror story that is my attempt to publish the book I adore more than anything else in my literary world.
Book outline swelled to 30 then stalled.  And I thought that was it, till a really innocent comment by one of my university tutors…It currently stands at 59, and I suspect most of my sci-fi (the ones planned anyway) have something to do with the computer system I talk about in the books, in which case, it’s more like close to 100 books in one universe.

Whatcha think?  Would you have given in or be even more determined to get the book out?
(wanna know more about the book?  )

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6 Responses

  1. J M Cornwell says:

    I had a similar set of circumstances with my first book, although it only took 10 years to get to press and be published. I didn’t give up and I’m glad you haven’t given up either. Sometimes it takes time and, if you want the book to be published, you have to believe and keep flogging away until it sees print.

  2. Lynda Dickson says:

    Wow, talk about perseverance! Congratulations on hanging in there. I wish you all the best. By the way you might want to fix “the book” link above – it’s not working!

  3. Katie says:

    I came into your life just before Elliott and have lived his journey with you. If ever there was a test on determination to publish, you aced it! 🙂

  1. February 21, 2013

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    […] Glass Block. The story behind the book of a very determined writer. 2. Here is an article on children and reading in the digital age. 3. […]

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