Saturday, 7 September 2013

Never give up - The one mantra every writer should have


Tenancious wee guy - "Nobody is stopping me from getting that cheese."
Of all the mantras that writers have, that's probably the most important because most of the time your work won't get picked up right away. That was the case with How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks.

The road to publication has been a long and winding road for the short novel I wrote 3 years ago.

Back in March 2010, I saw a snippet of news in Writer's News magazine about a publisher looking for women to write "violent revenge fiction." I cut it out and filed it away for later. Up until that point, barring a few published short stories I'd stuck to fiction.

A few months later, this image came into my mind of a one-legged woman (I didn't give her a prosthetic leg deliberately to make her different; she came to me that way) standing over a man who had a stiletto heel embedded into his skull and Kirsty was born. I started writing, asking myself the  question's
"How did she come to be in this position?"
"Who was Kirsty?"

The answers came quickly - she was a Glasgow barmaid and she'd just killed one of Jimmy McPhee's goons after he'd got a bit too handsie. Now I had my story. Kirsty had to go on the run because McPhee would come after her and to protect herself she'd steal the gun he had in his safe and his cash.

Within a few months, I'd written the book and sent it off to the publisher. A few weeks later, I had a publishing contract. Cue happy dance and the best Christmas present ever.

Hey, that sounds easy. But then as the publication date loomed, I'd heard nothing. Received no edits, so I got in touch and was told publication had been delayed and it wouldn't be out until later. A few months later and it was the same story.

Almost a year later, came the bombshell. The person who commissioned the book got in touch. They were leaving the publisher and taking the imprint with them and they hoped to set up on their own. The little hope I had was crushed when I never heard from them again.

The book never came out and after some toing and froing, I realised it never would. The two years on my contract expired and my hopes and dreams came to an end.

In the meantime, I wrote a self help title, my zombie novel Dead Bastards and Hell To Pay, the first in a series of books I'd called Die Hard for Girls. I also finished the second novella in the Die Hard for Girls series.

I never gave up on Kirsty though. I wanted people to read her story. She was a real person to me. One day, I even thought I saw her.

I had strong interest from one publisher who later decided the book was too short. Another wanted me to add to the text and they'd look at it again. Another said it wasn't the kind of book they published, but their "friend" would format it as an eBook if I gave them 500 pounds. Obviously, I declined.

A month ago, it was turned down by one of Stephen King's publishers. I'd sent it off in the early hours of the morning to avoid the "I'm not worthy" pull that'd prevent me from pressing the dreaded SEND button.

The comments about why it wasn't right for them - that it was gonzo and over the top, Tarantino like - sounded more like endorsements to me than admonishments.

check out their website

Snubnose Press must have thought so, because they offered me a contract which I duly accepted, delighted to be onboard with such a classy outfit that are kicking down crime fiction doors.

Kirsty's damn pleased too. She's gonna get her kicks and boy, is she gonna have a ball. Hey, she's even gonna jump out of a cake. You'll need to read the book to find out why.

You'll need to wait to read why Kirsty jumps out of a cake:)
Footnote - another mantra writers should have is not to get ripped off. A publisher proclaiming "not to be a vanity publisher" wanted 500 smackers to publish Kirsty. Well, I guess you can Tell what Kirsty said to that. Hell, I've got no control over that gal.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on sticking with it and getting the result you wanted.


DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

One lost girl. A bus full of secrets -'My new WIP

One lost girl. A bus full of secrets - My new WIP #amwriting