Thursday, 8 December 2005

I burned quite a few lampfuls of midnight oil last night and completed the rewriting of chapter 2. I will give it a final spit and polish tomorrow evening (I'm too sleepy tonight and I could easily miss some silly little errors) and then get it printed off. The first two chapters are about 21,000 words, or 98 pages with the way I have set my margins.)

I really appreciate all the comments, and the thoughts about finding agents at this time of year. I am sure that now is not the best time for approaching publishers, who do, I believe, wind down somewhat in the run-up to Christmas, but I think that things are different for agents, particularly the smaller operations (a view that I am sure I saw stated by Miss Snark recently). If publishers are less responsive then now might be a good time to catch agents with more time to read - and I reckon that Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth is perfect for reading in front of a roaring log fire while the tendrils of a London Particular or the icy blast of a Cotswolds blizzard blows past one's window.

At this stage I am going to limit myself to UK-based agents. I don't plan to post all the gory details of whom I have approached on Wenlock. If and when I do find an agent (or indeed a publisher) who will deal with me I shall tell you about it, but for now it will be a matter of waiting and hoping.


UltimateWriter said...

Sorry as this question is a bit off topic but you blog's name sparked it. Is this anywhere near Much Wenlock, Shropshire? where Baron deCoubertin got the idea for the modern Olympics? tx for the forum.

Kate Allan said...

good luck with the querying. :)

Stephen said...

Ultimatewriter - or may I call you Ult? Wenlock takes its name from a (fictional) building in my novel called Wenlock House, which is the London home of the (doubly fictional) Earl of Wenlock. He, like many of my characters, takes his name from the Shropshire landscape. I wrote about a quarter of my first draft in a week spent alone in an isolated cottage near Wenlock Edge, immortalised in A E Housman's sequence of poems, A Shropshire Lad. Much Wenlock lies at the northern end of Wenlock Edge and I visited it during that week. In addition to an Olympic Trail that traces its links to the modern Olympic movement the town has a small but very good bookshop and a wonderful ruined Priory.

I am not the first person to take my characters names from that part of the world. Georgette Heyer used Stanton-Nacy and Presteigne as the names of two of her heyeroines, and Margery Allingham used the River Lugg to name her hero's unconventional chauffeur. This last is frustrating, as I have a character who cries out to be called Lugg, but is too similar to Allingham's to permit that.

Liz Harris said...

Good luck with your submissions to agents, Stephen.

Waiting for the postman to call becomes addictive: you long to know what the publisher/agent thinks, but equally you dread hearing their opinion. You can't properly relax until you have seen the day's mail.

When the postman finally calls with a yea or a nay, it leaves a void in your day - which can only be filled by another submission.


Mags said...

I can see the thinking behind sending out now: I would suggest sending using recorded delivery though, having lost a rewritten submission in the post once (and only uncovering the non-delivery when Itimidly emailed the editor to ask what he thought of the reworked proposal), I wouldn't risk anything in the current pre-Christmas melee without some tracking on it.

Although if an unscrupleous postie does steal it, you might get a reader!