This week, my new adult novel, first in a big new series called Trinity, is coming out.
I’m going to be celebrating even more than usual, because this one’s had a long hard road to publication, with nearly four years and several rejections before it was accepted. Even though I’m a well-established author with many books to my name, it looked like this one was fated to remain homeless. ‘Too different’ seemed to be the verdict. A mix of urban fantasy, romance and conspiracy thriller, set in modern Russia, it was outside of my usual genre of YA fiction, and clearly also outside the comfort zone of many publishers.
But I was unwilling to give up.
I really believed in this book. Writing it had been a challenging, enriching and extraordinary experience and its characters and world haunted me.
It was a risky book to write, in all sorts of ways, but deeply thrilling, and I knew there were readers out there who would love it like I did. So I hung on, and in between writing other books, I kept revisiting the novel.
I sent it to good friends who are also writers and listened carefully to their advice and suggestions, and was greatly heartened by the fact they were immediately gripped by the story. I refined it, sculpted it, trying to re-read it with fresh eyes. When we went back to Russia the second time, in 2012, (this time, knowing enough Russian to keep up basic conversations) I rewrote entire paragraphs and even chapters, folding in new impressions of the country and culture into it, waiting for the right moment to send it out once again.
And then that moment came, and so did the right publisher. Joel Naoum of Momentum Books read it, loved it, and ‘got it’ immediately. It was such a thrill, reading his email about my ‘amazing manuscript’ , talking to him in detail about it, and later, meeting the rest of the Momentum team who clearly loved the book, and the idea of the series, as much as he did.
I’ve had a lot of acceptances over the twenty-four years I’ve been a published author, with more than sixty books to my name. And every book is special to me. But this one feels especially sweet, and sitting at my desk writing the sequel as I wait for the first book’s release, I am filled with deep satisfaction. Trinity has found the best possible home. It was well worth the wait.
This experience taught me once again why, as a writer, you should not give up. [Read more…]