Thursday, 28 April 2011


Morning all, from the glorious island of Corfu. Yes, even here, wedding fever has struck. I did receive my invitation but, I decided not to go as there is a good movie on the box that day and I look stupid in hats.
so, on to the blog hop question of today Becoming an author, being a new author, and aspiring to be one is a confusing time. What is the most “difficult” hurdle you’ve encountered on your journey to fame and fortune.

Mmm - let me see. I think my biggest hurdle was sorting out all the paper work involved in setting up my Caymen islands bank account.

I mean, the assistent I hired to held me deal with the trials and trubulations of literary fame and fortune turned out to be useless. She ran off with the local pita shop man.

Of course, when I first put pen to paper, I never imagined it was so difficult to get published. The writing is the easy part - that is , if you have a pc and a working knowledge word and formatting etc. I didn't. It was something I had to teach myself.

I was also under the impression that agents and publishers alike would be falling over each other in the desperate race to snap up my first manuscript. I believed more was the name of the game.

My intitial effort stood at a grand total of 170,000 words of messy, pov and head hop mistakes. I loved it. It is the tale to which I have most conennection. Now, as I have grown as a writer {ha ha ha}, I have dug out this wondrous epic tale and slashed it down to 80k and fixed, I hope, all the glaring faults.

I digress, [as usual}. Back to my hurdles. I soon learned it is almost, if not more, difficult to find an agent than a publisher. Simple; I hired my rabbit, Maximus Rabbitus, to be mine. He is wonderful. Always loves everything I write and takes no cut of my amassed fortune. Initially, I was going to keep him on a private retainer but I believe he is now open to submissions. He is only looking at works from all herbivours but will consider unusual material from dogs and cats.

Okay, so I have my agent and, bless his little white paws, he has managed to land me contracts with MuseItHot Publishing.

The next hurdle in my journey to superstardom is the promotion - the bane of most authors. Newbies out there - you can't get out of it. It will take up of your time but it can be fun and I quite enjoy it. My problem is I also hold down a full time job during the summer months and this can oft frazzle my writing brain. Oh but please don't think I work because I need the money {remember Cayman islands}. It is purely for research purposes that I put up with four months of abuse from irate tourists who complain that they haven't a jacuzzi in their room even though they paid a grand total of 10 euros a night half-board.

Back to being a writer. I suppose I ought to stick to the question and answer what I believe to be my biggest hurdle. I suppose, I would have to say trying to educate people. It's a hard task convincing folk the that era of the ereader is upon us and that authors published with smaller presses are just as talented as those who have contracts with the big boys. And then, of course, up goes the cry - are you going to be rich? Why can't folk understand that we write because.... well....we can and we love it. Anything on top is just frosting. Nice frosting, yes, but it isn't what drives us. Yes, Mrs Harry Potter hit the big time, as did Mrs Twilight and Mr. Davinci Code but, as well as having talent and damn good stories {a must} they were in the right place at the right time. Publishing is a highly subjective field. I once wrote a blog thst likened it to dog showing.It went something like this....

Basically the pub game reminds me so much of dog showing.
She has gone mad, I hear you all say; too much Greek sun and retsina. What do I mean about dog showing? Let me explain, my children.
Back in the 80’s, I showed Afghan Hounds and rather successfully. We had 3 dogs in the ring but our high flyer was a silver blue brindle that did extremely well at championship level, making it to Crufts two years running. {well I have to brag} He was a beautiful specimen of Afghan, adhering to the breed standard. He became known on the circuit for having the perfect head.
In a championship level show, there can be as many as 50 dogs in each class - all equally of a very high standard. How does the judge pick a winner? At the end of the day, when faced with a sea of breed perfection, it all comes down to showmanship, presentation and the judges’ personal preference for a certain line. I soon learned this.
William was always groomed to perfection. Daily road work ensured he possessed Spartan muscle tone. I made sure his lead’s colour accentuated his coat colour. I made sure I wore dark trousers to show off his silver coat. I spent hours lead training him so that when he strode out the crowd gasped. I dtudied the judges past record and didn’t bother entering under a judge who I knew didn’t like my dog’s particular breed line.
Is submitting not the same? Its all about catching an agents or readers eye, I have read many extracts on the various promo loops and while some of the story lines are not to my taste, all have one thing in common. All these authors can write. It is a matter of finding that magical ingredient that will catch an editor’s eye. This is something, I believe, can be learned. I know it took me a while.
When I think of the initial query letters and synopsis I sent out, I cringe. But I learnt from my mistakes. I learnt about showmanship and now I have found 'judges' who appreciate my " pedigree".
See? I am not loopy after all - well not much.

The point of this rant - writing is not for the faint hearted. Are you ready for the long, often demoralising road? Do you write because you love it. If you want instant fame, well...I'd give Simon Cowell a call.Not a bad idea; I shall write to him and ask him to setme up
Have fun.
Join in the blog hop here


  1. Your hurdles sound like mine! I guess if we can all keep a sense of humor, we'll get through it. :)

  2. Corfu....color me green with envy. Your agent is so cute. :)

  3. Thanks for the belly laugh...I loved nut, and surprisingly well informed instructor be it experience or words from the wise. Advice received and scheduled for mental implementation and readiness.

  4. Well my Cayman account shall fund my travels abroad this Great taxman write off all--perhaps the best fiscal part of this entire endeavour.
    I'll show my pedigree k-nine if you show me yours. ;)

    Christine London

  5. Your agent is adorable! :D

    Great post, I completely agree with all the hurdles you listed.

  6. Loved your take on Authorship. I'm in the same boat and am trying to keep my hat on as I 'enjoy' the ride! lol Thanks for sharing.
    C.K. Volnek

  7. I love your humor! And I want your agent. LOL.
    It seem like we all have the same frustrations along the way. Great post.

    Lawna Mackie

  8. Nuts, or not you are good, i hope you know that and leave Mrs Harry Potter with her own stuff (i bet she is spending all her money from Cayman for crappy VIP stuffs)

    and don't give away your Agent, he is the best.

    @Cristine: from the power the guys from the internet gave me I certify that Viviane Brentanos has a pedegree !!!!!!!! Amin!!!!

  9. @ciuspy. thank you, my dear. My best fan
    @ at all those who wish to share my agent. Please send him a query {from your pet, of course}

  10. I'm plopping my dog before the PC at this moment to send a query to your agent.
    Tell the bunny, no form letters, I hate those.

    Great post.

  11. Great post! But I have a complaint.

    Where's my jacuzzi?

    Do you think your agent will take a peek at my work and give it some bunny love? LOL

    Show him my post about Blog Hopping Bunnies I wrote for Easter last week...

    Thanks for visiting my blog here! Much appreciated. Hugs.