What next?

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I planned to mark the first anniversary of beginning my blog by posting a review of my writing year on 1st January. I missed the deadline. (Don’t you hate it when deadlines shift themselves?). Life and influenza got in the way (well, influenza is probably a bit dramatic …). Anyhow, later than intended, and not the post I’d planned, here’s the review I wouldn’t have foreseen (if I’d happened to be a foreseer) just over twelve months ago.

As 2013 morphed into 2014, I made a decision that still sneaks up and astonishes me today; I decided to publish my novel, “Strong as Death”, as an ebook. Having received rejections from agents (the decisive one being the subject of my first ever post), it struck me that waiting for strangers to approve of my writing and tell me I was allowed to bring it to a wider audience than that of those who love me because they are a) married to me b)related to me c) friends with me, was a bit like waiting to win the lottery when you hadn’t bought a ticket. That decision made, within twenty four hours I’d created a Facebook account and started a blog. Not knowing how to do anything on a computer apart from word process and emails, my daughter sat beside me and told me what to do; that’s how I ended up with the name julialundauthor, which felt rather presumptuous to me, but, as she said: ‘That’s what you are’.

In February 2014, I made “Strong as Death” available on Amazon. People began to buy it. And review it. As well as the review support I received from the blogging community, readers I don’t actually know began putting positive reviews on Amazon. I even received a few letters, which somehow found their way to me, in which people said very encouraging things about the book and my writing. In response to reviews and feedback, I then made some adjustments to the formatting and updated the cover.

Garden room planning Jan 2015

Garden room planning Jan 2015

In May of 2014, I finished writing my novel, Selkie, which I began during the summer of 2013. The manuscript had some initial interest from an agent, but they chose not to take it further ‘at this stage’. However, the feedback they provided was invaluable and set me on a path I hadn’t planned, that of seeking professional editorial advice. After much research and some raiding of my meagre savings (which, I reasoned, I’d otherwise just spend on a care home in my dotage), I commissioned a full editorial report, which included a face to face meeting with the editor, on Strong as Death. I have now redrafted and, as the result is being proof read at the moment, am having a new cover designed. If all goes to plan, the second edition will be available to mark the first anniversary of initial publication. Not much has changed in the book, just a couple of structural points. As for “Selkie”, in the light of what I learned from the editorial report on “Strong as Death”, I plan to redraft it in the next few weeks, with my eye on March for publication. But you know how these deadlines drift …

In the meantime, I have begun planning a trilogy that has been in my mind for a couple of years, but I felt I needed some stand alone novels under my belt before tackling such a major project. My hope is to develop it enough to apply for some Arts Council funding that would come in very useful to see the books come to completion. The deadline for applications is early February. Given how much I need to do before then to get my submission ready, it’s a long shot, but not as long as winning the lottery without buying a ticket …
My writing progress has been slower than I would have wished during 2014, due in the main to the fact that in April of that year I was finally diagnosed with a condition that impacts greatly on the energy I have at my disposal. So, as my doctor works with me and 2015 unfolds, here’s to shifting deadlines and year reviews that contain the very best of the unforeseen and the unplanned.

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21 thoughts on “What next?

  1. I’m so pleased for you Julia and health permitting, because you won’t let it stand in the way, you are going to go from strength to strength – no pun intended.
    I enjoyed Strong as Death and I’ll be right there at the front of the queue when you get Selkie published. I think you could do with making an appearance on our Indie Author Review Exchange group my friend and get a link to Stong as Death on there.
    Keep it going girl and have a great writing year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That group I mentioned is on Facebook of course and it’s only a couple of months old, it’s now got 160 members. If you’d like to be a part of it, let me know and I’ll add your email to get you invited in. It’s probably the only time when ‘exposure’ is a good thing … 🙂

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  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your health issues but, like Tom, I’m sure you’ll keep plowing ahead.
    I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read Strong As Death yet, but I purchased it some time back, and it’s on my “to read” list. I’ve been so involved in my own writing, I haven’t been reading near as much as I’d like to. Most of my “for pleasure” reading–actually listening–is done by audio books on my commute to and from work.
    2014 wasn’t a fruitful year for me. Though I queried many agents, I couldn’t pique the interest of a single one re my novel. Sooooo….I have made the decision to self-publish via CreateSpace and Amazon. Tom encouraged me to so so awhile back, and I wish I had taken his advice then.
    Right now, my manuscript is in the hands of an editor. Like you, I want my baby to be in its best possible shape before presenting it to the world.
    Enough about me…
    Best of luck to you, Julia. I think you’re a wonderful writer and that soon a whole hell of a lot of people will discover that fact.
    Here’s to a new year and to us growing number of indie authors. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is wonderful news about your book. I can’t wait to read it. Don’t worry about not reading Strong as Death yet; you could wait for the second edition. I have piles of books to read. A friend of mine listens to audiobooks and swears by them. My commute is only 10 mins so I think I’m quicker doing it the long-winded way! Thanks so much for your support.

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  4. I think it’s amazing what you’ve managed to achieve in 2014 and it sounds like you’ve got a good plan in mind for this year too, which is half the battle. Hope your health doesn’t get in the way of you achieving all you want to this year! I’ve very much appreciated your support over the last year, though I haven’t written a huge amount. Very much looking forward to keeping up the contact.

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