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Crossing Genres and Persevering

I’m doing a big girl squee at the moment. This is the cover for my new book, a paranormal crime set in Melbourne. I talk about  it here on my blog.

What’s nice about this book being accepted by new independent publishing house, ClanDestine Press, is that Lindy Cameron, the publisher, is an award winning writer in the crime genre. This means my book has met her standards.  It’s always particularly nice as a writer to have a fellow author say they like your book because they can see the frame-work holding up the artifice.

And it is good to get her stamp of approval for working in the crime genre. As a writer I find it hard to see myself as one specific genre writer. My reading tastes cross several genres. I write across a wide range of genres and age groups with around 30 children’s books published, ranging in age from early readers to YA, and in genre from contemporary comedy, to dark urban fantasy. My short stories have been mainly SF, horror and dark urban fantasy, rather than fantasy. (The two stories that were highly commended in the Year’s Best anthologies were horror and SF).

To differentiate this book (as if the cover weren’t enough) from my fantasy books, I’m publishing under RC Daniells.

Since this is a writers’ blog about the travails of writing, I thought I’d share with you the path that this book has taken to publication. I wrote the first draft when I was 23. Then I put it away for a dozen years and sent it out when I was 36 to the Harper Collins $10,000 Fiction Prize, where it made the long short list. Nothing came of that, so I put it away again. Then I thought of a way of updating it along two time lines so in my forties I created a second narrative thread, tying in the story set in the 80s, with a contemporary story. Now, all these years later, the book is seeing the light of day.

I guess, what I’m saying is that perseverence is a creative person’s greatest asset. Looking back, there was nothing wrong with the book I wrote at 23. The original story is still there embedded in the narrative with a phrase cleaned up here and there.  I could have given up and never written again, or given up on this story but I didn’t. I thought there was something worthwhile in it and, 30 years later, I’ve been proved right.

So for me, seeing this book accepted is particularly satisfying. I just wanted to share the buzz with fellow writers who would understand.

What’s the longest that you’ve held onto hope for a story/book before seeing publication?

6 Comments
  1. Years and years and still counting. You and Sarah give me hope for eventually publishing an actual novel.

    Although by the time I do, the industry will no doubt be a very different place.

    July 26, 2011
    • Pam, the industry and the world is different from 30 years ago, but people are still people and their concerns are universal. There will always be readers, even if the delivery of the ‘book’ is different.

      July 26, 2011
  2. There’s a short story I’ve redrafted a few times over a few years, and I sent it out to a few places once a couple years ago and have returned to sending it out recently.

    As for novels, I certainly haven’t gotten any published yet, but the one I’m rewriting now isn’t a recent one-it’s one I wrote three or four years ago that I’ve decided really can work, if I just fix it up a bit.

    This is a great story and it gives me hope that the project I’m working on right now will someday be published-even if it’s not for another ten years, until I’ve already published something else. Thanks for this post.

    July 26, 2011
    • Dianna, it is all about not giving up. You continue to grow and develop as writer. It’s not like being a sportsperson, who peaks at 25 and from then, everything is down hill. LOL
      Once you are writing at a certain level, it is luck and timing. So, here’s wishing you lots of luck with your writing!

      July 26, 2011
  3. Oh, and I love the cover.

    Do you, like, dance naked in the moonlight, to get the approval of the God of Book Covers?

    July 27, 2011

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