A personal journey in writing, part 7

This part of my story doesn’t make for easy reading if you’re an author, aspiring or not – it doesn’t make for easy writing either. Dragging it all up again. Facing mistakes, learning from them, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

So much for the philosophers.

Life can be a little different.

So, I’d written what I thought was a good story. It was called ‘The Well of Despair’, and it was set on the Island of Alderney, and the discovery, by a young boy, of a mysterious well that held great powers. For young adults, the book mixed paranormal activities and murders in equal helpings, and I believed it was great fun. I’d certainly enjoyed writing it.

Now began the serious business of finding a publisher. As I’ve detailed previously, I went through all the traditional avenues and they were all as fruitless as they had ever been. I’d joined a couple of author-friendly sites, read some blogs, and through this grapevine I’d discovered Ralan. A good site this for fantasy, sci-fi and horror authors looking for ‘independent’ publishers. It was through them that I contacted a magazine that published horror. That was what everyone advised, you see. Write a few short-stories, get published, make a name. That way ‘the big boys’ will take notice of you.

Well, that was what I’d been told.

The magazine I chose was great. The editor, Steve, a real gentleman. Really supportive. He published a story I’d written and, although I wasn’t paid, I was out there. Swimming in the sea. Keeping clear of the sharks.

But not all sharks can be seen.

Some are stealthy.

So, buoyed up with self-confidence, I chose a seemingly good publisher and submitted my novel ‘The Well of Despair’.

The cover of my re-worked published novel ‘The Well of Constant Despair’

Then I waited. Whilst waiting, I clicked on a likely looking tab on one those Ning author sites. It was an agency that declared they would publish, offer advice, support. Everything for the ‘new author’. They emailed back within two days of my submitting. It was a huge email, I had to print it out. And it was weird. No other word for it really. Overly friendly, too familiar, not business like at all. They seemed to offer so much, and the waxed lyrical about how brilliant my work was, how they could certainly represent me, etc, etc. Needless to say, I didn’t pursue that particular avenue, despite them offering me the world. Yes, they almost certainly guaranteed that they could get me published. All I needed was for them to edit my work first, because there were ‘one or two things’ that needed smoothing out. Sounds great, yes? We need a good editor, a new eye to glance over what we’ve done. Except they wanted about two thousand pounds to do it.

So, they went in the bin.

But that was not my lesson learned. Far from it. Because about four weeks later, I got a reply from the publisher I had contacted through Ralan. They wanted to see my whole book. My heart was in my mouth as I read through the wording of their email over and over again ‘we very much like what you have done, and wish to read the rest of your story. Please submit the entire manuscript by return’. It was just what they wanted, and they gave me links to their web-site. With trembling fingers, I typed in the URL and sat back, mouth agog. It looked great. A real horror-type one – dark and foreboding, with photos of ghouls and vampires. And their staff. Artists, chief editors, sub-editors, publicity, advertising. WOW! This was it. If I could get with this crowd, I’d be made! Move over JK, I have arrived.

Except…I was a long way from arriving anywhere. In fact, I was to soon find myself spiralling out of control, all hopes and dreams dashed…Yes, I really was about to begin a journey into an absolute nightmare.

If you want to learn more about my Young Adult fiction, written under the pen-name Glenn Stuart visit www.glennstuart.co.uk.

My adult fiction titles are detailed in my Stuart G Yates website, where you can also read an extract from my latest thriller BURNT OFFERINGS: www.stuartgyates.webs.com

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