Sunday, 18 October 2009
CHARMS VS SELF-BELIEF
I like to think I'm not superstitious, in the same way I'm not religious, and yet I do like the rituals of both camps, in some ways: I salute lone magpies; I can be quite moved by Mass at Christmas etc. And I have carried/used talismans for special requests: rose quartz to feel more loving, Sheela-na-Gigs for fertility, that kind of thing.
Anyway, while my novel was out doing the rounds of publishers over the years (yes, YEARS) every so often I would sort of pray to some higher power to help it on its way. Then I decided to 'make' a charm in the form of a collage to send positivity to the manuscript of the book as it went from publisher to publisher. (See image above.) That was probably about 3 years ago.
My novel is called You. I placed the title of the novel in a lovely blue sky, sitting on cloud 9. The arrows were to force it up and up above the real world into the stratosphere of the publishing world. It was a picture of positivity.
And still the rejections came. Lovely rejections, saying all sorts of nice things: some of them I would have been happy with as a review of the novel. But they were saying no, nonetheless. Still, I never lost faith in my novel - I felt it was good and that it worked, despite some publishers' reservations. My feeling was that it needed the right editor - someone who understood it and would champion it. I always thought that person would be a woman.
This year, at last, my novel found the right editor; she is the one who finally decided to take a chance. You will be published by the wonderful publishing house New Island in 2010.
Did my picture-talisman, perched on the sitting-room cabinet work? Well, no and yes. No, in that only dogged determination and self-belief will keep a rejected book being sent back out. Yes, in that seeing the picture reminded me daily not to lose faith and to keep on trying. The moral of the story for wannabe writers? Never give up.