Monday, 20 August 2007

Awards, Novels and Itching

First of all, many thanks to the rotten correspondent for her award of Creative Blogger. I am extremely honoured and grateful; very ego boosting start to the week.
I will pass this on to other bloggers in a day or two when I've had time to have a trawl.

Also many thanks for all those encouraging comments about my meanderings on writing fiction. I would like to clarify that I have not yet had a novel published (god dammit to hell) but one of these days I will. Unfortunately the decision whether to publish a book these days is nowadays down to the Marketing department and has less to do with the writing itself. Yes, I can write (all of us bloggers can do that) but nowadays unless an agent and publisher is convinced that what you write will sell, you’re not going to get published.

So what makes a book sell? Ah, well, there’s the conundrum. No one actually knows. It’s an indefinable thing, like falling in love. It either works or it doesn’t, and until the book’s out there, who knows whether people will want to buy it? There are certain factors which will help or hinder, however:-

Don’t write about cancer (my last boo boo)
Don’t write about people with an age gap (ditto)
Don’t write about the theatre or ballet (yes, another of mine)
Your main (female) character must not be over 40 (another mistake), preferably early to mid thirties -

And so the list goes on, with lots and lots of Dos and Don’ts about plot, characters, conflict etc. which I won’t bore you with. All of the above rules can be broken, of course, but not by me – or not yet. So this time I’ve tried to keep within the rules. I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Keep yours crossed too, would you? My baby is going off in the post today as soon as it’s stopped tipping down.

And many thanks for helpful comments about Mollie’s itching. As it’s on her back, she can’t scratch it with her claws so she hasn’t broken the skin, and a lot of the time it doesn’t bother her, but when it does, she gets very agitated. It’s not her anal glands as she had those done last week (a recurring problem, unfortunately, but one that I have now been shown how to do by the vet). I’ve decided to take her to the vet and made an appointment for tomorrow morning – they’re too busy today. In the meantime I’m off to buy moisturising shampoo and Aloe Vera. Will keep you posted on both babies.


Graham & Prince said...

I really hope that someone picks the novel up. And that little Mollie gets some relief from her itching!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, G & Co. So do I! But at the moment I'm more concerned about young Moll. No itching since 7am so perhaps that's a good sign? At least it's finally stopped raining so can post novel off.

Rebecca Taunton said...

It's a great shame that publishers run on sales alone, but I think it's the hugely competitive world that is at fault. There are so many writers nowadays that they have to take bets on who they think will make big profits. It's obvious (i.e. from Harry Potter, for one example) that these calculations/guesses are not always right.

I will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you FP.

I do hope that Mollie's okay.


Akelamalu said...

Fingers, legs, eyes and everything crossed for your book.

Hope you don't need a second mortgage to pay the vets! :(

The Rotten Correspondent said...

1) You completely deserve the award.

2) Everything is crossed for the book and will stay that way until further instructions are received.

3) Hope the shampoo works and you don't have to tangle with the vet (and the bill).

I'm feeling list-y...

Flowerpot said...

RT - yes the publishing world is in a crazy one - but it;s my choice so I only have myself to blame! Himself keeps saying why dont I take up something easier like motor racing. Thanks so much for the crossed fingers and toes, anyway! Am sure Moll will be fine but I do worry.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Ak. I'm hoping it'll just be a quick visit to vet's - their basic charge is £17 but I suppose she'll probably need ointment or something. Oh god - rather not think about it!

Flowerpot said...

correspondent - thanks so much for crossed everything. Hope it doesn't induce serious complications! Have got the shampoo, but I think vet is on the cards unfortunately!

Motheratlarge said...

Best of luck, Flowerpot, with the novel. It sounds as if you have a clear idea of what will appeal, which should stand you in good stead. I've got my fingers crossed for you. Hope Mollie's itching clears up okay too.

Miss Understood said...

Really? Not over 40?

Mark Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother' was superb, as was Anne Tyler's 'Breathing Lessons.' I guess you have to be an established author to pull it off though.

Good luck with the book. I'll cross everything for you...but only if I can have a signed copy! x

Flowerpot said...

MissU - yes, you do have to be well known to get away with breaking teh rules. And of course you can have a signed copy - If.....

PS Re your cat - there is a really bad infestation of fleas this summer. Could be that.

Flowerpot said...

Mother - thanks for that. All crossed fingers much appreciated - I need all the help I can get!