Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Security Blanket

As mentioned in About Us, I’m at the stage in my writing where it is time for me to seek representation. My novel is so polished it could give a diamond a run for its money and I’ve confidence in my work. But just because the book is ready doesn’t mean I am. Time for homework.

The way I did mine was to stock up on the best publishing books, a copy of the Writer’s Handbook (or The Writer’s Bible as I think of it) and read query and synopsis tips till my eyes bled.

This isn’t a post on how to put together the perfect submission packet or how to write the feared and dreaded query letter. It’s about a question I haven’t been able to get out of my head since reading The Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Rachel Stock.

Why do you want to publish your book?

Sounds an easy question, right?

Go on, answer it then.

It’s a question all agents and editors will ask you, and the answer you give in return is vital. Is it for money? Fame? Because your mum said it was good enough to be published? It would look nice on your desk? To have your work out there in the real world? For me, the answer was an odd one – one I didn’t even realise was true until the thought was there.

I want to be published because I want to be someone’s security blanket.

I can’t remember when I first read The Nanny by Melissa Nathan, but I remember how I felt. The warm, squishy feeling that comes with reading a deliciously romantic story, the spark of attraction with a hunk of a leading man, the awe from knowing I held something special in my hands.

Even now when I’ve had a bad day, feel blue, or just want to spend time with old friends, I pluck The Nanny from my over-crowded shelf and dive into Melissa Nathan’s charming and intoxicating world. That book is my only security blanket. I always know exactly where it is when I need it, as I inevitably do sooner or later.

And that is why I want my book published.

I want to evoke the same feelings in someone else that Melissa Nathan did in me. I want someone to close my book with a smile on their face – to gush on the phone about it, to insist their friends go out right now and get a copy. I want to make people happy. I want people to fall in love with my characters; smile when they smile, laugh when they laugh…hurt when they hurt.

Most of all, I want people to reread my book. To be unable to part with it. To pass it in a bookshop and smile, touch the cover and remember how they felt when they read it for the first time.

P xx


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