The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

26 October 2009

An International Mess

Now that I've finished my second book, I'm thinking about new query letters. My problem is, which country should I focus on? I'm from America, and my first book was set in Nevada, so it was obvious that I approach American agents for that one. (I haven't given up on it, by the way, just doing some retrenching and revision before I send out more queries). My second book, however, affords some additional opportunities. It's a fantasy detective story that isn't so clearly American, so I could approach publishers here in Australia (there are few literary agents in this country so it's still the norm to approach publishers) or I could try agents/publishers in the UK, since Australia falls within the Commonwealth. What to do?

This brings up another conundrum I encounter when writing: spelling. I work on two different computers, one set to American English the other to Australian. I'm constantly getting my wires crossed and mish-mashing words. I wrote some screenplays for practice with the BBC writer's room in mind, so those were obviously done with British spelling. "Seer" was done in American, the whole Nevada thing made it simpler to stay in that mindset, but my latest book is the mish mash. I suppose I'll have to do two versions and make sure I send the right one to whoever (if anyone) is interested--America, Australia or the UK.

You should hear my messed up accent (Southern parents, raised all over the Western U.S., college in Seattle where I picked up some Canadianisms, now 12 years in Australia)--I'm even worse off than my manuscript.

18 October 2009


Big relief when I finished the first draft of my new manuscript this weekend. I felt so light, I hadn't realized there was a 20 tonne weight on my back until it was gone. My first book was not a fluke. I may be a long way from being published, and I still have lots to learn, but at least I know I have the stamina to keep writing.

There's more editing to be done, plus I'm going back to work on the last manuscript now that I've a learned a bit more from my reading, but for the moment I'm savoring the accomplishment.

Now that I'm no longer looking at the keyboard, I see that Halloween is almost here. My favorite holiday! There are decorations to go up, pumpkins to be bought and cookies to be baked. Off I go to live a little.