Papering over the cracks
I received a proof copy of my second YA novel for Piccadilly Press the other day. It’s called Cracks and comes out in May 2012.
I started to write this one well before my first book, Dark Ride , was accepted, and I wanted to tell you a bit about how it all came about.
It was Christmas 2009 and I had just been through a bruising round of submission and rejection with Dark Ride. I was seriously starting to wonder if I would ever get published. Looking back at my diary from that time, I wrote this:
Have nothing to say on creative stuff…just a big tumbleweedy, miserable feeling about it all.
So I wallowed for a bit. Then I wallowed a bit more. Then I got heartily sick of wallowing. After a while, a desire to get stuck in to another story started to take over.
I’m absolutely desperate to write something now. I’m so fed up with not having a writing project on the go. I’ve got to stop obsessing about writing something the market wants and just write SOMETHING…..
And then just like that, there was some sort of mental shift. By that same evening I said..
I find myself thinking more and more about an idea for something called Cracks. I’m imagining a boy who keeps seeing huge cracks and chasms appearing in the world that no one else can see.
Just like that, I was off and writing again. It’s true what people say. Getting stuck into a new book was instant pain relief for that bruised-all-over feeling.
I got the book deal for Dark Ride about five months later, by which time I’d written a fair chunk of Cracks and was able to show it to my new editor. Very happily for me, this was accepted too.
Writing Cracks was no easy ride though and I ended up tearing my hair out in several drafts, trying to make the story work. My poor editor can testify that there were many days when I wailed, ‘I can;t do it!’ But somehow, between us, we got there in the end and I’m very proud of the final result.
The moral of this tale? When those rejections keep pinging into your Inbox or landing with a horrible thud on the doorstep, there really is only one way to ease the agony. Start something else.
[Oh and if anyone ever tries to say that publishing a second book doesn’t have the same excitement and thrill as the first? They’re lying.]