Diary of a Newbie Novelist

By JaneIsaac Diary of a Newbie Novelist Comments Off on Diary of a Newbie Novelist

Late June 2011

At a talk last year, Stephen Booth shared with his audience – it took eighteen months to find a publisher with his first novel. He is now a successful author in the crime genre with over seven novels published. So, I was in it for the long haul.

My novel submissions took a couple of early passes from the independents. The normal standard replies: we are no longer accepting submissions; our lists are full; not right for us at the moment. Then within two weeks of my submission I got an early hit.

The Editor read the first two chapters of An Unfamiliar Murder ‘like lightning’ and eagerly requested the rest. She emailed me several times over that week to discuss my plans for my book, my thoughts on publication. Things were looking very positive.

Within seven days of having my complete manuscript, she was back in touch. She really liked the novel, complimented my writing, would like to offer me a contract… (Another dance around the lounge to celebrate.) But…. she wanted some major changes to my lead character.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve tried to do something different with ‘An Unfamiliar Murder’, avoiding the tired divorced, alcohol obsessed Detective lead. It’s a subjective business, I realise this won’t sit well with everyone. She wanted another Kay Scarpetta – a job already done wonderfully by Patricia Cornwell in my opinion.

Was I prepared to comprise my main character just to be published? The answer is no. Eventually, we parted.

Then I struck gold…


Jane Isaac is very much a Newbie, she doesn’t even have a website yet (one day…) and with a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. Join her on the rocky road from pen to publication – hopefully!

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