That’s where I went last night. It was great, there were three published authors (Sophie Kinsella [debatably my favourite author ever], Lisa Jewell [I’m not stalking her honest] and Camilla), an editor and an agent.
Did I learn how to get my book published? No. But then there’s no magic formula to that, so I didn’t actually expect to. What I did learn is that my hours scouting round the internet, on blogs, Twitter and so on have taught me much more than I realised. A lot of what was said I’d already heard (read), but it was good to reinforce it into my brain.
There was some great advice given from all. I think the most important thing I took away from the talks was about finding an agent – no finding the RIGHT agent for me.
Sophie and Camilla also did a reading from their novels. Sophie’s reading was from Mini Shopaholic – which isn’t out until September! After the seminar (and before actually) we were treated to champagne/wine and canapes (apparently, I didn’t see many of those), were able to buy Sophie and Lisa’s books and mingle.
Obviously I bought Mini Shopaholic (although it’s hardback and I HATE hardbacks) and had a little chat with Sophie while she signed it for me! Woop! I now have a personalised author signed novel of hers. I’m never going to want to read it (so it stays undamaged). Best of all though, she wrote ‘Good luck with the writing’. Woop!
The thing that I took away with me though was the realisation that I’m doing pretty well with this whole writing thing. I spoke to quite a few people who want to write a novel, but only have an idea, or 5,000 words, or something. I’ve written a novel! I’m 20k into another, I write EVERY week for [Fiction] Friday and a lot of the time I write more. And because of FF, I’m not afraid to show people my work. Although I think I’m doing badly because at the moment I’m not writing every day, I’m still writing, and am scores ahead of many, many people.
Lisa said something that really made me think (and smile). Even if you don’t ever publish a novel, if you finish one that’s a major achievement. Now I may not have edited my novel, but I’ve written it. That’s 53k odd words I’ve written. That’s pretty good. And totally making me smile today.