Hello readers, how are you? Are you back at work or still working from home? I’m still here, still working from home, but I thought I’d give you a little bookish update (and tell you why I ended up writing my new book in just 70 days!)
As you may know at the end of last year I was at a pretty low ebb with my writing. I had decided not to sign a third contract with my previous publisher and I had parted ways with my agent after she decided to close her agency in December. I’d spent most of 2019 writing a book about a folk festival on the Isle of Wight (that I quietly think might be my favourite book so far) and I had no idea what to do with it.
So I tried to turn a shitty situation into a positive.
I tried to see the situation as a clean slate. Instead of getting down about feeling as if I was right back at the beginning again, I decided to act as though I was right back at the beginning again.
In the autumn of 2016 I’d just finished writing, editing and proofreading the book that was to become The Many Colours of Us. I sent it out to every agent I could think of and every publisher that I knew was taking unagented submissions. By January 2017 I had signed with an agent and signed a three book deal.
Was there a chance that could happen again?
I decided to find out. I was a little more discerning about who I sent this book out to, picking my agents and publishers more carefully as I now have a little bit more knowledge of the industry than I did in 2016 as well as a lot of lovely friends to give me advice. Long story short I sent that book out and hoped for the best.
By February I had signed with my new agent, Lina, and I’d signed a two book deal with a new publisher. I was over the moon.
But there was a catch!
My new publisher loved the folk festival book but they wanted to put it out in time for the summer of 2021 (in hindsight I’m delighted about this because the summer of 2020 has been a bit….odd hasn’t it?). But they also wanted a Rachel Burton book out in 2020. Could I possibly write a Christmas book? And could I have it with them by the end of April?
I had three months to write a brand new book. Could I do it, while working full time?
Damn straight I could, and I wrote about how I did it earlier in the year.
Do I ever want to have to do that again?
No thank you, not if I can help it!
So here’s how things stand right now
I have a book coming out on 1 October. It’s all ready to go as I sent the copy edits back last week. It’s up on Amazon to pre-order but I can’t tell you anymore about it until cover reveal!
That folk festival book that I love so much will be out (hopefully) in the new year.
And I’m now writing a book set partly in 1976, partly in 2003 and partly in 2018 and I am absolutely loving getting immersed in it. I’m taking things much more slowly this time and hoping to get a first draft written by the end of the year. I don’t want to push myself too much as the last few months have taken it out of me and it’s nice to be working slowly again, savouring the words. I don’t have a contract for this one but I’m learning that freedom is all part of the joy.