February 26, 2010

The call

Sorry there has been blog silence but there have been great things afoot which I have not been allowed to blog about...

Some of you may have heard the news already but people, I have sold a book! In fact, I have sold three. On the 20th of February I finally got "the call" and am beyond thrilled to announce that I'll be writing as M.J. Scott for Ace/Roc (Penguin USA's SF/F imprint). Ace/Roc publish a very high percentage of my favourite fantasy authors so I'm going to be in some very illustrious company.

Anyway, the actual story....

Those of you who read this blog know that after a year that wasn't really the highpoint in my writing life, I finished a new book and Miriam sent it out on January 21. We had some fairly immediate encouraging feedback that week and then some even more encouraging feedback the following week (at which point my nails started to fear for their lives). I was trying not to get too excited after all, publishing can move very slowly. And it's been a bit under three years since Miriam sent out my first book and the last twelve months or so have really not been the greatest time to try and sell as a debut author (note to aspiring authors out there...try not to have a Global Financial Crisis during your submission process) despite Miriam's untiring championing of me and my work. So I know that it's a long haul business.

However it seems the publishing gods finally decided to let me switch to a faster track because early the following week we got an offer. An offer from a house that has always been on my dream list. So Miriam went to work talking to the other houses who had the book, I stopped sleeping and started avoiding people so I wouldn't have to explain the stupid grin on my face and the waiting began. We got a second offer late on Friday in the US (Saturday morning for me) from another house that was on my dream list so then we knew there would be some sort of auction!! The US then had a long weekend which felt like the longest four days of my life (being ahead of the US here in Oz I knew I wouldn't hear anything until my Wednesday morning) where I had to walk around pinching myself a lot and swinging between happy and very very nervous.

The auction and various agentish things took until late Friday their time again but finally Miriam called me early Saturday morning my time and we talked and then she called the winning editor and then I got the official "call" from Miriam to say it was a done deal. So in the end it took just under a month. Plus the eight odd years of writing and submitting prior. Since then I've been walking around (or maybe floating around) in a bit of a daze, smiling a lot and still not sleeping very much as my brain comes up with a thousand and one questions and a thousand and one things to do, most of which have to wait.

As a piece of trivia - the number one question you get asked when you tell people you've sold a book is "when does it come out". Depending on who you've sold to, you probably won't know this straight away. At the moment I know it will be in the second half of next year but nothing more definite. The number two question is "when are you quitting your day job" (or maybe..does this mean you're resigning if you tell people at your day job). The answer to that one is easier. "Not right now and probably not for a while."

So it seems for the next 18 months or so there will be much learning about being a paid writer, much writing and hopefully much blogging about the process between the call and publication. I'll be posting news about release dates, titles, covers and all that good stuff as it comes to hand here and on my website (just updated...go see).

Until then I'll be working on book two (and book one revisions when they land), snoopy dancing and hopefully returning to a normal sleep pattern!

PS If anyone links to my website, it's now www.mjscott.net rather than .info (though .info will redirect) so please update your links.

PPS As a final comment WOOOHOOOOO!!!

February 12, 2010

Spinning around

Sorry, I've been awol. Last week I got unexpectedly sick (does one ever get expectedly sick?) in the middle of the week then spent the rest of the week trying to catch up. This week a combination of hot hot hot days and horribly humid nights, looming deadlines at the day job and some unexpected night time activities (plus one late day job call with the UK) has meant I've been officially frantic, knackered and just plain not around much to exercise, write or blog!

Tomorrow I head down to the folks to dog sit for a night while they go on an Antarctic sight-seeing flight (how cool is that? Australia is actually close to somewhere after all : ) ) but given it will be just me and the big black pooch, I'm hoping for some uninterrupted writing time. Unlike the orange cat, the big black pooch does not try and sit on one's lap while at the computer.

Despite the general life craziness, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the book, especially last weekend, because I was getting that words-coming-like-sludge feeling that generally means something is not quite right still. So I've been poking and prodding the muse and the girls in the basement and think I now have an idea that raises the stakes. I often do this circling through the first 100 pages or so a couple of times until I feel like I have the push the book needs. Although, every time it happens, I forget and go "Argh, why stuck? why? Nice shiny idea should work easy peasy". Today starts the process of working through what I've got to weave the new idea in and see where that gets me. I'm hoping I can get through most of it this weekend and start charging forward again.

PS Happy birthday for yesterday to this little man who is now one (and where the heck did that year go??), much bigger than he was a year ago, ridiculously cute and out to conquer the world any day now.

February 01, 2010


Yay, have cracked one hundred pages...hopefully a bit under a third of the way through the draft now!

Would like to be around 250 at the end of the month, so let's see how that goes!