Down & Out In Milton Keynes – One Writer's Blog

July 26, 2010

Getting started.

Filed under: Uncategorized — miltonkeyneswriter @ 3:21 pm

Milton Keynes.

You either love it or you hate it. And for me it’s been a love affair ever since I was a kid, although I’m now actually living here for the first time.

It’s probably not everyone’s (or indeed anyone’s!) idea of a writing retreat, but having been brought up in the idyllic, Blytonesque setting of a farm by the sea, where imagination and inspiration abounded, I bizarrely find the concrete, glass and steel quietly reassuring, a protective barrier against the elements, that provides a perfect writing environment.

Yes, I’m talking about the now Grade II listed The Centre: MK, God’s greatest gift to Middle England. And in particular the solitude of the first floor of the Sunset Walk Costa bar, where I now while away the daylight hours pursuing every writer’s dream, to write next year’s best seller.

Admittedly this is more due to an insidious addiction to a frothy latte than a desire to emulate the venerable JK, but it gets the job done, and provides endless amusement for fellow coffee-lovers when I curse the keyboard for not knowing which letter I meant to press, or when it maliciously turns on the capitals lock and doesn’t tell me for half a page.

Of course it’s not just the amazing Ms Rowling who trod the cafe boardwalk to success, as witness the August Writer’s News. Young mother Marina Fiorato’s first book The Glassblower of Murano was rejected by every major British publisher. Well we’ve all been there!

But Ms Fiorato somehow managed to secure a print-run for it with a small, independent publisher, Beautiful Books (http://beautiful-books.co.uk/). Apparently it has since sold in 21 languages! Her follow-up novels have just secured a quarter million pound advance.

Jealous? Moi?

I was halfway through changing my name to Marina Fiorato by deed-poll and sending out my entire back-list to every publisher when I realised Writer’s News had published her photo too. Damn! Another cunning plan bites the dust.

What’s worse, it seems that Beautiful Books publish beautiful authors. Guess I’d best look elsewhere…

Meantime I take heart from the fact that Marina’s had more rejection slips than me. My latest submission has only had one rejection so far. Admittedly it’s only been submitted once, so it is a 100% failure rate, but no point being mathematical about it.

Actual it was a rejection to die for. Broo Doherty of the Wade & Doherty Literary Agency, was kind enough to commend the work as well-written and compelling, but felt uncomfortable with the subject matter.

It’s now with another agent and I’ll keep readers updated on the good or bad news in due course. I’ve also put the first seven thousand words on youwriteon (www.youwriteon.com) where I got my first (and complimentary!) review last night.

The book is called Sugar & Spice. It’s a psychological / crime thriller and is about a hunt for a child-killer. If that sounds like your cup of tea then have a view and maybe write a review.

I had mixed feelings about youwriteon at first, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to review other wannabe-authors’ work and have already found some works in-progress which are worth commending.

One is Equilibrium by Sarah J Griffiths. If dark fantasy is your genre but you find Stephenie Meyers just a little too teen-orientated, then this is for you. More in due course!

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