Saturday, August 29, 2009
MY VERY FLUKEY FIRST SALE
They say, the 3 things you need as a writer are talent, persistence and luck (at least, that's what I say in www.writingtips.com.au). I had the hugest slice of luck in making my first sale to a mainstream publisher - I've never heard of any other author making the jump in this way.
I'd had my novel. THE VICAR OF MORBING VYLE, published by a small press, and the first miracle was that it actually got reviewed in the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. (Can't think that would ever happen nowadays.) Glowingly reviewed too - so I wrote to the reviewers just to say thanks. Van Ikin, the SMH reviewer, wrote back to say, 'really liked the Vicar, if you have another MS ready to go, send it to me and I'll see if I can recommend it to a mainstream publisher.' THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!!!!!! Reviewers are normally so swamped with books that they have to read, the very last thing they'd ever do is offer to take on more reading. As I've come to learn, Van is a very special and wonderful person!
So I quickly finished off the MS I was writing, sent it to Van, he recommended it to Pan Macmillan, they liked it and the rest is history. It came out as THE DARK EDGE in 1997.
Except that history doesn't always follow a perfect path. Making that first sale can feel like climbing Mt Everest, but it's only the start. You have to keep getting published (I managed that) and you have to work your way up to a reputation. After 15 books, I finally seem to have hit the jackpot with WORLDSHAKER. It hasn't been easy - but I did get off to the luckiest, flukiest start!