I travelled with Caitlin Foley - a fantastic writer who is simultaneously working on several projects -I have no idea how she does it!
As well as many seminars the real lure for writers is the opportunity to have parts of your manuscript edited, or to pitch to an agent. I chose to pitch to an agent. Within an hour of arrival I entered a hall packed with writers and was put on a stopwatch that gave me 10 minutes to pitch. You had a minute warning after nine minutes and when the bell goes you have to leave your seat - immediately - no pressure then!
It was a disaster!
The agent thought it would be successful due to the TV programme 'Fat Friends', of which Three Fat Singletons is not like at all in my opinion, but felt the comedy was too broad for her and she didn't like it. I was deflated to say the least and, quite frankly, wanted to go home.
A large glass of red later and bumping into Britta Jensen, another talented novelist on the verge of being published, improved my mood no end and I enjoyed the evening and various workshops.
Day two was my second pitch, and after the disaster of the first I was extremely worried. By the time my ten minutes were up I had some great feedback and the lovely agent had asked me to send in the entire manuscript! Within moments of leaving the area I almost cried - I had no idea how important validation had become after so many rejections via email! It's one thing to tell yourself Stephen King had to get a spike to hold all his rejection letters for Carrie, it's quite another to actually experience rejections daily via email and not have your confidence knocked.
So now I am going through the editing process and hope to get the entire manuscript delivered in a week or so (I can hear Tony Fyler shouting 'What the...?!' to that!
At the moment self-publishing is on hold while I wait and see if the agent is interested in picking it up...if she's not then I will self-publish immediately, but I imagine it will be in the New Year now rather than before Christmas.
The dream would be for Three Fat Singletons to be published in the traditional way - lets see if the end of 2013 can see a dream realised...