It’s not quite April 1st yet, but after a winter of my serious (dis-)content, it is definitely time for a bit of comic relief . Although this story sounds a bit over the top, Jaqueline has sworn on a stack of Bibles that it is the truth. I believe her implicitly. Who could be so cruel as to make up such a story?
A long time ago, I was an author in search of an agent or publisher.
Only a writer can truly appreciate the morbid sound of that. Never mind,
I had a historical novel on offer and a book of very naughty short
stories. So I supported the local Post Office single-handed as I sent
out letter after letter. Mostly unanswered, but the few answers I got
hinted at my effrontery in approaching the upper tiers of the book
trade. Who did I think I was?
And then a break-through. I remember it so well, sitting at my computer
and receiving an invitation to submit a manuscript to a London agent.
Then I waited, and waited. Eventually, I sent a timid email and was told
the agent in question had gone into hospital and was not expected to
return to his desk — ever.
Then another break. An American e-publisher (they were much rarer then)
liked the naughty stories, and would publish them! In two months’ time! I
had made it at last. Six weeks later I received a general email saying the publisher had just been diagnosed with lung cancer and had 6-8 weeks to live. Obviously, publishing my book was not uppermost in his mind.
His wife passed the company on, and my book was released 6 months later
and did well. By then I had a second book ready, a tale set in Central
Europe (The Prince and the Nun). The new literary editor wrote it was
the best thing she had read in decades. She dropped off her perch soon
after and never saw it published.
We moved to Australia shortly afterwards, and I decided I really needed
to be part of the proper publishing industry. I started sending out
letters to Australian agents. Nothing had changed, except the level of
condescension. Either that, or my worm-like status had declined even
Eventually, a kindly gentleman actually asked for a manuscript! Wow!
Home at last. My next communication was not exactly from him. It was
from the lady tasked with clearing the effects of the late Mr W…
Well, a plague on them all. As far as I am concerned, the whole tribe of
publishers and agents (especially the Australian variety) can go and sit on their ivory towers — and I do mean on. If they are not going to stay alive long enough to publish my books, I will bloody well do it myself.
I can’t say it’s easy, but I now have a little business called Q~Press
devoted to publishing MY books. The Q~Press Literary Editor (me) accepts
everything I write and compliments me on its amazing quality. I even
offer to help other authors with the mysteries of ISBNs, and bar-codes,
and formatting etc. In fact everything except publishing. They can use
my experience and even the Q~Press name, but when it comes to
publishing, they are on their own. I don’t intend letting go of my perch
Jacqueline lives in Far North Queensland, on the shore of the Coral Sea. She keeps herself busy with her cats and garden, and by writing books – some of which are far too naughty for her own good. You can find out more about Jacqueline and her books at www.jacquelinegeorgewriter.com