Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to Hallsfoot and the joys of last place

Much to my surprise, it's a relatively normal day today. Not much injustice to fight against (or at least no more than usual) and nothing to chain myself up to something for. And it seems that sales rankings on GLBT books are slowly coming back on line at Amazon US, although Amazon UK gay-themed books remain in the no-rankings pot. Sigh. Still at least it means that Maloney's Law has its US ranking back, and I await for the UK version to be restored also. One hopes, eh. Anyway, it's always good to reclaim one's position as the least popular gay book in the virtual world. Ah well, eh - somebody has to be last!

This morning, and with the University still closed for Easter (hurrah!), I meandered my way around a surprisingly empty Sainsbury's. Mind you, I did get there early - on the assumption that it would be crowded as people ran fleeing from their enforced family encounters back to the great refuge of shopping. Hell, shows what I know, doesn't it? Nothing at all, my dears, nothing at all ...

For the rest of the day, I've pecked away at Hallsfoot's Battle - which is the first time in two weeks, since I've been ill, that I've even opened the file. It took a while to type my customary thousand words, but I have them now, thank the Lord, and I am therefore at just over 107,000 words. Double hurrahs. I wonder though if it's like playing golf - when you always play better if you've not done it for a while, presumably because one is free from expectations. So perhaps tomorrow's writing endeavours might be the true test. Mind you, I've had a bit of a revelation about the actual battle scenes (you know, the ones I've been putting off writing for 100,000 words or so ...) and I think I've found a way of giving them a bit of an edge and of making the mind-executioner even more deadly than anticipated. Lord knows if I can pull it off (as it were) but I'll give it my best shot.

Oh, and speaking of normality, here's this morning's meditation poem:

Meditation 105

It takes a long time
to enter the space

Like drawing aside
a curtain
that catches in your hair

and will not
let you go.
All I see

are countless animals,
the mystery of celebration
and one small promise.

Other writing news is that I've had a couple of poetry rejections which I've turned round and sent back out again. And some other misguided publisher has rejected The Gifting, sigh. There are only a couple more publishers to go on that one, one of whom has kept me waiting since expressing high levels of interest in October last year and promising me a definitive answer by mid-March. I think I'll give it till June on that particular hope before I put it as a "no" on my spreadsheet. At that point, I'll try one other publisher and, if that fails, I've decided to go the self-publishing route, but with a different set of people this time. After all, Maloney's Law doesn't want to be the worst-selling GLBT book forever - it'll soon be time to let something else take that place!

And, really, I didn't think much of the latest Wallander novel, Henning Mankell's Before The Frost. I think part of the problem was that it was focused on Kurt Wallander's daughter, Linda, and not on Kurt himself who is far more interesting than his offspring. The other problem with Linda is that she's not actually a girl - or at least she doesn't seem to be one in the text. She's more like a boy with a girl's name. I don't actually think Mankell can write women and he'd be well advised to give her a pretty sharpish sex-change if he's thinking of writing another Linda Wallander novel. The other problem is that the story is very bitty and doesn't have the charm of Kurt's telling of it. Linda's a spoilt interfering brat, really - Lord help the police force she's joining. And the ending and sections leading up to the ending (for instance, Linda's sudden gift at impressionism - no hint of that before it was needed, though to be honest I'm still not sure why it was needed at all!) appear to have been cobbled together by a novelist desperate to stop writing the story. Hell, I can sympathise with that, but I would have thought he'd have smoothed it over in the edit. Not one I can recommend then, sadly.

Today's nice things:

1. Maloney's Amazon US ratings return
2. Getting back to Hallsfoot
3. Poetry
4. Planning a future - of sorts - for The Gifting.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - getting back to normal, almost ...


Jilly said...

The Amazon strange goings on may well be down to someone who is anti on the American side.(unless it is just a glitch) I would like to think we are rather more tolerant in the UK. Some section of the US Right can be very strange over gay anything. Let's hope it gets sorted - like you I'm anti censorship

Anne Brooke said...

You may well be right, Jilly!


Erastes said...

Why have you only got a couple of publshers left before you self publish? Has the world got short of publishers? Why are you only sending to one at a time? There are 100000s of publishers hun, do not give up, and do not self publish. Please.

Anonymous said...

Gay marriage is legal in my country and it's still shocking to me the level of ignorance in this world. Anne, keep plugging away and I'm in agreement with Erastes, there are many publishers out there. Yes, I know I'm a Lulu girl gone bad. I've been querying agents, with a not too auspicious start today. I've been an email bonehead as it were.

Anne Brooke said...

I'm sorry - I do appreciate the concern, but really self-publishing isn't that bad. And I and my agent have spent well over a year trying a huge variety of publishers on this one.

To be honest I never sell more than 50 books or so (maybe 100 if I'm lucky) commercially, so why put myself through the angst of it all (and there is a huge amount of frustration & angst, believe me!)? I'm obviously not a hugely popular taste and, if I'm honest, my most popular novel so far remains the self-published one (I think I sold about 120 copies of that). As I say, after June, I'll try one more I've got my eye on and then do what I appear to be best at. And I won't be using Lulu again - I've sold none of my poetry book via them - not even the free downloadable copy, so that's hugely embarrassing for sure!

Trust me - if I draw a line under it over the summer (if nothing's happened by then), I'll be a lot happier.

But thanks anyway!


Barry Napier said...

I discovered you at Every Day Poets and thought I'd swing by to say hello and "Keep up the good work!"

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh hi, Barry - thanks for visiting. Lovely to see you here!