vague mutterings about possibly writing a book one day and actually get round to putting my money where my mouth was. So I wrote a novel.
I think you would have to call it women's fiction, although that does not mean men aren't allowed to read it. I intended it to be light and diverting without being irritating. When I was finished, I gave the manuscript to a firm of agents called Sheil Land in London. They then flogged it around for a bit.
The responses they got were as follows:
1. Publisher A thought that the book was "compelling, but it wouldn’t be easy to categorize – it is somewhere between ‘literary’ and ‘commercial’, and would need to be one or the other to be pitched for successfully in an acquisition meeting."
2. Publisher B said, 'It’s pacy and gripping, and the plot is great, but it lacks that lighter women’s fiction feeling. The writing is undeniably good but I’m not quite sure how I would position it on our list.'
3. Publisher C commented that it "is a warm, engaging and easy read but this ‘middle market fiction’ is a really tough area.'
4. Publisher D considered that, "It is a good story (stories) well told, but just missing the X-factor that would make me fall in love with it."
As time went on, the agent's replies to my emails became slower and slower until eventually I had to contact the firm's receptionist to ask whether the person in question had left or was ill - neither, it turned out; simply feeling defeated. We parted company after that, as I couldn't see much mileage in continuing the relationship.
It seems a pity to me though to have gone to the trouble of writing a book and then not to share it. My aim was to provide something entertaining and interesting, although not too demanding. I assume there may be someone out there who is looking for that kind of thing to read, and, if so, I am publishing the early parts of what I've written here. I should add that, if more is wanted, let me know either here, in the comments, or via Twitter (@zmkc) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and, when I have time, I will oblige: