Tuesday, 30 July 2013

From Writing to Beta Readers

Normally when I've finished writing my novel, I send it out to a couple of friends (who give me feedback - make that helpful feedback) get my family to read it, then send it out to agents/publishers. This is true in the case of my YA novel, but after many rejections and some feedback from the publishers I re worked it. Now instead of blindly sending it out to publishers again, I put a call out for beta readers. This is a new area for me. I have about six people who are reading it.

The first has come back to me saying that she enjoyed the story and wanted to read the sequel. Lovely words. I am waiting to see what the response is from everyone else. I am looking forward to what they have to say, even (and maybe especially) if they point out some areas that need improving. Because that is the way I will learn and know that when I send it back out to the literary world, it stands a good chance of being taken on.

In the meantime I have beta read for a couple of other authors and I'm mulling a story idea round in my head that is beginning to take shape. However keen I am to get the novel back out there I do need this time and distance - and if it fires me up to do more writing, then that is a happy bonus.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed whilst I wait to hear back from my beta readers and for the future.
I'll let you know how successful it was.

Good Luck to anyone else who's in the same position or waiting to hear about a submission.

Keep thinking positive thoughts,



Friday, 19 July 2013

Road Trip

Day one of the road trip dawned hot and sunny - truth be told a little too hot - but undaunted we set off. First stop was Oxford. it turned into a short stop because the car parking charges were ridiculous but we saw the outside of Oxford Castle and had a drink and snack to keep us going.

Oxford Castle

Back in the car there was a minor hiccup, whilst interpreting the sat nav instructions incorrectly, I found myself in a designated bus lane surrounded by double decker buses - oopps.

Our next stop was much more tranquil. Stoke Bruerne canal. We had a lovely couple of hours by the water, had lunch and because it was so hot an ice cream too, purely for medicinal reasons, we didn't want to over - heat.

Stoke Bruerne

Tip of the day: Invest in swivel chameleon eyes so you can watch the road and the sat nav at the same time.

Day Two

Day two started with a gut busting breakfast for my daughter and copious amounts of tea for me. We were definitely in a minority being the only women in the dining room - the rest being business men.

We met up with fellow author Jess Sturman Coombs and she took us to a nearby country park, where we walked, chatted and had a picnic.

Onwards in a baking hot car and we decided to break our journey in Cambridge. Megan's map reading skills were needed because a) the sat nav had refused to turn on - it was probably sulking with us for abusing it the day before and b) we didn't have directions to get us into Cambridge itself.
Like the intrepid explorers we were becoming, we made it and had a lovely walk around. I took lots of photos of buildings but luckily for you, I'm only posting one.

Kings college

Today's hiccup occurred when we couldn't find the car park. We realised we'd missed it when a river guide tried to sell us a tour on a boat. I declined mentioning we were looking for a car park. Thankfully another guide overheard and directed us to the nearest car park - see it pays to be polite to people - luckily for us his guess was correct.
Sadly that wasn't the end of the days wrong doings, as after carefully following the map to the hotel in Ipswich, I found I'd printed off directions to the wrong hotel (it's a chain).

Tip of the day: Remember where your car park is situated and ensure you put the right hotel into the directions on google maps.

Day Three

Day three found us at the home of our good friend and fellow author Laura. Sadly Laura is undergoing chemo at the moment but we were just happy to be able to see her.

The car was tortuously hot on the journey to Hertfordshire so we stopped at Great  Dunmow for an iced cold drink and a walk along the river.

After a late arrival at the hotel, we went to visit an old school friend who lives about 30mins away. We were proud to get there without getting lost but it was dark on the way back. You've guessed it - hiccup of the day. Getting lost down dark country lanes at 10.30pm with no light to read a map and no idea where you are. On the bright side we saw a beautiful dear as it lifted it's head to watch us.

Tip of the day: Don't break your sat nav on day one.

Day Four

We couldn't believe we'd reached our last day already - and I couldn't believe I was going have to get behind the wheel of the car - I'd had about 2 hours sleep and could barely keep my eyes open.

Needless to say it was as hot as any day we'd previously encountered and we got stuck on the motorway. However it only took us an hour more than usual to get home where we fell through the door to a disgruntled dog because we woke him up - you'd think he'd be pleased to see us!

So four days, being together 24 hours a day, 538 miles - were we glad we'd done it? You bet. We had a great time. I learnt I could drive somewhere new and Megan learnt she could read a map. But more than that, we enjoyed each other's company. (And got to see some of our friends)

Thanks for reading about our journey - sorry if it rambled - this is a condensed version. There will be more pictures on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/marie.godley.3

Happy Journey's to all.