Sunday, July 1, 2012

I've written a book...

Well, almost.

My lovely regular readers have probably wondered why my poor blog has been so sadly neglected for the past few months. And not just mine, I've been neglecting all your blogs too. I am still reading but haven't had a momoent to comment. The reason is that I'm writing a book. It's nearly finished now but it's taken up a lot of my time.

Long time readers may remember that after 'The Newspaper That Shall Not Be Named' printed some excerpts from my old French blog, I was contacted by an agent who wanted me to make my blog into a 'counter-intuitive' book about life in France. I have to admit I had to Google 'counter-intuitive'. Basically, she wanted a 'warts and all' account.

Anyone who was reading around that time - and I know there are a few of you - will remember that the rather selective excerpts that were printed ins said 'torchon' as they say in France, caused something of a shitstorm, both in the comments section of the newspaper and in the village in France where we still have our house. It seemed that not subscribing to the idea of la vie en rose was akin to putting kitties in wheelie bins, probably worse, and three years on, there are still people in the village who don't speak to me.

In the end, I decided that it wasn't worth the aggravation and regrettably, I decided not to go ahead with the book.  I know it seems mad. There are people out there who would kill to have an agent. I had one and I got rid of her. But sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture.

I put it all on the backburner for a while, then decided to write the book, but make it fiction. I could still incorporate all my funny stories but instead of happening to me, they happened to Sophie Cameron, my much younger/slimmer/prettier alter-ego. It meant I could use a bit of artistic licence, create some wonderful characters who may or may not be based on people I knew, depending on how litigious they are, and address some of the 'A Place in the Sun' type myths that still abound about life in France.

And so, La Vie en Rosé was born, with a little play on words which makes sense at the end of the story.

I decided to upload it to a website called 'Authonomy', run by the publishing house, Harper Collins. It is a showcase for writers and offers the opportunity for other readers and writers to critique your work, suggest improvements, rate it from one to six stars and, if they really like it, put it on their virtual bookshelf. The ultimate prize, for those wanting it, is a place on the Editor's Desk and a free critique from a Harper Collins editor. In many ways it's a bit of a crapshoot and the top 5 ranked books, which make the Ed's desk, are all too often those whose authors have the most time to pimp them around the site, rather than being the best ones but that said, there are some really amazing writers who really deserve to be published. But it does take up an awful lot of time, reading, rating and commenting on other books so yours is more visible.

I initially uploaded a few chapters just to see what people thought. Was it rubbish? Would anyone want to read it?  It's a bit like walking into a room naked (God forbid) because if people think it's crap, there is no way that it's  not personal. Despite the fact that my original opening chapter was something of a shocker, with the advice I've received from others on the site, it's been re-written and tidied up and, Christ on a bike,  people actually liked it. Some people really liked it. Lots of people absolutely loved it. Words like very 'publishable', 'filmic quality' and 'I want to see this in a bookshop' started to appear in the comments. Then a publisher contacted me and said he would be very interested in seeing a finished manuscript. Shit! I only had about half of it done.

So that's where I've been. Trying to get La Vie en Rosé finished for the publisher (60,000 words down, about 20,000 still to go) while at the same time, maintaining a profile on Authonomy so I don't have all my oeufs in one panier.

If you are interested in having a read, you can follow this link http://authonomy.com/books/39192/la-vie-en-ros-/ and click on 'Read the Book' on the right hand side. There is still some editing to be done to excuse any typos you might come across.  I'm currently sitting at No 68 out of nearly 6000 books, having spent time as the highest rated Chick Lit book on the site and for a few days even the highest rated book across all genres.

If you wanted to support me, please feel free to register, which is very quick and easy and you won't get spammed by HarperCollins with lots of silly e-mails, then click on 'Back the Book'. You can even give me stars. 1 for dross and 6 for Get this to Waterstones.  The higher the rating and the more bookshelves you can get on, the higher your book rises up the ranks towards the Editor's Desk.

So, that's where I've been and that's what I'm up too.  In a few months, I'll be back here more regularly, and on your blogs more frequently so please bear with me.



12 comments:

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

Ooh must have a look. I'm already registered with Authonomy as I read Steve's book there.

By the way, I'm sure I commented on your last post but it's disappeared. Apologies as I wanted to say hello after meeting you last weekend.

the fly in the web said...

I read your book on Authonomy...and recognised so much!

Wylye Girl said...

Hi Trish, it was lovely to meet you and put a proper face to the name, rather than just a photo. I intended to blog about BritMums but in the end I wrote two more chapters. I didn't realise you were in All Bar One as well or I would have come over for another chat. As it was, I was babysitting my neighbour who was on a serious cougaring mission with three charming young men...

Fly, yes, and thanks so much for doing so.

Steve said...

Proud to say I'm already backing it!

Perpetua said...

Wow, how exciting, Wylie Girl! Have bookmarked your book to read as soon as my dear mother-in-law goes home, but the site won't let me register at the moment. Will try again later....

Five Go Glamping said...

Good luck with the writing Mel!

Five Go Glamping said...

P.S I've awarded your blog the Liebster award on my blog http://fivegoglamping.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/liebster-blog-award.html

Sarah said...

Great news, I'll have to pop over and have a read. :)

Elaine said...

Sounds intriguing... off to Authonomy I go....

Lou said...

You are quite brilliant and I can say this with confidence having read many of your hilarious chapters. Keep up the good work and you are sure to be published with success akin to that smutty book 'Shades of grey knickers' or whatever it's called!

Curry Queen said...

Much like you, I am badly behind with blog reading but belated congratulations anyway! X

Neal... said...

Great to hear it's nearly finished -- the end is in sight! Already backed, and great to see it head towards the Ed desk too.

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