Who Doesn't Enjoy a Cosy Crime Novel?
The twists and turns of becoming a published author
Hello friends! Apologies for the short absence but a lot has been happening behind the scenes. I know that is no excuse to ignore my Substack and it was on my mind constantly, but there are only so many hours in the day and I thought it best to concentrate on my dream first of becoming a published novelist, as that is what I have spent my entire life working towards. When the opportunity came along (after hard work, perseverance and a shed load of determination), I thought it only right to give it my undivided attention.
If you are new here, welcome. If you are a regular reader, have you installed the Substack app yet? It’s easy to use and there are a ton of brilliant writers here on a huge variety of topics. Why not take a peek? And while we’re on the subject of peeking, please share Rosy’s Ramblings with a friend or family member, to help spread the word. New subscribers welcome!
Now on to the twists and turns
I cannot stop smiling. I know. It’s silly and I have to check myself if I am in a shop buying something or picking my car up from the garage (despite being given a hefty bill), because all I can do is smile. I haven’t felt this happy in absolutely ages and it is a wonderful feeling.
The nuts and bolts of the process of getting a book to the publication stage is complex and takes time. It has been over three months since the publisher, RomaReads Publishing, first requested to read the full manuscript of my cosy crime novel, The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden. I wrote about the next few stages here.
And also here.
After a whirlwind of activity, including talking to my writing group friends, my best-selling author friend and as many other people in the writing world as I could think of to glean information from, I have finally signed three contracts to publish my cosy crime novel and two children’s books, all of which are due to be published in March 2024. Which just so happens to coincide with my sixty-fifth birthday (I wrote it out in full because it didn’t seem so bad…) During lockdown, when I was at my most prolific (writing kept me sane) I told myself that if I hadn’t published a novel via the traditional route by the time I was [insert number above] then I would give up trying to get published. Whether I would have given up or not, I can’t honestly say, but I had that milestone in my mind and everything is coming together, just as I had dreamed that it would.
Cue the two children’s books that I wrote during this time because I thought that if I couldn’t get a novel published perhaps I could get a children’s book through the tough hoop of traditional publishing, but they were rejected and I stopped sending them out having tried four or five publishing houses because the silence and ghosting was killing me. A flat ‘no’ was preferable to not knowing whether they were lost in the slush pile somewhere and I lost heart. Thankfully, RomaReads Publishing saw something in them and that is how I got to sign three 22-page contracts, which, on the advice of my author friend, I sent to the Society of Authors, who were brilliant and vetted them for free, before I committed to signing them. So a very big thank you to the legal team there too.
On top of the exciting news of signing the contracts and returning “wet ink” copies to my publisher, she has offered me an advance on all three books which is payable on receipt of the signed contracts. I took this as a huge compliment (as well as a welcome boost to my bank balance following the hefty car bill…) Knowing that somebody has faith in you as a writer is so uplifting and knowing that I will now have a team of people to help me with the marketing and promotion of the books is incredible and something that I have always hankered after.
I have also been invited to take part in a podcast about my journey to becoming a published author and will take part in a promotional book tour. I am not an extrovert so this last bit worries me slightly but I am determined to step up to the plate and do my best. After all, what was the point of all that hard work of writing a 75,000 word cosy crime novel if I’m not prepared to shout about it from the rooftops to get as many people to read it as possible?
On top of all the e-mailing to and fro with my publisher, who, I have to say, has been absolutely brilliant and nothing but helpful, kind and supportive, I have been working harder than ever in my day job as a Legal Secretary and Theatre Production Assistant and sometimes I haven’t known what day it is, but I pushed through and realise that when things have to get done, I can do them, which is just as well because once the publisher’s editor has carried out the development edit (DE) on my MS (manuscript) I will have 30 days in which to turn it around. Thankfully, I am used to working on incredibly long documents at work (mostly Leases) with tracked changes on a travelling draft so I am hoping that working on my manuscript won’t be too daunting and, in fact, I am actually looking forward to the process even though my author friend tells me it’s hellish and I might need to lay down in a darkened room for a few hours with some soothing music for company once I have finished!
Whatever the future holds, I cannot wait to start the process of getting my book out there in the public domain and, although I know that my lifelong dream has come true, until the day that I get to hold a physical copy of my novel in my hands, I won’t quite believe it until then, but it will have been worth every single disappointing rejection along the way just to see my book on a shelf in W H Smith or available to buy on the internet. That is the day that I have waited for all of my life and now it is just around the corner, thanks to RomaReads Publishing, who have made my dream come true.