Monthly Recap: November, 2016

Welcome to the penultimate recap of 2016, brace yourself: it’s going to be a big one. There have been some major changes in all aspects of life lately, from upcoming books, to where I work – it’s all been happening. So enough waffling, it’s time to get stuck in.

My Books:

Red Hands

As some of you may have picked up on from my last few recaps, this book has proven to be a major challenge for me, particularly in recent months. There hasn’t seemed to be an end in sight for quite a while, and a few weeks ago, I discovered why.

My publisher has been under significant strain due to the potential lifting of parallel book importation restrictions, and numerous other factors.

A week or so ago, we made the incredibly tough decision to revert the rights of Red Hands back to me, as Inkerman & Blunt are no longer in a position to publish it. In fact, like many other Aussie small presses, they’re having to scale back their whole publishing program for the foreseeable future.

While this is sad news, especially given how much work went into this manuscript, a big part of me can’t help but feel relieved.

For the last few months, I’ve felt uneasy about this story.

I started Red Hands over three years ago now, and during those three years, I’ve changed massively as an author. Red Hands was largely a by-product of a creative writing degree that discouraged certain kinds of writing. We were essentially taught that literary fiction was the only ‘worthy’ undertaking.

Note: don’t get me wrong, I loved my degree. I learnt from incredible teachers, and was surrounded by talented writers, which did nothing but benefit me. However, the degree itself was a little narrow-minded when it came to genre fiction. Somewhere along the way, I forgot I was meant to be writing what I loved reading: fantasy fiction.

As an author of a then soon-to-be-published literary fiction novel, it made me a little uneasy that this was no longer what I wanted to write.

Another hard lesson to learn – trust your gut. Have confidence in what you know about your own book. Personally, this has been a massive takeaway from this experience.

As a new author, it’s easy to become too eager to please, and not stand up for you and your book enough. Of course, this is no one’s fault – it’s just a mindset a new author has to battle with.

In any case, since the rights have been reverted back to me, I’ve made some massive decisions. The first of which is that I’ll no longer be actively pursuing the publication of Red Hands. 

I’ve learnt so much from this book, but it’s time to let it go, at least for the mean time.

Finding Oremere (working title)

With the change of plans regarding Red Hands, comes a whole new world of options for Finding Oremere.

My contract with I&B stipulated that I couldn’t publish another book before Red Hands, nor would it have been wise to publish a book within six months to a year after the publication, due to promotional/touring reasons. 

As you can imagine, all these restrictions have now lifted with the rights being reverted back to me, and the utter excitement I feel at this prospect has been overwhelming.

I’m currently in the midst of a structural edit/taking beta reader feedback on board, and it’s going very well. I’m really taking my time to build an authentic world, and really craft these characters into real people. It’s damn hard work, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun too.

While I’ve been doing this, I’ve thought a lot about the publishing industry and my role in it.

I’ve spoken to several of my friends who currently work at publishing houses and literary agencies, and have been trying to gauge what’s best for me as an author, and for Finding Oremere.

I’ve been debating my options to myself and my close writing friends for a while now, but it wasn’t until this experience with I&B that I made some concrete decisions.

Finding Oremere will be independently published in 2017.

That’s right, mid next year – Finding Oremere (or whatever it ends up being called) will be gracing the physical and virtual bookshelves of the world.

There’s so much to do in between now and then, but it’s incredibly exciting. I can’t wait to share this book with you all.

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to: Kyra, Claire, Aleesha, Ben and Dave who are always incredibly supportive, but this month came through on a whole new level for me – you guys rock <3

Fantasy Book II

With everything that’s been going on with my other two books, I’m afraid that Book II in the fantasy series has fallen behind.

However, with plans now firmly in place for Finding Oremere, the second book in the series will be well and truly underway soon.

I can’t wait to get back into actual writing as opposed to re-writing and revising – it’s been way too long!

Editor’s Life:

Writer’s Edit

For the past three weeks, I’ve been working from a hot desk at my old office in a funky converted warehouse space in Redfern, Sydney.

I don’t think I realised how much working from home 24/7 was affecting me until I changed workspaces. I now share the office with a bunch of talented and creative people from all different industries, and have a lot more fun in the process.

In terms of the site itself – we’re slowly perfecting the new e-learning platform, and putting together a promotional campaign for next year. Things are going incredibly well and we’re on our way to hitting some very big goals in the near future.

Kindling Volume III

The launch party for Kindling Volume III has been and gone! I can’t believe this chapter of Writer’s Edit Press is closed!

The launch was a huge success, and it was amazing meeting all our wonderful authors. We had around 70 guest attend, and wow – we sold a lot of books. We’ve haven’t actually got a lot of stock left at WE HQ, so if you’re keen on a copy, get yours here.

You can check out Kyra’s lovely recap of the night here.

And you can also check out the gallery of photos here.

What I’ve Read:

  • The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book One by Brandon Sanderson
  • Those Were The Days by Jenny Bravo
  • Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book by Tim Grahl

Finally back on track with reading this month (no idea how I managed that!), and am super looking forward to getting stuck into some new series, as well as doing some more research on marketing and independent publishing.

Anyway, lots to do before the year’s out!

Until next time,

Helen