So, the guardians of our culture are now about to offer us an eroticised version of Jane Austen, having first taken note of the success of Fifty Shades of Grey - are these people publishers or bankers? The threat of ebooks does seem to worry them (what, authors taking complete control over their own work and making money? And sometimes quite a lot of money...)

I've had a browse through the Fifty Shades, and like everyone else (don't tell me you don't do it) sought out the juicy bits, but since I like my sex embedded, like a jewel, inside a really good story, it didn't really grab me. At present, I'm re-reading (after decades) Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, so my personal pov might well have been slanted. Has anyone been to the eight hour-long reading of this book? Apparently it's been a huge success, and I was tempted, but didn't think I could sit still for that long.

From eroticism to passion, and passion in the act of writing. I have written two adult novels, neither of which has been published, although the first nearly made it with two publishers - Honno, the Welsh women's publisher who failed to raise a Welsh Arts Council grant to publish, and a London-based women's publisher who demanded so many (to me) irrational changes that I finally withdrew the book (I may, one day, publish one or both as ebooks). The first novel - Counterpoint - was my first novel, and I lived with it day and night. I would write wherever I happened to be. I remember, en route to a class, getting out of the tube at Kentish Town on automatic, riding up the escalator still writing, and blundering out on to the High Street not really knowing quite where I was. The erotic episodes in the second novel - The Recurrence of Red - made me want to live them out in reality, but that's another story.

So back to mainstream publishing and where I'm at now. I've been a children's author for over twenty years, and at present I've become fascinated by the art form that constitutes picture books. I have two coming out next year, both, coincidentally, with a mouse as the lead character, and Princess Frog, my latest book with Franklin Watts, comes out next month. I'm also flirting with a flying pig.

I do write lengthy and serious Young Adult books too, and recently received one of those flattering rejections you want to treasure and maybe pin up on your wall - well we've all 'been there, done that'. So will this book continue to go out to conventional publishers? Or will I take a deep breath and self-publish? Watch this space.

Some of my out of print children's and Young Adult books have already gone this way, and sales are interesting, if not enormous. At present, I'm tweeting about a book I set in Muswell Hill, my bit of London, and hoping it will do something to increase interest. It's called, To Summon a Spirit, and I meant it to relate to the suburbs of any big city, so my London village is never actually named. First published by Walker Books,  it was shortlisted for a major prize (I forget which one), but shortly after that, it was out of print. I love its cover image with my mixed race heroine, Jess. It's a complicated time slip story - 19th/20th and 21st centuries - and it's now available as a Kindle book. Do take a look.

And re- the Kindle - there's a witty and perceptive article by Jad Adams (Tony Benn's biographer) in this month's copy of The Author.


Enid, I wonder if first novels are more of a rite of passage than subsequent ones? I smiled at that image of you, possessed by your book, stumbling into the daylight and having to adjust to real life again. I carried Future Life around with me as an intense experience that was more real than flesh, blood and concrete. Life Form 3 was intense too - and personal - but Future Life was paralysing. Lovely post.
Hi Enid,
I don't know why, with all your experience and successful track record, you're hesitating to e-publish the 2 adult novels (even if under a pseudonym to distinguish them from the books for younger folk).
I think I remember you writing earlier here that you abhor the self-promotion aspect(!)
But I honestly enjoyed reading all about your books there, and so will others...that passionately-written-while-almost-entranced first novel would surely find readers who are at that same passionate stage in their reading?
The same of course going for...ahem...your novel number 2!
Enid Richemont said…
First (adult)novels are definitely a rite of passage, and I naively believed I had produced something so special that no publisher would turn down (well it did grab two, but nobody mainstream). If I ever self-published it, it would need an immense amount of editing, the second adult novel less so.

But at present I'm still working at re-publishing my out of print children's list, although I did stick my neck out and self-publish my junior novel, DRAGONCAT, which had been continually turned down for being 'too gentle'.
Unknown said…
I think it is great that you've published 2 novels.
I am sure that the publishers are a little unhappy with e-books. As for me, I love reading them.

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