Ok - so I haven't posted recently but that doesn't mean that nothing's been happening. I heard back from the agent that I'd sent my improved manuscript to and he agreed - it was much much better, BUT (and there's always a 'but', isn't there?) it still needed a "final polish."   He said that he might have taken me on a year ago when he was still in the early stages of building his list, but now he likes writers to be 100% before he signs them up because he represents the writer, not the book and wants their skillset to be where it needs to be. While he loves my book, he wants to be sure that I can produce more of the same standard.  To that end, he suggested I get a professional edit which would both improve the book and prove instructive for me. He then recommended a couple of services. He also said that I shouldn't be discouraged by this as he doesn't take the time to give this type of feedback to writers unless he thinks they're worth the effort, so I should take it in the spirit it was given.

So I went away with mixed feelings - I was pleased he liked the book and that he thought I was worth further effort but a little disappointed that I wasn't "there" yet.  I also had some nagging doubts - as I do when anyone suggest I need something that costs money (possibly that says something telling about me).  Fearing what I'd find, I checked out the services he recommended and was relieved to see that they were legit - a former children's book editor with 10 years at a major publishing company and a company run by the man who gave J.K. Rowling her publishing contract for Harry Potter.  But (didn't I tell you there's always a 'but'?)  there's a downside.  A line by line edit will cost £600.  Now I'm sure I'll get an excellent service, but the cost of it means it'll have to wait a little bit before doing it (what with Christmas etc).

So while I save up, I've continued writing the sequel (The Iron Golem) - I'm quite pleased with the progress so far.  I've filled several pages of notes in my little black notebook now and I now working on ways to get these ideas woven into the story. These ideas include an international secret society dedicated to magical thievery and an underground (literally) market where illegal magical goods are bought and sold. I've even found a way to include my favourite city - Newcastle - into the plot.

I left the blog for a while as I was in a sort of "limbo" but I've decided to get back into it to keep the updates coming as I think this is also good for me and my own motivation to continue writing.  Anyway, best get back to it - going to a school reunion tonight after 28 years and need to get myself as presentable as the ravages of time will allow. TTFN