Bet you didn’t expect another one so soon,eh?

So my post is, obviously, about MSS appraisal. I recently paid for a structural appraisal of one of my novels. It cost a bit but in return I received 11 type written pages of assessment, which has helped immensely. The company was Ocean Reeve Publishing, Gold Coast Queensland. Ocean has been extremely helpful and kept in touch to make sure I was a) okay with the edit and b) continuing my efforts.

I knew there was something not quite right and the appraiser,Julian, guided me to make changes which have improved the tension and excitement and tightened the story.

I also got quite a bit of positive feedback which I shall quote below. (The negative stuff I will keep to myself and continue to work on. Come on, you didn’t think I was going to say anything bad, did you?)

“What has been done well is the overall plot pathway of the story, and the amount of research to build an artistic yet still believable world……The story has enough premise behind it, and enough research into the period to make the premise believable. (Glad he realised how much research I did; it was fascinating and exhaustive.)…The inherent allegory of the novel; respect for new culture, a love of learning, facing one’s demons, and the breakdown of friendship through circumstances and jealousy is appropriate…Overall the dialogue is one of the best aspects of the manuscript. The dialogue feels appropriate and organic….Overall the book was enjoyable for its good points – strong dialogue, believable world, strong allegory, and engaging finish. The quality of the writing requires little in the way of copy editing…

Well, you get the idea by now, I’m sure. There was, of course, a lot more in-depth analysis all of which was clear, consistent and useful.

This is where the Australian section of the novel is set – down Sunshine Coast way…

All I need now is to make contact with some members of the Gubbi Gubbi whose ancestral home this area is. I have tried to follow several leads for contact but keep coming up blank so if you or someone you know is Gubbi Gubbi please contact me as quickly as possible because with all the changes I’ve made I think I am just about ready to self publish or be published. Thank you and ciao for now, Rosa


Townsville Writers’ Festival

Oh hush! I’m not even going to bother to apologise for not writing in this blog for so long. I have no real excuse, or rather lots of excuses and no real reason. So, let’s get straight to it.

I spent the weekend just passed at the above festival, attending talks and workshops, pretending that the rest of the world did not exist except as something to write about. I talked travel on Friday and  again on Sunday (memoir) with my friend Lindsay Simpson, who was my Prof for my masters; I studied poetry with Samuel Wagan Watson who is so inspirational; I went and listened to the Colin Roderick Lecture by Joanne Murray-Smith. ( I will try to find a published copy for you so you can be as reassured as I was that self-doubt amongst many other things is simply one more obstacle to overcome.) I listened to Ian See talk publishing. Hugh Lunn entertained me (and many others) with his stories about his stories.

There were many more talks I would like to have attended but the scheduling was tight. Maybe next time.

I caught up with a number of friends, Phil, Michael, Lori, Lila and Peter among them. Their stories are so interesting. We talked a lot but not enough, playing catch-up.

I also wrote some new pieces which hold promise. Now, that was pleasing!

I would like to thank all the organisers, volunteers, sponsors and presenters for a hugely enjoyable time. Alas, I didn’t take a single photo. I was too busy and to be honest it didn’t even cross my mind.

My brain is still buzzing and my enthusiasm is high. I will try to push ahead and send out my MSS to a publisher soon.

The one I’m preparing is a Sci-fi/Fantasy. YA, I guess, but hoping that adults will enjoy it as well. Is it horribly superstitious not to want to reveal too much at this point?It is, isn’t it? Too bad.

Also thinking that ‘Jenny’s Story’ should go out as well,,,just thinking.

It is hard to concentrate on writing and reading when the cooler months have arrived here in North Queensland. Today, for example, is a gift from heaven. Perfect. And, five more months to go. I’ve just spent five minutes staring out the window.

Sinbad, the dog not my book, is as furry and cuddly as always…Still as silly as a square wheel though.

Ciao for now, Rosa.


Done it!

Yes, I have! I have submitted RIP (Ruth In Pieces) to a publisher, Hachette . Well the first 50 pages anyway. I had to do a 300 word synopsis and a bio along with a cover letter. I think I should have run these by my friends at my writer’s group first, but I was already one day over my self-imposed deadline and I won’t get to see them ’til next Thurs. So, I just did it. I’m not expecting to be picked up, hoping but not expecting – especially since I first sent off the cover letter without the attachments. I know! What an idiot, right? I think my fingers got over-excited and just leapt to ‘send’ without asking permission. Ah well. Maybe the cover letter was interesting enough for them to forgive me and read it anyway.

According to their blurb I am supposed to hear within 3 weeks, which is pretty damn fast so I won’t be left wondering too long. Of course, they only get in touch if you have been successful. They don’t give feedback on mss that are not accepted. That is good and bad. Bad ’cause it would be great to hear their constructive critique, but good ’cause they can’t tell me it stinks, which means that in my ignorance I can continue annoying other publishers.

So, in 3 weeks I shall submit to someone else, I guess. It should be easier to let it go next time…and I WILL remember to send the attachments. I am nervous, so I am off to do some painting and bliss out.  Bye for now!


Sensible and well thought out

Here is a link to an article on writing and publishing today, which makes sense and doesn’t leave me feeling like a complete failure because I can’t do the whole social media thing. I just want to write my stories. I do want people to read them, of course, but does that mean I have to continually shout about myself? Can’t I hand that over to an agent or traditional publisher? It is a relief to hear that I can and not be made to feel like a complete moron for it.