Monday, September 19, 2011

So, you thought I was dead?

I'm not. And I won't bore you with the usual litany of excuses. Since last we spoke, I've been keeping myself busy ticking my annual performance review boxes at work, getting a new writing project underway, learning to drive my voice recognition software properly, teaching, riding horses, gardening (spring has finally sprung here in Canberra, which means that the weeds in our garden are now as high as an elephant's eye and climbing by the day) and – most importantly, as far as this blog is concerned - finishing the rewrite of The Hunter.

And a couple of hours ago, finally, I got it done. I'm really happy with it, but of course finishing a presentable draft is just the beginning of the hard work. About half an hour ago I dropped it, along with a letter of introduction and a plot synopsis, into an envelope and posted it off to a New York literary agent to whom I was recently introduced. Now it's a matter of waiting and seeing if she's interested in it enough to sign me up.

It's funny – this is the first time in over a decade that I've had to physically post my book off to someone with no guarantee of it being well received, or even published. I'd almost forgotten how odd and disconcerting the very real possibility of rejection can be.

Of course, given that I spend half my life telling my students at uni (and anyone else who will listen) that learning to take criticism and to deal with rejection is one of the key skills of being a writer, I'm really in no position to complain.

Still, I'll admit that as I dropped the envelope (with $14.80 worth of stamps on it) into the post box, there was an odd little butterfly in the pit of my stomach – an heady combination of nervousness, but also excitement; of the unpredictable, and the unknown. Who knows what's going to happen as a result of my decision to send his book straight overseas to an agent, rather than doing what I've always done and taking it directly to my publishers here in Australia? (I should add here that my reasons for making this decision are nothing to do with my publishers – I love my publishers, and they have done some fantastic things with my back catalogue in recent months – but I think I am at a point in my writing career where it is time to take a broader look at how I do things.)

So, anyway – that's where I'm at. The book (or, at least, the first 50 pages of it) is now irretrievably on its way to New York, and I can get on with writing the second one and try not to be too nervous in the meantime.

And, hopefully, with getting a few more blog posts done and re-engaging with all my mates in the twitterverse.


  1. dear tony

    Is it true you once edited a university newspaper?
    Will this new book be better than the 'trashy novels' many of my high school students are reading by a particular ex nda author? (You should see their faces when I tell them that...they are horrified that I would say such a thing! And of course your work is not trashy...)
    Keep up the great penmanship
    El Poges

  2. Hi
    I happened to come here from mingle box.
    I liked your narration in introducing yourself although yet to visit and read other pages

  3. El Pogues!

    Now here's a blast from the past! Tales of my involvement with university newspapers can neither be confirmed nor denied (I could tell you, but then I'd have to resort to cliche)…

    And hey, I embrace the trashy!

    Hope you and yours are well – me and mine will be in good old Perth for a week during December. Would be good to touch base.

    Online ged: welcome to the blog, I hope you enjoy poking around.



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