My new memoir has bounced back from yet another publisher. I’ve been writing this manuscript for more years than I care to think about. Perhaps I sent it out too early? Probably, but I am impatient.
Back story of my new memoir
As some of the readers of this blog already know, my new memoir is the story of how John and I eloped when we were seventy and the early years of our marriage. I hope one day it will sit on my bookshelf alongside my first book, Other People’s Country.
The ‘friendly readers’ of my work were kind. They said they liked my new memoir. They made many sensible suggestions about how it could be improved. I took their comments to heart. I rewrote sentences, paragraphs, chapters.
My granddaughter, Dr Jane-Héloïse Nancarrow, is the perhaps bravest of my friendly readers. She read my memoir closely. Her notes were painstaking. She pointed out a lack of cohesiveness between the woman she knows and the narrator of my memoir. Of course she was right. But I didn’t know how to fix the problems to which she’d alerted me.
At that point I turned my back on the whole venture. John and I went on a holiday. Perhaps there were two holidays? I read a lot. My house was very clean and tidy, even the laundry cupboards.
When I returned to my new memoir, I knew Jane-Heloise was right. So I rewrote the manuscript.
Christina Houen from Perfect Words Editing has edited it. I have a deep respect for Christina’s judgement. She suggested structural and other changes.
Another rewrite. Was that number one-hundred and twenty-nine? By that time, I’d lost count.
Publishers’ comments about my new memoir
I’m pleased that my memoir has had favourable comments from publishers. Here are a selection:
- This is a brave book.
- It is ultimately one of those sweet and life-affirming reads.
- The writing is well paced.
- With minor changes it could be a rather beautiful, ultimately rewarding, love-and-life-story.
- This is not just an unusual love story, but also has great insights into ageing, aged care, families, religion and relationships in later life.
In the end, it boils down to the fact that they also say, ‘It does not fit our list’. Old age is not sexy enough!
I’ve spent years on this book. I can’t bear the thought that it will take up space with the two novels that I have not published.
To self-publish has become an obvious solution. This sounds like a new adventure. It will be a new learning curve, one I’m looking forward to.
I’d love to hear what you think about self-publishing.