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Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom
West Country author, winner of Piatkus Entice award for historical fiction 2012.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Couple of interesting things have cropped up since I've re-discovered The Lynher Mill Chronicles. First thing  is this, that I put on Facebook a month or so ago: 

 So ... I wrote The Dust of Ancients in 2006. I'm currently going through it with a view to letting it see the light of day via self-publishing, and now I keep seeing this character I'd created as Robert Carlyle's Rumpelstiltskin - who I really, inexplicably strongly, took to in Once Upon A Time. Now I'm at the end of the MS and he's turned around and called someone "Dearie." 2006, I said. Somewhat freaked.

Next is the rather spooky choice of name for my lead male: his surname is Lucas, always has been, from the word 'go'. Well, given that his life is all tangled up with elemental Cornish spirits, and they're forever messing about with the weather, (lots of storms) turns out the Cornish word for 'lightning' is 'luhas.' 
Eh? Eh??? Yes, quite. 

Third thing; the trilogy heavily features a broken bronze dagger and a decorated jar, takes place on Bodmin Moor near Minions, and one of the character has a hiding place in a barrow near the village. 
The other day I was looking for a likely place on the moor to base this hidey-hole and looked up Rillaton Barrow, which I've heard of, walked past several times and vaguely had an idea had some historical importance -- apparently it was found to contain a skeleton (not surprising, for a burial mound!) but also a decorated jar and, yep, a bronze dagger. 

Now, I've just had a knock-back from the one agent I've queried since the re-vamp, but all that's telling me is that she was wrong for this book/series. (The first book can stand alone as a complete novel in its own right, essential for a first-time author, but the second and third are closely linked and will depend upon each other to complete the story.) 

I recently made a Facebook status update that claims I have never been more excited by something I'm writing, and that's the truth. When I wrote The Dust of Ancients six years ago I had such a strong belief in it, yet I allowed myself to be convinced by a measly 4 agents, (yes, 4!) that it wouldn't work. I'm so much tougher-skinned now, and the more I work on this story the stronger my belief grows. I am prepared to take knock after knock until the right agent, the one who can see the potential and is brave enough to take the risk, picks it up off the slush pile. No rush.

It's made so much harder by the fact that so many of them won't even consider fantasy. I'll bet those agents look at things like Game of Thrones and wonder if they should maybe remove that stipulation from their Writers' and Artists' Yearbook entries. Well, they should. I'm not saying The Lynher Mill Chronicles can ever hold a candle to George R R Martin, but it's proof that people DO want to read of alternative existences; whether totally separate or merging/blending with our own everyday lives. Reading is escape, and whether you escape to another country and follow someone's adventures there, or whether you just take a sideways step into what might be right beside you and just out of your line of vision, it's just as valid.

I took a break from LMC to write Saturday's Child, and I loved it. I enjoyed it, the voice came naturally and I felt a connection to my Grandmother through it. When I also found enjoyment in beginning Penhaligon's Attic thought I'd settled, but the minute I dug this out and began to read it again I felt myself relaxing into it, like my own familiar bed after a few nights in a luxury hotel. 

I still believe in this story, and I am not going to rest until I have seen it in print - whether it be with an agent and traditional publisher, or whether I go self-published. I will do it. All I ask for is the continued support of my friends and family, and of my fellow writers, whose work I have always supported in return.
Like I said; no rush.