Friday, 29 July 2016
Today is a good day wherein I am up to 50% pledged - thanks to all of you 82 supporters! I am grateful that you put your trust and bucks into this project. These stories have been percolating for many years and in many places such as Toronto (Humber School, with Joan Barfoot - an extraordinary writer), in Paris (WICE, with Lauren B. Davis, another amazing writer and teacher I admire), and at Oxford (MSt, with my fellow students). Some of the stories are newer or re-worked while many of them have been published in literary journals online and in print over the years. Somehow though, I couldn't let them go and had the intention of gathering them together in a collection where they belong.
After sending them out to about 25 agents and getting replies like: 'good stories but stories don't sell', or: 'can you first send me your novel?', or: 'who are you? What have you written that I would have heard of?' I kind of gave up. For a while. And yes, I'm now working on a novel but novels take time. When my former teacher Alice Jolly - who has successfully published traditionally and now on Unbound - recommended this route I went for it. Unbound seemed the perfect place for a difficult genre and subject matter. Having the manuscript accepted by Xander in the e-division was great news but one’s winnings require work. I never knew how much until I started this journey.
The crowdfunding process requires long hours of personal emailing, wracking ones’ brains for good contacts or avenues of opportunities. It requires going out of one's comfort zone to remind, needle, beg, plead, exchange, and thank. In fact, it requires everything but creative writing (except for these posts). There are 20 days left in this 90 day race and I don’t know if we’ll make it. In trying to stay positive and pro-active I think of you folks whose names will be in the book if I can swing it. Meanwhile, I take comfort in trying, in seeing it as a journey, and in having my dog by my side, taking his naps in my office, licking my feet, and urging me away from the computer for those much-needed walks.
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