Thursday, 19 March 2009

Green Eyed Writer?


Before I know whether or not I'm still a published novelist, I thought I'd jot down a few other writerly things that have happened recently while I've been off in Bad Blogger territory. Because IF it all goes tits-up with the prospective new deal I know I won't be able to mention the word "writerly" for months...

There has been yet another German deal. I am so delighted with the way things are going in Germany - so, it must be said, are my bank and the Inland Revenue and everyone else I owe money to... This time it's for yet another book-club deal for Love Potions (Sommernachts Zauber). The last one was to supply a large on-line book club, while this one is a hard-copy, magazine type one - and again, it was a lovely surprise. Still can't quite believe it. And the German version of Heaven Sent (Sternenzauber) is out on April 1st (not as bad as it sounds as April 1st is also Elle's birthday - so we don't make jokes about it - okay???) so it'll be interesting to see if it does as well as Love Pots. Me, the bank and the Inland Rev sincerely hope so...

There's also been a deal for Happy Birthday this week - not in Germany, but with a UK indie publisher who are going to do a 10,000 copy print run for cheapo bookshops. I know a lot of Proper Authors are horrified by this sort of thing - but I ain't proud. Okay, these deals don't bring in much money for the author (sob!) BUT they are vital in getting the books into readers' hands - I did a similar one with Hub Bub and sold loads AND got lots of new readers to boot and shifted a lot of my backlist as a result. And to be honest, it'll just be nice to see Happy Birthday on a shelf...

The magazine outlets seem to be dwindling by the minute, don't they? I've sold another story to YOURS (THANK YOU Womag!), and have another couple almost ready to go to them, but with the recent demise of of the fiction slot in Best, the markets are getting fewer and fewer. I'm going to have a go at something for My Weekly and People's Friend - and may well bite the bullet and see if I can manage to write whatever it is that Woman's Weekly wants at the moment. Must say here that I did have a hissy fit while reading something in a story in a recent WW - because it was WRONG! WRONG!! WRONG!!! It was SO wrong factually that I felt like dashing off a letter to the editor - but fortunately my sense of self-preservation prevented me putting fingers to keyboard just in time. After all, a wannabe contributor slagging off a) another author and b) the ed's clear oversight in checking the story's background, probably wouldn't endear me to anyone, and I'd hate to be thought of as green-eyed...

Mind you, I am. Jealous I mean. Yes, of course I'm genuinely pleased when my friends and fellow-writers are successful, and I'm really happy to share any info I think might help anyone trying to be published - BUT - it still doesn't mean that I'm a Nice Person. I'm not. I can get catacylsmically (sp?) jealous of others' successes if I think they're undeserved. I gnash my teeth and swear a lot - and yep, I've had plenty of those "my books are better/as good as hers and yet my career bobbles along in the mid-list while she soars into the literary stratosphere being lauded and fawned over..." moments. Oh, yes, I have quite a few moments of sheer unadulterated HATRED while ensconced here in the back bedroom... It's lovely.

Oh, and meant to say - again - that everyone who writes magazine stories and/or features should register with ALCS - the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society -you don't have to be a novelist, ALCS will collect royalties on anything you've had published, either in books or magazines (think they're currently going back to 2006) - so dig out all those back issues, and they pay out either in Sept or March. I've just had a unexpectedly lovely amount appear in my bank account for all sorts of royalties collected across the globe for my UK magazine work.

And as this is now Friday lunch time - and The Meeting To Decide My Future took place yesterday - and I haven't heard a PEEP from my agent I'm now going to slink off into a dark corner and gibber.

20 comments:

ChrisH said...

Hi Chris, I read your post on Tuesday but it's been hectic here at Hotel H (aka Liberty Hall) - I did go away thinking it's a crazy world when a writer of your talent is left without a contract. Hopefully, your new agent will have got you a stonking deal by now. Sorry, I'm coming over like a creep again, but really, you have every right to look at some other writers and get a touch of the 'why them?'. Blimey, you're funny, clever, write well and quickly - what more could a publishers want? Well, as least the Germans know a good thing! Good luck, m'dear!

Christina Jones said...

Thanks so much ChrisH - you're lovely! And I AM a bitch (sometimes). Now I've just had an email from my agent saying she's going to ring me... I'm now clinging to the phone, waiting, and every second seems like an hour...

Mummy said...

Ooooh - has she rung yet???? I'm gibbering for you, I can't imagine what you must be feeling like! Hope it's good news. Be thinking of ya x

ChrisH said...

OMG! Everything crossed for you. Good luck!

Christina Jones said...

Mummy and ChrisH - thank you - and yes, she rang! It's okay! I'm going to make a whole blog post of it tomorrow because it's not EXACTLY what I'd expected....

Jan Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Posner said...

Aaaaaaaaargh! I don't want to wait. I bet nobody does! You're a tease; but I'm so glad it's all okay.
Of course, I knew it would be!

xxPat

Jan Jones said...

But it is a bit of what you want, yes? Please?

I'm also smarting because TaB this morning returned me a perfectly good story. Pah!

On the plus side, I've just proof-read your story for the RNA anthology. Lovely!

Gonna be a writer said...

Can hardly wait to read tomorrows post.

Christina Jones said...

Pat - I'm not teasing - honest - I'm just sorting it all out in my head... When I blog about it I want to be honest - not over-emotional - so I'll sleep on it and blog properly tomorrow.

Jan - oh bum to TaB!!! Thanks so much for liking my RNA anthology story - and for slogging through the proof-reading (like you haven't got enough to do!!!) and yes, it is a bit of what I wanted. Well, a lot of what I wanted - because all I wanted was to stay published and I am!

Gonna be a writer - hope you won't be disappointed with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth tomorrow...

katiebird said...

Thanks for the hint-of-goodish news about your contract status Chris. Speaking as an addicted fan, it would break my heart if I couldn't read another book by you.

I mean, the blog is great but, a novel is a BOOK!

It's pathetic how innocently I assumed my favorite authors would just naturally keep producing books for the rest of their lives. You tell your agent that people are counting on you! -- Yes even in the United States!

(as usually thinking only of myself)

katiebird said...

(cough) Chris, do you have any hints for how someone in the US could find copies of your magazine stories?

Christina Jones said...

katiebird - thanks so much as ever - and sorry but I have no idea how you'd get hold of my mag stories. Over here they're out for a week and then - whoosh! - gone! Even the mag publishers don't keep back issues any more. And I was of much the same belief as you - writers just kept on writing and producing books! It never occurred to me (pre-publication) that there were contracts and negotiations and all sorts of businessy things involved! Ah, for the heady innocence of those days...

Debs said...

I'm sure it's got to be good news surely. You're books are so wonderful, they're bound to want more from you.

I can't wait to hear all about it and will cross fingers, legs and hold thumbs. I don't know if that's just what they do in South Africa, rather than crossing fingers, or if it's just my mother getting confused, but she always says to hold thumbs.x

Christina Jones said...

Debs - you're lovely - and I'm just going to blog about it all. And I think they hold thumbs for luck in Ireland, too. And are you OK?????

ptasia said...

We also hold thumbs here in Poland: I had no idea the idiom was used elsewhere! Got to mention it to my students (I teach English :).
And I'm holding and crossing for you too - I'm a big fan (reading Heaven Sent at the moment!), and have been reading this blog for some time, but never plucked up the courage to write anything.

womagwriter said...

Well done on the sale (and all the other good news!)

Christina Jones said...

ptasia - thanks so much for your post! Lovely to hear from you - and delighted that you'll be passing on idioms from the blog posts to your students!!! Thanks a million for reading the blog - and Heaven Sent! Hope you'll enjoy both... and hope to hear from you again.

womag - one day we'll meeet and I'll buy you a huge drink to say thanks for all the new markets you've generously given me - and so many others. THANK YOU.

KAREN said...

Have you ever considered doing a Madeleine Wickham?

When she wanted to write something different she instructed her agent to submit her new novel under the name Sophie Kinsella. The rest, as they say, is history!

Not that you should have to resort
to such tactics, but it's criminal that you're not more widely feted. I've thought before that your books would made great TV comedy/dramas :o)

Christina Jones said...

Karen - great minds and all that! I've actually spent the last week or so inventing a whole new writing persona - and have come up with three possibles. Thanks for your lovely comments about my books - but have concluded being "noticed" is something of a lottery unless you're a) already famous for something else or b)very well connected.