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Fireworks

We all have dreams and guest blogger Kieran Mathers is no different…

It’s at times like this that I have to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

I’ve sent the manuscript for The Witch off to agents (4 submissions, 0 replies) and I’m still waiting for Hydra to get back to me about The Darkness Embraces. I’ve submitted a load of short stories to podcasts (1 submission, one pending, 0 replies) and competitions (3 submissions, 0 replies).

Now I’m just waiting for feedback.

I have a tendency to assume the worst when I’m left without information. I’m sure I can’t be the only writer who thinks “Oh, they hate it so much they’re laughing at it right now in their office.” So I occasionally wonder where I’d like to be in five years’ time.

Bear in mind, this is where I’d like to be, not where I expect to be. We are doing something which is so difficult.

The funny thing about this is that even my imagination has become more conservative over the years. When I was twenty-two, I thought I’d be published by twenty-five, have a best-selling series of novels, a couple of TV adaptations and maybe be selling the movie rights by thirty. By forty, I’d be wealthy, sought after, and well on the way to winning the Booker Prize.

No, seriously, this was my plan.

Loadsa money!

Now, almost thirty, what do I want? I really want to be published. But beyond that, I’ve almost taught myself not to think about it. Getting published is the goal and if I fill my mind with all these other things I want, every rejection is going to hurt much more. Because all of these possibilities are destroyed by every rejection I receive.

But, I’ll indulge myself this once, and hopefully remind myself why I’m doing this.

So, what would I like? Let’s start with a four or five book deal for The Darkness Embraces, The Brothers Baern Parts 1+2, The Oyster-Fisher and the unnamed final book in the series. All of those published as e-books, with decent sales so they end up as a print run as well. A few meet-and-greet sessions, a book signing or two. Making half my money a year out of the royalties. Get to know a few people in the industry. Get known.

After this, it gets a little more unrealistic.

While writing a new set of historical thrillers in my mid-thirties sell the film rights to The Darkness Embraces. See a decently budgeted movie or TV adaptation starring Rachel Weisz as Captain Frenda, with Thomas Jane playing Mister Olten. I’d love to be involved with writing the script as well.

See the mis-cast sequel which destroys the series. Maybe get some more screenplay work out of that. Get a decent advance to cover my masterpiece, a historical thriller based on the birth of the early Christian Church.

Have a shot at winning the Booker Prize.

Rocky, on getting his first publishing contract

So that’s the plan, but I can’t really get ahead of myself. All of the above would be beyond wonderful, it would be culmination of a life’s dream. But if I put the cart before the horses, I’ll never get there. So I’ll go back to not imagining this – because it’s too hard to fail if I do. And as writers, sadly, we have to get used to failing.

Instead, I’ll get back to plugging away and waiting for a response…

Kieran will be back next Saturday with another Mundane Adventure. To read the previous articles in the series and learn more about Kieran, just click here.

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