Pre-York Confession

Published by: Raine on 28th Aug 2017 | View all blogs by Raine

Well hello there,

I've just realised that although I told the Randoms and my SE group, I haven't told you lot. And rather than spend all of York weekend telling people individually (and probably ending up sobbing in the loo), here's a wee update...

You know last winter, I said I had signed with Zeno Agency? Exciting times etc etc. Well, not so much.

Things were looking good - book was out on submission to editors and there were signs of interest. And then my agent left her job, and publishing. And as no-one else at Zeno (at the time) represents my genre, that was pretty much that.

To make a longish story short, I am back to submitting to agents.

To make it slightly longer, having health issues, as you may recall, anything that knocks you back mentally, knocks your health too. It's been a difficult few months, to say the least. But I *have* resubmitted the original book, and the full is out with a couple of agents as we speak. I also have another book ready to submit after York (I'm showing it to our lovely Emma Darwin, so waiting on her thoughts first), and a third beginning to look vaguely presentable.

Our brains are funny things, and although losing my agent was nothing whatsoever to do with me, I still felt like I'd failed in some huge and fundamental way. But chocolate helps with that, as do my fabulous writerly friends who've been ace.

There isn't a moral to this blog, and it's not a cry for sympathy...I just wanted to let you know. I would have done sooner but ... you know, life etc. I am back on the horse, even if it is a mulish and bitey wee bugger.

Much love and tea

Raine x



  • Woolleybeans
    by Woolleybeans 10 months ago
    Thank you for the tea, you wonderful person, you. I was just thinking of making a second pot.
  • Kate
    by Kate 10 months ago
    I'd be using the persons picture for dart practice! Surely they must have known they were intending to leave the business. Well done for picking yourself back up and fingers crossed for your submissions. :)
  • Seagreen
    by Seagreen 10 months ago
    I have biscuits...:-)
  • Woolleybeans
    by Woolleybeans 10 months ago
    Ooh, biscuits. Lovely. What kind are they?

    And in case I did not make it clear enough already, you are a brave and brilliant and talented writer/person, Raine, and I am very much looking forwards to seeing you at York in a few weeks.
  • Seagreen
    by Seagreen 10 months ago
    They are mostly dragon biscuits but I have some rich tea for Raine.
  • Sandra
    by Sandra 10 months ago
    You sound to be facing the right way, feet in stirrups and the reins firmly in your hands - get kicking, and best of luck in York and thereafter. x
  • Yo
    by Yo 10 months ago
    I think that as you've got it through once, means you'll have no problems getting it through again. It's just a matter of time. Good luck with it!
  • Raine
    by Raine 10 months ago
    Thanks all. All good luck wishes gratefully received!

    Ah Sea, you know me so well!! Rich Tea! :-)

    @Kate - haha, it was frustrating true enough. But you never know what's going on in someone else's life, so I couldn't really hold it again her.
  • SecretSpi
    by SecretSpi 10 months ago
    I was wondering a few days ago how things were going as I remember your posting about the agent. I've been mighty impressed with your AlanP challenge stories.

    What a load of bad luck - but hoping that changes soon with one or other (or ideally both) of your current projects.
  • Scheherazade
    by Scheherazade 10 months ago
    Oh Raine, understand completely how you feel. Feels like one step forward and two steps back in this business. I also left York last year feeling pretty damn good - having won the perfect pitch comp and had a full ms request. And since then, nada. Hold on to that horse - and good luck with the submissions - and with York x
  • KazGinnane
    by KazGinnane 10 months ago
    Raine, I know and everyone you has read your work knows that you are a brilliant, talented writer. No question. You are also incredibly tough and resilient- you have produced nearly 3 books in spite of some really tough health issues. I think you're amazing and it's just a matter of time that that combination of talent and sheer bloody minded fortitude pays off and you hit the big time. Mark my crystal ball. And yes, tea please. I wish I could be at York to drink it with you in person. xxx
  • Dolly
    by Dolly 10 months ago
    After a lot of sweat and cursing, I finished my book a couple of years ago. Fortunately for me, (or unfortunately), it didn't get as far down the line as yours did. It did the rounds without a flicker of interest. I can only sympathise with you. It must be more than a bit of a bugger to have your legs kicked out from under you. Anyway, best of luck next time. Tea, biscuits, and don't forget the cake! I love cake. I love biscuits, but I think cake has the edge over biscuits. Of course, can eliminate the dilemma bay having both!
  • Jill
    by Jill 10 months ago
    That was very unfortunate, Raine. Good luck with the new round of submissions.
  • Philippa
    by Philippa 10 months ago
    Oh, Raine. Thank you for sharing. It's a brutal game this, but your writing thrills me and I am certain that you will make it , even if you've had this false start. The fact that agents continue to request the full MS is a great sign, and all credit to you that you have created another novel in the meantime. But ouch, how our hopes sting when they get dashed.
  • Lizzielion
    by Lizzielion 10 months ago
    Can sympathise and empathise. I had a terrific FOW2016, with such encouraging one-to-ones that I felt incredibly positive and on the cusp of something. Well, turns out I'm not. Either that, or it's a very long cusp! And the health thing is another aspect that affects my life, too. But right now, I'm feeling better than for ages & the sun is shining so it's looking promising again.
    I hope you are successful is nabbing an agent this time round. Will keep everything possible crossed for you. X
  • BellaM
    by BellaM 10 months ago
    Ugh. What a massive bummer. That's just grim. Hope things turn around soon.

    @ Lizzielion - that cusp sounds familiar.
  • Janeshuff
    by Janeshuff 10 months ago
    Raine - I don't know how you managed to pick yourself after such a rotten thing to happen. All power to you! It must surely be only a questions of time before another agent comes along.
  • Hil
    by Hil 10 months ago
    Thanks for letting us know, Raine - and well done for keeping going. I am a great fan of your writing too - that story about Madagascar was amazing. Wishing you success. Not going to York this year, so will miss seeing you. But have a great time. xxx
  • Jenni Belsay
    by Jenni Belsay 10 months ago
    Really sorry to hear this. Can imagine that gutted feeling. Wishing you all the best at York - hopefully you'll bag another, better agent there or subsequently, and you'll end up relieved that Zeno let you down.
  • Giselle
    by Giselle 10 months ago
    So sorry to hear this Raine, and thoroughly agree that you don't deserve such a letdown that of course makes you feel rotten even if it has nothing to do with you or your writing. ARGH! I'm sure that your conversation with Emma will be rich and fatastic, and if you ever feel like crying the loo, come to us instead. We'll have tea, wine and hugs.Can't wait to see you again! xxx
  • Thea
    by Thea 10 months ago
    Very sorry to hear that, Raine. All credit to you for picking yourself up and carrying on. I remember what an amazing story you wrote for Now and Then, so I'm sure it won't be long before something good happens for you!
  • Athelstone
    by Athelstone 10 months ago
    I know how wonderfully and poetically you write. I can't believe you won't be successful, particularly with the degree of determination you've shown after this setback.
  • AlanP
    by AlanP 10 months ago
    Don't let it get to you. Although getting an agent interested is a very good thing they are just people doing a job and this is a demonstration of that. You are just as good as you ever were and if it's in the stars then you'll get there, just a slightly longer road than it could have been.
    by 10 months ago
    Raine, I can only ditto all the lovely comments that have already been posted. So sorry your health decided to join in the butt-kicking - fine compensation - not. Sending gentle hugs and chocolate, because you can't get too much of either, and hope you've got more positive news for us soon. You so deserve the break x
  • Newbie
    by Newbie 10 months ago
    Fingers crossed for you, Raine. You haven't given up so you're already half-way there. Sending virtual chocolate and hugs. xx
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 9 months ago
    Raising a cup of tea in you're honour, Raine. You're a fine writer who deserves to be read. And you will be. Love and sympathy from another ex-agented author xxx

    See you at York, and we can wow the publishing world together.
  • Raine
    by Raine 9 months ago
    Thank-you peeps. Those coming to York - very much looking forward to seeing you, and John, yes, lets be all wow-ish together! :-)

    (or more accurately, lets hide in the corner and drink tea)
  • John Taylor
    by John Taylor 9 months ago
    That's the trouble: I'm better at hiding in the corner when it comes to my writing ;-)
  • Philippa
    by Philippa 9 months ago
    Raine (and others) - have you seen this? It's a mentorship scheme particularly offered to female writers with a chronic health condition. Deadline Friday
  • Caducean Whisks
    by Caducean Whisks 9 months ago
    Aw Raine, so sorry. Galling to hear. You think it's all downhill once you've signed with an agent. It's not tho, is it. Well done for keeping your pecker up.
  • Raine
    by Raine 9 months ago
    Thank-you for sharing that, Philippa! I'd heard of the WoMentoring Project, but someone specifically looking to help a fellow chronic-illness-person sounds pretty darn lovely. :-)
  • Loretta Milan
    by Loretta Milan 9 months ago
    Oh, Raine. I really feel for you. You have not failed in any way and you are doing absolutely the right thing by continuing on, getting your work out there, putting it in front of the right people. And, Emma Darwin is always one for solid advice. Philippa has made a great suggestion with the Womentoring project, even better if there's someone who can understand your condition. Keep going!
  • Skylark
    by Skylark 9 months ago
    Oh, Raine, that's a blow. I'm sorry it worked out like that but really pleased that you're submitting again. All the best with that - and look forward to seeing you at York xxx
  • Bric
    by Bric 9 months ago
    Zeno did not deserve you. Talent and graft will out, and you have both in spades. The rest is luck. You have just had a run of the bad stuff. You'll find a much better agent and look back on this and realise it was a lucky escape. It's just a matter of...timing. But it still sucks and I'm sending gin.
  • Noodledoodle
    by Noodledoodle 9 months ago
    Aww, Raine. Sorry to read this, but it's good that you are carrying on. Best of luck for York x
  • Lin
    by Lin 9 months ago
    Raine, so glad you are continuing your quest. It's my first time at this kind of event in York, but I was there for the other March festival. Hoping to link up with many there. Do say hello, I'd be happy to chat. It is sometimes an uphill struggle, but we are always together in this!
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