At the moment I’m working on a novel proposal for an Italian publisher who is looking for First World War themed books for its new series. I was put onto it by a friend of a friend who also happens to be an Italian translator. I rather like the idea of being translated though was rather dubious whether my “And I Shall Be Healed”, with its intrinsically English perspective would really interest anyone beyond its shores. Certainly, thousands of digital copies were downloaded in America when it was offered for free, but only one reader felt inclined to write a review and that wasn’t a good one, requiring me to linger among the book’s reviews on http://www.amazon.co.uk for comfort. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained so off we go.
I’ve been a bit slack, I must admit. A lack of confidence, the prospect of a new job (which would save me from the living death of freelancing) and a throat infection has kept me at bay for rather a long time and I’m only just getting back into the writing (see previous post for my over-enthusiastic list of writing projects). Anyway, I got through the list of points to include, kindly supplied by my translator, and sent the draft proposal off to her this morning. It has just come back with notes. This is what I want, I can work with notes. Without notes I feel like I’m trying to stab a pea in the dark with a cocktail stick. So, we’re fine.
However, there’s something else I found interesting. As you may be aware, I’m working on the sequel to “Healed” now. As a rule, I tend to work in layers of concentration: emotion & story; historical background; imagery. While I’m writing the emotion, I find that I think of the protagonist as “poor Leo”. I don’t think I’m alone, it’s not for nothing that female readers like him better than males readers do; we want to take him home, give him a hug and feed him. Today, however, I was flicking through “Healed” to find good sample chapters and noticed that, while he is lonely and, ultimately, very ill, he is also rather a strong, self-motivating character. A timely reminder for me to bring some of that strength into the new book.
He’s going to need it, poor chap.