In the words of Jack Johnson I have spent the past month Sitting, Waiting, Wishing. Why you may ask? Well I finished my novel!!! Yes that totally deserves three exclamation marks. Or maybe five since I've been working on it, on and off, for five years. I might still have been working on it if I hadn't heard from the lovely people at Hodderscape, THE home for Sci-fi and fantasy books in the UK.
It was an amazing opportunity because publishers normally never have anything to do with you unless you have an agent and I didn't think there was any point getting an agent until my novel was finished. Another important part of the open submission was you didn't have to have a completed manuscript. I had a completed draft but there was lots more I wanted to do on it. I cane tell you that once I submitted my 10,000 words I definitely had a fire lit under me to get it done.
Hodderscape said that if you hadn't heard from them by 1st January 2016 then your novel had gone through to a second round of readings. I counted down to midnight with an extra element of tension and hope and sure enough I didn't have a rejection email. Hurrah! It was a good start to the new year.
I've done my best not to think about it and keep going with my edits, polishing it until I was happy. On the 13th March I got the best email I've ever received saying that they loved my story and wanted to read the whole thing! So began a month of insane rewrites and edits as I worked to get it to a stage where I was happy to show it to anyone. Yes I'm a little crazy, nobody else had read my novel, apart from a few extracts before I submitted it to the publishers. There wasn't time and it didn't feel right, so I pushed on. My grandma has since read it twice but I've not shown anyone else.
I'm still Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, praying for good news. I will let you know how I get on. Feel free to send me some good luck vibes and you can Sit, Wait and Wish with me too.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.