My name is Simon Yates.
My aims and ambitions are unrealistic. This I know. But if you aim for the stars you might just reach the sky. Or something like that.
In my version of my future I hope I’ll have sold so many novels and screenplays that I’ll be able to wake up every morning in a different city, scribble away for a few hours and then wander off to find adventure. And by adventure I most likely mean a sporting event or theatre trip or restaurant visit. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind slowing things down and waking up in our villa in Crete or perhaps Orlando.
For this future to come to pass I need to become an author the success of which can only be measure in ‘Rowling’s and this blog will be a detailed account of how I’m getting on… Maybe. If I can be bothered.
A little history now, as a prelude to the first post:
I finished my first novel “Entering the Weave” towards the end of 2004 and promptly sent out the first three chapters to Darley Anderson Literary agency. 21 days later I received my first rejection. Then I sent it out to 17 other agencies, one or two at a time. They all responded, some within a few days, one of them after 134 days. Only two of them asked for the full manuscript. One of which rejected that after a single day. The other, Andrew Mann, returned the postcard about a month later saying: “+ am enjoying reading it so far.”
Then, 3 days later, I received the following email:
I don’t normally read books like this – my only other sci-fi type books are fantasy, so I embarked on The Weave rather expecting to be negative. Instead I was completely gripped, and found myself reading in bath and bed! I think it is terrific. Full of interesting ideas and characters and excitements. One criticism only, that towards the middle of the page 300s I began to feel that the narrative had become a little too erratic – darting from person and place too often so that the compulsion lagged a bit. One needed to know about Toby’s dream journeys, for example but a page of them and then back to Josh and then back to Toby was too much of a jumpy process. I had the feeling that you were accelerating to get to the end, and had lost some of your literary rigour en route. I also felt that the final confrontation was not quite tremendous enough, and the actual ending a bit quick. Not that I think you should add to the length of the book, just that the last quarter or so could do with a bit of sorting and vamping up!
I don’t know how you would feel about this – as I said, I am far from an expert in this genre and can only give you my personal reaction to the book and to say that if you, yourself, felt there was some sense in what I have said, and were prepared to do some work, then I would love to reconsider it, with a strong feeling that I would offer to take it on, though at this stage I can’t give a guarantee – only something close to it!
Let me know
This was it, I thought. I’ve made it. Success is mine.
After a meeting in their London offices, Anne agreed to take “Entering the Weave” on and she sent it out to the big publishers and I bought a huge coffer in which to store my gold which was inevitably going to come my way.
There was no gold. Bloomsbury, Random House, MacMillan, Orbit, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Walker and Scholastic all passed on the chance of a lifetime… These were hard times. I thought I’d got so close, but I didn’t win a banana.
I did continue to write my next novel “The Clockwork Butterfly” and I took on board what all the agents and publishers had written when they’d rejected “Entering the Weave”
I finally finished a coherent draft on Sunday 21st July 2013. And that’s where this blog begins. I have a very tenuous relationship with Andrew Mann, which I hope to cultivate. And a few ideas and synopses for novels in the pipeline.