Monday, October 27, 2008

Authonomy, I want my life back

About two months ago, Kris sent me a link to a new website called run by HarperCollins. It is a place for writers to post their work and get feedback from a lively community of other writers and avid readers. The top five books that receive the most support get sent to an editor at HarperColins each month. Most of you will remember my constant and annoying plea for votes. My book was doing great until they changed the rules in the middle of the game. Suddenly votes from friends and family didn't count as much as votes from regular users of the site. I dropped from 17 to 55 in one day. It was heartbreaking.

The book is back up to about 25 these days, but I'm convinced it will wallow there forever if I don't start working the system. I need to get active in the forum and make some friends, but I find their conversations and arguments silly. I can't imagine spending any more time on that site than I already do.

I did receive the nicest comment shortly after the last agent rejected me, which made me feel a lot better.
A perfect stranger who didn't have to say a thing about my book said this:

Lissa. I think this is a wonderful read.

I'm sure that everyone believes their lives to be worthy material for a biography or film or both, but often as not, even when the material is strong enough, the presentation is not. I found this well written, easy to read, and somehow familiar? Not that I have heard this story before - how could I?! - but the style and flow seemed very... comfortable as a reader. The sort of thing you could pick up and return to as if you hadn't been away from it for a while.

For some reason I found myself reminded of Angela's Ashes - yet neither your writing style or plot are actually anything similar! There was just something about the 4 chapters I have read that gave it that feel of being more than a run of the mill biography, where someone preaches about their life as being either special or extraordinary.

So I've shelved this for a while. Books are meant to make you think. I have always felt a good book is one that you think about after you have finished it, and not just one you can lose yourself in when reading it. I find the American style so different for many reasons, (Mom v Mum, etc etc), and thinking about the differences between our childhoods is thought provoking enough for me. Also, the ending to chapter 4 caught me, so I know I will try and come back to read more - another good sign.

A lovely book, and you have my best wishes with it.

I love it when strangers are nice. For all of authonomy's faults, a few people there have inspired me to continue my quest to be published. So I will rewrite my pitch for the 9th time and start sending it out to agents again.

If you want to take a look, you can find some of my book here: