Friday, April 9, 2010

Hot Off the Press.

I can't believe it's been so long since I had a chance to blog here, but I'm glad to be able to break the drought with some wonderful news.

Six months ago this week, I headed off to the post-office with a parcel tucked under my arm containing the manuscript for The Ghost of Ping-Ling. Its destination was Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, which I expected to be the first of a long line of publishers/agents it would travel to.

Then followed a long wait. I counted the days off in the calendar section of my red engineering diary. One day, two days, one week, four weeks, thirteen weeks, all struck off in black ink. Finally, in early January, I got a call from Dyan Blacklock, the publisher at Omnibus. To my joyful astonishment, she told me that she loved the manuscript, but wanted me to make a few (minor) changes before she sent it further along the acquisition process. It took me just under two months to make the changes, and I ended up resending just days before James was born in early March.

Then I waited some more. This time, I found the wait even more difficult. I'd had a taste of success and, despite my valiant attempts against it, I allowed my hopes to rise. To counter this, I tried hard to plan what I would do if word came back in the negative. I even subscribed to Writer's Marketplace and started yet another list of agents and publishers for the next round of submissions.

But the list proved unnecessary. On Tuesday, Dyan emailed me with the news that all the divisions of Scholastic had given the green light. The Ghost of Ping-Ling will be published most likely towards the end of 2011.

It's quite difficult to express the range of emotions I feel as I type this. To have spent so long striving for something, working so hard while trying to keep realistic about chances of success so small they may as well be zero - then to have it actually happen, actually for real happen, just completely takes your breath away. In many ways I still can't believe it, and I'm thankful that I have it in writing so I know it's for real.

So that's the scoop! Absolutely wonderful, unbelievably good news. I'm really looking forward to blogging about the whole process as it goes along, from cover design to editing to launching and beyond.

An exciting ride awaits.

21 comments:

  1. Fantastic news! Way to go Peter! We are very happy for your success - can't wait to buy a copy. Great news - love Rob & Jo Telfer

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  2. Who is this Robert Telfer character??

    Thanks, Telfers! Hope you catch up with you guys soon. xx.

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  3. Congratulations! That is such great news, I'm thrilled for you. Enjoy the ride!

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  4. w00T! w00T! I'm so happy for you I could burst!

    Now it's time to get cracking on the next book!

    Congratulations, Peter!

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  5. @Deb - thankyou! I think I read your blog post about that mysterious "phonecall" (the one that turned out to be from A&U) close to ten times, imagining what it would be like to get a call like that. I never thought I'd actually get one.

    @Teresa - thankyou for all your encouragement and help, as well as being the longest Cackling Scribe stalwart. I have absolutely no doubt sometime soon I'll be writing to congratulate you on success with Autumn Tale. Keep at it!

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  6. Peter that is just fantastic. What age group is this aimed at?? My 12 year (reading level of a 16-17yr old) LOVES fantasy and other similar genres. Best of luck with it all. I will look for it on the shelves so I can buy it say - I used to go to school with this guy....

    Tonya :)

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  7. Hi Tonya, and thankyou!

    I'm always a bit hazy on reading age, seeing as I'm forty and some of my favourite books are aimed at 12 year olds. But apparently the best way to work it out is to look at the age of the protagonist. Children will generally read a book that has a protagonist either their age or a few years older. In the case of Ghost of Ping-Ling, the protag is 15, so it would be right in the age range for a 12 year old reader (although by the time it comes out he'll be close to 14).

    I hope he gets to read it, and enjoys it :-)

    P.

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  8. That is wonderful news! Congrats! Glad that it has all come together for you.

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  9. Thanks Jonathan, and all the best with your own work. Keep those blog posts coming, too - I find them really helpful!

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  10. Peter, I'm so happy, excited, and delighted for you and I'm happy I had a chance to read it. I'm excited to see the changes you made. It's a wonderful story. Enjoy the process.

    Yeah, Peter.

    Ladonna

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  11. Thankyou, Ladonna! I really appreciated the many crits you did and all the encouragement you gave. I hope things are going great with you and your writing. When things settle down a bit with our new family addition, I'm hoping to have some time to get back to some OWW crits. I look forward to checking out some more of Jewel when I do!

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  12. No problem, Peter, I enjoyed your story. Yes, I'm still writing and loving it.

    I have my first sale. It's a flash fiction story called Chocolate Milk, and it will appear on Everyday Fiction on April 27. I'm excited about that, because I never thought I would get my work published.

    Take care of your wife and new baby.

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  13. that's great news, Ladonna! Congratulations. I'll certainly be checking it out when the 27th comes round :-)

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  14. Peter, FANTASTIC!!!! Great to hear your news. Looking forward to getting a First Edition. . . signed by the Author . . . waiting 100 years and then selling it for an absolute fortune. All the best from Bel and family.

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  15. Hi Bel - and thanks! I think you'll find the published version a bit different to the early draft you and Paul read (an improvement, hopefully). Hope to catch up with you guys soon!

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  16. Congratulations, Peter!

    Not until the end of 2011? That's forever! Okay, a year and a half... Only partially forever. :)

    Is it going to be available to purchase in the US eventually? Or do they have to see how well it sells in Australia first?

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  17. Hi Lindsday,

    Thankyou! It seems forever away to me, but I'm sure it will flash past. I have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime :-)

    I'll be asking the publisher about a US (and UK) release in the next little while, and I'll put the answer here on the blog. If it goes to the US it will almost certainly be some time after an Aussie release. You'd certainly be able to order it from here though, if you felt the urge!

    P.

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  18. Haha, of course I will order it, but only if you sign my copy!

    Are you working on the sequel yet? You know those fussy readers will expect a new book every few months once they start coming out. (Maybe that's just me... makes me cry when my favorite authors take two years in between books.)

    Happy writing!

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  19. As of tonight I'm 9K words into book 2 :-) I'm hoping to write a post about it if I get some time tonight or tomorrow....

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  20. Wow, amazing news, Peter! I'm jealous, in comparison to my self-published fifty copies sold :-P

    Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of something I helped with on OWW :-)

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  21. Hi Dave, and thanks! Finally you'll get to read the ending ;-)

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