I know I've been quiet, so here's a brief (and I do mean brief) update to keep you all in the loop:
The Agent Search
I sent the novel off to agents for the third and final time on the 20th April. Playing the waiting game is always tough, and if I let myself think on everything too much I invariably end up looking like this woman in yellow here. But, where am I at? On the 1st July one agent requested the full manuscript (it's still too soon for a response at this stage), but by 24th July a few agencies had yet to respond, to which I have now chased. Usually radio silence after three months means a rejection, but I wanted to have an official answer. Somehow having it there in black and white makes moving forward and dealing with rejection easier. So, at this stage I have no news on this score. What I can say is that if by September I have nothing to show for the wait, then my decision to shelve the novel as discussed in my last blog post will come to fruition. I've done all I can. And that's ok.
It doesn't mean I've given up on the writing completely, however. Research for Book 2 - tentatively titled FOUNDLING - is under way. This research is a pick-up from where I left off in 2016, but with two double anniversaries looming - Peterloo (August 1819) and Cato Street (February 1820) - I'm conscious that I've left this longer than originally intended. But then, I had hoped Book 1 would have been further along by now, and I must take into account all that had happened in the interim period, the fact that I've rewritten Book 1 from scratch between July 2017 and March 2018, and had the day job to juggle while doing so.
For the moment I have removed the Twitter and Instagram apps from my phone so I cannot be distracted by them, and the second week of August will see me in London hitting the National Archives at Kew, the special collections department at Senate House, and an 'historical walk' that will literally have me following in the footsteps of a key figure in my second novel. Some of this research is not fully dedicated to Book 2, however, as I have an academic chapter to finish which requires a lot of the information I plan to collect. But there is progress - albeit slow - which is a lot more than I could say for myself six months ago! With nothing else to report, I'll leave you with William Faden's Fourth Edition of Horwood's Plan (1819) and a glimpse of where my walk will start ...