I’ve been writing science fiction and fantasy for some years now, and found being part of a British Science Fiction Association Orbit group a great help.
I’ve also been writing a novel, and have now got an agent. After I’d sent the novel to Writers Services for an editer’s report, and made the revisions they suggested, I followed the report’s next suggestion: get an agent, because it’s time. Finding the agent took quite a bit of patient work. I identified the agents who accept SFF submissions (a continual process; they kept popping up in my social media feeds), and sent them the novel synopsis, sample chapters, pitch letter, and other things they wanted. I kept a spreadsheet of what I sent to whom and when. Two agents asked to see the full MS; both said no thank you after that, and one was very encouraging, saying just because he didn’t love it didn’t mean that another agent wouldn’t. He also gave me contact details for three more agents.
Then a friend who is a well-established novelist, who has been keeping an eye on my progress, asked if I would like her to tell her agent about my novel. I’d been a bit chary of going down that route, because I had thought that it would have been nice to achieve an agent’s interest from my own efforts, but after six months I thought I’d tried that approach for long enough. My friend told her agent: ‘My friend Kate can write, and she can listen, and I think you’d like the novel.’ The agent said, ‘Sure! Get her to send it to me.’ She received the novel (with my polite email and synopsis) on a Wednesday or Thursday, I think, and on Friday she emailed me saying she loved it and wanted to talk to me on Monday. So we did, and several weeks later I signed the agency agreement.
The key is, I think, that she loved the novel and knew that it was something that she could sell. That’s the important thing in getting an agent’s interest. So I’m hoping that she can.
Meanwhile I’m revising novel 1 from the suggestions from my new agency, and getting on with novel 2, and have a 12k-word novella from the same world-building sitting waiting for more to join it.
I’ve been lucky enough to have two stories published.
‘The Adaptation Point’
Published in Shoreline of Infinity 16 in October 2019, an award-winning sff magazine, nominated again for the British Fantasy Society Best Magazine of the Year for 2019. The story is about what happens to a long-term exploration mission to a new planet when the colonists are losing the war of attrition with the planet’s ecology. The mission’s children are adapting, but can they survive when the adults are not?
June 2020: To my great amazement ‘The Adapatation Point’ was chosen for republication in Best of British Science Fiction 2019, which can be ordered here. I mean, some of those other authors are properly famous. I am getting imposter syndrome.
‘The Mothers of Pequeño Lago’
Written for the Bicycles in Space anthology about dragons and bicycles, Dragon Bike, this was fully funded by a Kickstarter campaign in autumn 2019, and is a rather dark story about what happens when a broody dragon gets between a midwife (on a bicycle, obviously) and a woman in labour.