Friday, 16 April 2010

Home Again

I'm back from my farewell tour of the south of France, and very lovely it was too. In a few months time I will once again, after seven years away, be living in the UK -- and dealing with the very mixed feelings that this change will involve – so this spring trip was especially welcome. I read Theresa Breslin's excellent Nostradamus Prophecy to help get a historical sense of place, as well as keep up my 'kid-lit' reading.

Naturally I also took a pocket sketchbook with me. This time a particularly fine leather bound affair with gold-lined pages, no less! Okay, it was a present. Normally I wouldn't be seen dead with such a Sunday painter's posing pad, but it's just too nice not to use. I deliberately roughed up the first pages a bit and once I'd found my way into it, it's a great little book, with square pages that fold into a very useful double page landscape spread. Thank you Julie and Philip (and congratulations again!).

I'm still not sketching as much as I'd like, despite anything I might have said about these things before. I'm longing to go off on a dedicated drawing trip (Julian, are you there?), but it'll have to wait.

I managed to receive a thoughtful rejection of my novel whilst away. But, despite being positive in tone...

'The Ghost Effect is an intriguing novel, and a fascinating premise, but after much thought, I have decided not to make an offer for it. ...There is a part of me itching to work with the author to make this into a super first novel, but the realistic part of me has to admit that, at the moment, I just don't have the time.'

… a no is still a no. Ah well. Every olive has a stone in it, but is no less delicious for that.

Anyway, I'm back in the driving seat again, with lots on, not to mention a house full of stuff to pack. Oh, and lots and lots of blog-reading to catch up on.

As ever, click for a closer look at the sketches


  1. Gorgeous saketches Thomas, you clever ol; thing. We must get together when you are back in England, and don't be downhearted about the novel. It's a tough market at the moment. I'm currently struggli ng with draft No 7 (!!!) of Katie in Scotland, the previous 6 being "not quite right". When I say draft, I mean I've written 7 completely different stories. No wonder I don't sleep. Height ho!

  2. Hi Thomas - nice to see you back...I have been wondering how you've been getting on re novel. I have had more than one rejection - very thoughtful ones too and I think to come so close hurts more than the thanks but no thanks...still, as my agent keeps saying it only takes one editor to love it....I just wish we could find them! Love your sketches - they make me smile.


  3. Your sketches are beautiful, Thomas. And that was a very nice rejection! (Believe me, I know. I've had many). Hopefully it will find it's way to an editor with more time.

  4. Awe, sorry about the rejection. Just keep on with it and the right editor will be introduced to it and fall madly in love with it.

    It's good that you got such a good letter.

    Still got all the limbs crossed for this. It will be published!

    Awesome as sketches (Kiwi speak)! The landscape of the town is superb. Love the ruins, too...made me chuckle about the sketchbook...welcome back!

  5. Oooooooohhhhhhh I am so envious of your ability to sketch like that. As for the novel - are you going to send it elsewhere? You surely should?

  6. Thanks, James. It would certainly be great to meet up again soon. I'm looking forward to being on the fun side of the Channel:)

    Mary-Jane, thanks for commenting. Yes, the near misses can be the most frustrating, especially when they make you feel you've taken a good idea in the wrong direction.

    Hi, Natalie. Rejections are normal. That's what I keep telling myself -- rejections are normal. Doesn't make them any easier though.

    Many thanks for keeping all those limbs crossed, Rachel. I'd love to see a photo;-)

    Thanks, Cat. My novel has now gone out to 19 publishers, of which only eight have responded. Numerically, and written out here, this appears positive. So let's say I'm positive.

  7. Thomas,

    That's most definitely a "good" rejection n'est-ce pas? In fact it's pretty much a great one. Still plenty of time for TGE.


  8. Thanks, Simon. I did leave out the bit about it needing more work, but yes -- it's a pretty positive no.

  9. Nice sketches. Sounds as if you had a great time!

    I think you're right, it's a postive no. Far better than the form rejections most get.

  10. Such fun sketches!
    I'm sorry to hear that they passed on your novel. But the comments seemed quite promising. There is still hope, don't give up =)

  11. Moosetours 2011 is just round the corner! Start collecting those posy sketchbooks... We'll be sitting round a cafe table before we know it....


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