Dispatches From The Querying Trenches - March. Guest Blog by Kirsten Hesketh.

Posted on 24th March, 2017

It's the last weekend of the month and that means it's time to welcome Kirsten back to tell us the latest about how she is getting on with her writing.

Over to you, Kirsten!

* * * *


The end of March - and how very welcome it is! The French doors are open, there’s a lovely buttery sun and the garden is full of cherry blossom and fat, sticky buds. The daffodils are out, the tulips are poised and even our slightly lardy cats are positively skittish. Life is good.Kirsten's cats, looking not quite so skittish...


But your resident (and slightly lardy) aspiring author is restless.


Susanna’s blog is full of lovely writers who are busy making their dreams come true and I’m suddenly impatient - itching - to be one of them. During the winter, I was introspective, contemplative. Now I want to fling open the windows and get OUT THERE!! I don’t want to be the ‘aspiring’ one forever …


So, I’ve been busy.


Really busy.


I’ve entered the Bath Novel award. Because … why not? I have a nearly polished manuscript I’m really proud of. Of course, the chance of making the long list, let alone the shortlist, is pretty small, but you’ve got to be in it to win it, right? It could be me.


I’ve submitted my partial to a couple more agents. One (DHH Literary Agency) has invited unrepresented writers to pitch in person. DHH represents my friends Amanda and Claire who are fulsome in their praise so I’d love to have the opportunity. You have to apply in advance and the deadline is looming so, all you fellow aspiring writers, submit, submit, submit …!


I’ve nearly finished my edits. The last third of my book has been completely rejigged and rewritten and - I hope - the narrative arc is now much smoother. I‘m really pleased with it. Pretty soon I’ll send it to the RNA New Writer’s Scheme for a critique and, not long afterwards, I hope to send it to the six agents who have requested the full. I really hope they remember me!


Finally, I’ve started Book 2. Details to follow but, if I say ‘laundry’, some of you might guess the route I’ve taken ….


And, on that note, I will wish you all a very happy and bountiful spring and I look forward to catching up at the end of April.


Thank you again to Susanna for the opportunity of a regular slot on her lovely blog xx




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Comments (30)

Thank you again for welcoming me onto your lovely blog, Sue, and I'm very much looking forward to reading whoever is up next. See you in April xx
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rae, and sending Kirsten encouragement. Best of luck with your writing plans and ambitions.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Rae and great to meet you someone in a similar position. Except you are award-winning!! - congratulations on winning the Elizabeth Goudge Award!! That must have given you such a boost. Will you be pitching to DHH too? xx
It's wonderful to read of your writing journey, Kirsten. Especially as I'm in a similar place - polishing my novel with the hope of submitting to agents soon. Good luck with the pitch to the DHH Literary Agency. What a fantastic opportunity!
Hi Jen. Thanks for popping by and for your lovely long comment on behalf of the Canadian contingent!! Love that!! Yes it does feel.likr I've taken an important step and I always make a point of celebrating each stage / can't eat chocolate at the mo so have indulged in some lovely red wine. The cats are indeed very fluffy and cuddly and send lots of love - as do I xx
Thanks Susanna. I'll try to make the blog interesting and entertaining even if I don't have anything to celebrate!! Xx
Thank you for your comment, Jen. I love the quote from the ice hockey player. Kirsten has made some important progress this month. Let's hope there is something to celebrate in next month's blog.
Moira, when I read your comment, I thought it said Kirsten needed to put the right stuff in the garden. Then I read what you really said and you are absolutely right. Kirsten is talented and it is just a matter of time before she gets her work accepted.
Since I'm representing the Canadian contingent here, a quote from one of Canada's most celebrated ice hockey players, Wayne Gretzky, seems apt. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

Or, as someone once said to me when I was in the querying trenches and drowning in rejections: "The only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is that the published one didn't stop trying."

You've taken some important steps forward on your journey this month, Kirsten. Celebrate those and keep the faith.

As for the agents who requested the manuscript previously, remind them at they did...in an ever so polite and tactful way!

I'm sure you're not "lardy" and your cats aren't either. To me, they appear "cuddly." Also cat envy here! xx
Haha! Thank you, Moira. You are my role model, you know, and look how beautifully things have come together for you!! xxxx
You have a TERRIFIC TALENT Kirsten, there I said it again. Keep strong and keep going. You just need to put the right stuff in front of the right person. And you will. P.S. Your cats are lovely too #catenvy
Thanks Kate. I can't believe how quickly the month went by either and thank goodness it's Spring at last xx
don't be in awe, Vanessa! You know I can faff for Britain! Can't wait for you to join me at the querying trenches - I bet you'll have the agents queuing up!!
Thank you so much Julie and great to have your support. Am really enjoying your book btw xx
Thanks for your encouraging words for Kirsten, Kate. I too am delighted that she has been sending out her work. Like you say, it's the only way to get noticed.
I can't believe another month has gone by! Well done for sending out your work. Entering competitions is a great idea - even if you don't win, you never know who might notice you, and making it to a long or short list is a brilliant thing to add to your writing CV. Good luck! x
Julie, how lovely to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. I agree - things certainly sound very exciting for Kirsten at the moment. Thanks for your good wishes. xx
Thanks for your comment, Karen. Kirsten's blog feels really upbeat and I hope she has lots of success.
Thanks Karen - you are always so supportive. My enthusiasm can come in waves so I'm riding this one as hard and as fast as I can. Good luck with your own writing! Go LLs!!
Well, I'm STILL EDITING so I'd better get my skates on. :D In awe of your productivity and stamina.
Gosh, you have been busy! Good luck with your submissions and your RNA report - very exciting times for you :)
So lovely to hear all your news, Kirsten, and especially how busy you've been & your.springtime enthusiasm. Hoping some of that will rub off on me :) Wishing you loads of luck with the competition & submissions. Exciting times! xxx
Moira, you are lovely. Please could you say the bit about the terrific talent again?! So, so want to get 'out there' now!! I want to be like you!! Xx
Thanks Catherine! Please keep it all crossed ....!! Xx
Thanks Susanna. Am feeling excited and optimistic this time around and I know my m/s is much stronger than it was first time around. Feels great to be setting off 'into the wild' again. Thanks for all your support
Moira, I agree with you. Kirsten is being hard on herself. The main thing, however, is that she is feeling all fired up and determined to make things happen with her writing. That's half the battle. LLs rock!!
Catherine, thanks for sending Kirsten your encouragement.
Fabulous blog🏅You are too hard on yourself though, you're not Lardy at all you are lovely, and the only reason you are still waiting is because you have had a lot going on recently, we all know you have a terrific talent and one day very soon you will get your reward for years of hard work, You go girl! We are willing you on - LLs Rock!!
Good for you for getting out there, I have everything crossed for you
Kirsten, I'm so pleased that you have started sending your work out 'into the wild' - good for you. I remember that feeling when everyone else seems to be getting published. The earlier, less polished version of your novel attracted so much interest from agents that I am sure the edited version is going to sweep them off their feet. You have worked so hard. You deserve to succeed. xxx