Despatches From the Querying Trenches. Kirsten Looks Back at January.

Posted on 2nd February, 2018

Despatches from the Querying Trenches


A Tale of Two Tweets

January 2018



A very happy New Year. I hope 2018 has started off splendidly for you all.

We’ve had an unusual January in the Hesketh household. Husband and son are off in Patagonia doing some father-son bonding. As you do. A serendipitous combination of son being on a gap year, hubbie getting extra holiday. Here’s a taste of what they’re up to. It looks wonderful. (I have made it clear that I’m very much looking forward to the Maldives when my daughter is on her gap year!)



You’ll be pleased to hear I’ve been writing diligently throughout January and am pleased with my progress. Two tweets sum up where I’m at (as most of you know, I love Twitter far too much!):


Editing is like making an omelette, isn’t it? You’ve just got to make a mess ….


I posted this a couple of weeks ago because, yes, I’m editing Book One again. I had a wonderful critique from Alison May in which she challenged me to describe, in one line, what my story is fundamentally about. Is it fundamentally a novel about a marriage under pressure, parenting a child with autism, a school gate drama or a woman coming to terms with a traumatic event in her past? It was a very good question! I know which it is – at least, which it’s supposed to be - but Alison is right. I need to draw out the key storyline and, while I’m at it, put a couple of darlings out of their misery. (That’s hard!)


So, that’s where I am at the moment. The messy stage. The eggs are broken into the bowl, the shells are scattered over the kitchen surfaces and the washing up is piling up in the sink. It’s chaos. And the end doesn’t seem to be in sight. But I expect that it will come together more quickly that I expect and that the end result will be a fluffy, silky delight with hidden depths of gruyere and porcini. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)


The other tweet was from Alison May herself. I’d posted a tweet about my book in one of those Twitter contest things and Alison very kindly posted the following on the back of it:


I did a crit read on this novel. It's rather good. Any agents or editors looking for emotionally deep commercial women's fiction - definitely worth a request...


Isn’t that lovely? Totally unsolicited and the most wonderful validation of my writing. It really felt like someone had given me a huge, unexpected present. And the icing on the cake - or the big glossy bow on the present - is that a couple of agents have got in touch and requested the first three chapters of my book.




Which brings me full circle round back to the need to carry on editing, editing, editing. Hopefully that omelette will be worth it!


Have a wonderful February everyone. See you on Twitter!



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Comments (28)

Another entertaining read, Kirsten. I love that photo of your husband and son; they look so happy! As for your book, it sounds wonderful. I do hope the agent interest bears fruit.
Thanks Sue! I can't WAIT for the next Conference kitchen party xxx
Hi, Jen, Debbie, Michelle, Jan and Sue, and thank you for all your comments. Kirsten's guest blogs are always so popular. I'm glad you all enjoy Kirsten's blogs. And, yes, Sue - I'm sure we'll all meet up again in the Conference kitchen.
I'm beginning to think that all editing is like that omelette, Kirsten. The re-mixing is actually quite good fun, but the difficult bit seems to be remembering what you're making!
My MS has gone from omelette to cake and back again, the only defining ingredients are the eggs. Sigh.
Good luck, it sounds as if you're getting it all together now! See you at next Conference kitchen party!
Sue X
Oh Jan, that is such a lovely comment. Thank you so much. I'm SO pleased you look forward to my posts xxx
What a great post, Kirsten. It's so full of positive news and I love the imagery of the eggs and omelette. No wonder you were thrilled that Alison endorsed your novel in that way and that more agents have shown an interest. Congratulations. Good luck with the editing, too. As I said on Twitter, you CAN do it!
Thank you, Sue, for this lovely regular feature on your blog. I look forward to hearing from Kirsten each month. :-)
Thank you so much for stopping by, Michele xx
Great tip, Deb! Thank you. I was feeling really bad killing them off. Poor Sian ... ;-)
Sounds amazing Kirsten - good luck!!!
Kirsten, just keep your edited out characters for a future novel or a short story collection. Top tip from a talk I went to by Rachel Joyce at Henley Literary Festival. Then we can all enjoy them at a later date!
Thanks Jen. I really appreciate your support and encouragement xxx
Happy editing, Kirsten. As always, it's lovely to hear about your progress. Keeping everything crossed for you. xx
Hi, Wendy. Alison's editorial work has an excellent reputation and, on top of that, it was very generous of her to provide that supportive tweet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I'm a big fan too, Wendy. Alison's editorial feedback was like gold dust. She'd donated her time for free through the Authors for Grenfell charity which was hugely generous of her xx
Thanks so much for stopping by, Sharon. I love to see non writing friends here!! It looks like the boys are having a brilliant time in Patagonia! xx
Here's hoping Vanessa. But I think I'm the slow one. I can procrastinate for Britain!! xx
Oh Moira, thank you for your faith in me!! And it's so good to hear that you don't miss your darlings when they've gone. I need to lose a whole chapter and it's hard ..... xx
Thanks Tara. I really appreciate all your support and encouragement. xx
Thanks Julie. I think you need talent, luck and - yes - lots and lots of perseverance and tenacity xx
Ha Catherine. I'm actually rubbish at making omelettes so maybe it wasn't the best analogy! xx
Alison has been a guest on my blog a couple of times - I’m a big fan. The best of luck with your novel x
I have spent the day working on copy-edits so I have come rather late to all these lovely comments. Thank you so much, Catherine, Julie, Tara, Maddie, Vanessa and Sharon. It is lovely to know that Kirsten has so much support behind her. Maddie - I agree completely. No matter how hard it is to edit bits out, you never miss them once they're gone.
Hoping your omelette will be a triumph! Fab blog, and good luck to Tom and John x
Great post, Kirsten. SOMEONE's got to pick the book up soon! Honestly. People can be so slow sometimes .... :D
Another great blog and a really positive series of developments. Editing can be enormously satisfying, it can also be soul destroying and yes I've had to 'murder some darlings' too. But the strange thing is you never miss them when they've gone! Wishing you a great year ahead and it's only a matter of time before a wise agent snaps you up! x
Brilliant news, Kirsten. I’ll keep everything crossed for you!
Delighted to hear you have some interest from agents, Kirsten - it takes it all a step further. When you read a book, you really have no idea how much time and effort goes into it, but persistence is the key. Good luck with it!
Looking forward to the perfect omelette (my favourite)