Despatches From the Querying Trenches - Kirsten Looks Back at March

Posted on 6th April, 2018

After a break for Easter, it's time for Kirsten's monthly round-up of what has been going on in her writing life. Here is her look back at March.




Despatches from the Querying Trenches




Well, that was March. Allegedly. I usually associate my birthday month with sap rising and woolly lambs and fat, oozing buds. I’m sure all that was going on behind the scenes as it should have been but, for us, March was all about rain and sticky mud every time we tried to go to the archaeological dig or out for a walk. At least we could make up for it with roaring fires and buttery hot cross buns at home …


But never mind all that. For me, March was mainly all about …




Yes, March was (finally) the culmination of the past six months’ editing. All that work, the hopes and dreams, the fun and excitement and creative endeavour. All that agonising, all those doubts, the slashing and burning, the venting over family and friends. And please don’t even get me started on the synopsis!!


At the end of the day, it really all comes down to a handful of emails, doesn’t it?


As the self-styled queen of procrastination, I set myself a deadline and decided that I would submit while I was on a retreat with the fantastic Place to Write. I’ve been on a couple of their retreats before, indeed I have become good friends with the wonderful Moira and Jane who run it, and as I mentioned last month, I knew there would be fantastic food and cake and tea and wine and support and encouragement.



I got all that in spades. It was set in fantastic half-timbered house in Weobley complete with secret Narnia cupboard and lots of lovely nooks and crannies in which to write. Not only that but there was the best yoga session ever, complete with chocolate buttons (I know!) and blankets. I didn’t drop off - honest. There were laughs galore devising covers for possible - but highly unlikely - future projects (and I’m looking at you very severely here Christine Manby!!) There was also this lovely birthday cake complete with fabulous candelabra candle! What more could an aspiring writer ask for?



I worked hard all retreat, polishing the manuscript and synopsis and getting rid of surplus that’s, justs and anyways. (There were lots of them. Nearly enough to fill a novella!) It all took longer than Id’ anticipated and I ended up working in bed until 4am on the last night and still not quite finishing but it was worth it ….




Two days later, I was ready to press ‘send’. Such a gentle, almost anticlimactic, culmination to all that work. And once my submission had gone, I noticed the typos ….


So, now the waiting starts, I am resisting the tempatation to press send/ receive all the time. OK, I am sending send/ receive all the time!! And also trying to get on with Book 2.


Wish me luck!


I’d like to say a big thank you to Jane Ayres, Julie Cordiner and Chris Manby who were kind enough to read the full and to give me their feedback and to all the LLs who helped so much with the synopsis.


I hope you all have a great April and may all your writing dreams come true.


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Comments (30)

Haha Wendy!! You'll have to come back for next month's gripping instalment ....;-) xx
Now you need to come back and tell everyone what happened next!! (I’ve just heard 😁)
Thank you Jen. And for all you kind and generous writerly support throughout my journey. I really appreciate it! And now I have an agent!! Squeee!
Thank you Christina. I hope one day we can go on a retreat together xxx
Yoga & chocolate buttons?!! Now I know where I want to go on a writing retreat! Sounds like a fab & productive time, Kirsten. Sending you all good wishes for your submissions. xx
Another excellent blog post! The Place to Write looks amazing; what a lovely way to spend your birthday. Good luck with the submissions! Keeping everything crossed for you. xxx
Wow! So many comments. Sorry not to have been around to reply - this has been a day-job weekend for me. Chris, Tara, Karen, Jane, Charlene and Cath - thank you all for visiting Kirsten's blog and leaving your comments.
Thank you Cath!! Appreciating all the support xxx
Pressing SEND... Such a lovely, momentous step to take in your writerly journey; well done! Hoping it brings good opportunities for you Kirsten x
Thanks Charlene! I even fitted in helping out at an art show ;-) !! Hope New York was good and hope to see you soon xx
It was all those things, Jane. Thank you for your supportive comments each month and I can't wait to see you soon xxx
Sounds like a great retreat and month! Congrats on hitting send!
Great news Kirsten!

It sounds and looks like a wonderful, cosy and supportive environment to complete your manuscript. My fingers will be tightly crossed for you!

Jane x
Thank you Kazzie. Much appreciated! Good luck with your own submissions - I'll have everything crossed for you ... xx
Wishing you all the luck in the world with your submissions, Kirsten. I'm certain all your hard work (not to mention talent) will pay off. By the way, that retreat looks absolutely wonderful! I'm very jealous :) xx
Ha Tara! It was the best yoga session ever. I've rarely felt so deeply relaxed. Please come on the next retreat - it would be such fun. Thanks for the good wishes and I can't wait to appear on your blog very soon! xx
Wait, yoga with chocolate buttons! I wouldn't mind giving that a go. The retreat looks amazing. I'm very jealous. Sending all my best wishes for happy emails in April.
Hahaha, Chris! Will a T-Rex in a trilby do? xx
Well done on letting your novel out into the wild, Kirsten. I loved it and I know we'll see it on the shelves very soon. In the meantime, if you'd like to write a book for my upcoming 'Regency Beasts' series, I'd be delighted to consider anything with a unicorn in it. 😜
Thank you for all your support Jan. I'm looking forward to seeing you in Oxford and at the RNA conference. Hoping for some more legendary kitchen parties!! xx
Thanks Julie. I wish you lived closer! Thank you again for reading my book and for the feedback. It was so helpful! Happy to return the favour as and well. xxx
Susanna - you absolutely have to come to the next retreat!! That would be the icing on the cake!! xx
Thanks Moira! I loved the retreat - it was such fun! Thank you for all your hard work - you and Jane make it look effortless and it ran like clockwork. I love how much we all laughed too! xx
Thank you, Catherine! It just needs to hit the right person at the right time ..... fingers crossed!Thanks for all your support xx
Jan and Julie, how lovely to hear from you. Thank you for sending Kirsten your good wishes. I wasn't on this retreat, but I went to a previous one run by Moira and Jane at this venue and it was superb. I am hoping to go on the next one.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you, Kirsten. You are a talented writer and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before you are snapped up by an agent and then a publisher. Wish I could have gone to the retreat too - I'm obviously at the wrong end of the country!
A great post as always, Kirsten and Sue. The retreat sounds wonderful. :-) You seem to have been very thorough with your editing and more than ready to start submitting, I wish you loads and loads of luck!
Catherine and Maddie, you are amazingly quick off the mark. No sooner did I publish this than you pounced on it. Kirsten's blogs are always very popular. I wish I could have been with you at the retreat, Maddie. Perhaps next time... Thank you both for commenting.
Lovely blog as always. Yes the retreat in Herefordshire was just such fun and what a lot of work we got through too. In between the yoga, the cake and the wine! Here’s to the next time. Any agent would be lucky to get you and having seen your work ethic too you’re a hard working writer! Wishing you every success xx
Happy Birthday and congratulations on pressing the send button. Fingers crossed that the emails land on receptive desks.