than writing something which is outstandingly good and following the rules with regard to pitch.
If you want to know about that go over and read Nicola Morgan's excellent blog. I do not disagree with her BUT....
I was talking to a publisher a couple of days ago. I have been pondering what he said since then. It was depressing to say the least. Now I will hasten to add that this particular publisher does not deal in children's books, only adult books. He may be wrong but it is still worth putting it up here and asking what other people think. If you read this then I would like to know.
I will say at the outset that I did not approach this man. I did not know him. I was introduced as the person "who writes to the papers". Right. He told me he "likes my letters". That is nice. The person who introduces me then says that I have also written a couple of books. He looks edgy - and I don't blame him. It is like asking a doctor to diagnose an illness at a party. You don't. I wriggled out of the conversation at that point.
Later however he came back to me to offer me some advice. The advice amounted to the fact that, while I might like to go on writing for the fun of it, I would need to face reality. "To be honest Cat you are too old. Publishers are looking for younger writers, much younger. They want writers with a writing life ahead of them. They want people who can provide them with multiple books, not just or maybe two ."
I was too stunned to say anything. It got worse.
"You could write an outstanding book but I doubt anyone will be interested. You need to be able to put in the other work as well. Authors have to be able to get out and do their own publicity. Adelaide is the wrong location for a start. You would need to be able to get out into retail venues and schools and do the book signings - and you couldn't do the book signings anyway. We can't just publish something and hope that it sells. It could be the next Ms Harry Potter and it won't get picked up unless you can do that sort of thing. Take my advice, give up the idea and just write to the papers instead."
He strolled off leaving me still speechless.
Now Nicola Morgan - and others - say that it is possible to be published if you write something that is outstandingly good and you pitch properly etc. Nowhere do they mention age or location as specific advantages or disadvantages. (I will ignore the comment about signing books. There is not much I can do about that.)
Obviously people living in Adelaide do get things published but are age and location a disadvantage? What do you think?