Well this is an overdue and slightly strange blog post. So much has happened in the last few weeks and while I’d love to be able to give an update on the status of Laura the Explorer I don’t have any solid news at present. If you’ve been following my progress then you’ll realise that I’ve been promising LTE would be released on the 27th May (and it should have been up for pre-order weeks ago)… but it’s not.
The reason for this is due to a fantastic event I attended at the end of April at the NSW Writers Centre – the Open House with Pantera Press. The event was a full day workshop available to NSW Writers Centre members, and the entire publishing team from Pantera Press came out to speak to everyone (there was probably about 50 Writers Centre members present for the sold out event). Not only was it a hugely informative day as the team at Pantera spoke to us about the publishing process and gave us heaps of industry insights, but the day also included the opportunity to submit the first 20 pages of your manuscript and have a fifteen minute one-on-one session with someone from Pantera.
I’d booked into this event last December, and originally had been planning on submitting a different manuscript, however as the day came closer I realised that the only finished manuscript I had to submit was LTE. Of course I was planning on self-publishing this, and it should have gone up for pre-order mere days after the event, however I figured at least it would be great to get some feedback from someone in the industry on the first 20 pages.
But then something strange happened on the day of the event. I think every writer who attended had the same dream that when they sat down for their one-on-one session they would be told how brilliant and amazing their submission was and that Pantera wanted to publish it immediately. Of course then we all tell ourselves that there’s no way in hell that would actually happen and get your imagination out of the clouds.
Except when I went in for my one-on-one session something close did happen. They liked my submission. They were interested in the concept and thought it showed potential. And would I mind putting my self-publishing plans on hold and sending them through the entire manuscript to review?
So although I have been really excited about the prospect of self-publishing, the possibility of being traditionally published – i.e. walking into a bookstore and actually seeing my book on the shelf, basically blew this straight out of the water. So of course I sent through the rest.
Since then, I’ve had feedback from Pantera asking for a few changes to the MS and a resubmission – of course no guarantees that they will pick it up, but there is still the possibility. So I’ve been spending the last three weeks re-working the MS and yesterday I re-submitted. And now I shall sit and bite my nails and go to the gym and try to distract myself while I await THE NEWS.
So there we have it – currently LTE is under review at a publishing company. And if it is rejected, as I know it’s still highly likely to be, I am really grateful for the amazing feedback I did receive from Pantera. The notes they sent through which I have reworked into the new MS makes the story so much stronger – it really was amazing to see how well the publishing team was able to identify and vocalise the last remaining plot problems and suggest how they should be fixed.
Aside from my reworking of LTE, I also should report that I narrowly missed out on winning April’s Camp NaNoWriMo – I only achieved 43,668 words instead of the 50,000 I had targeted (doh!), as the reworking of LTE again sort of blew all my other plans out of the water. I’ve also spent the last week working as a volunteer at the Sydney Writers Festival, which I’ll write a summary post about later this week!
So now it’s onto the first draft of Laura the Explorer 2, which I’m super excited to be jumping into! I have so many hilarious scenes planned, a few new characters and some deep-diving into the existing cast, and I can’t wait to get into the next phase of my characters' journeys.
Keep an eye on my social media for news of LTE 1 – hopefully I’ll have something to report soon!
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