Was the first novel too easy?


As this is the first Wednesday in August, I’m talking about ‘my debut’ for this monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group contribution.

As some of you may have noticed, my debut novel “Spiral of Hooves” is no longer available, since I parted amicably with my publishers. I have all the rights back, but I need to find another publisher. That should be easy as the novel has already been accepted by one publisher and got 5* and 4* reviews.

Life is never that easy. The first publisher that I offered “Spiral of Hooves” rejected it, but I don’t know why. Is it too long? Is it badly written? Has it passed its read-by date? Or did it appeal to the original publisher but not my next choice?

When I was preparing the document for submission, I did wonder about some scenes. Should I have cut them out, and re-edited the whole novel? That might be my next step – unless I work on the sequel next, then leave “Spiral of Hooves” as back-story.

However, I also have “Storms Compass” out with my second group of beta readers so that could be my next step. But they have had it for six weeks and only one has responded. It won’t be easy re-writing the post-apocalyptic novel with just one lot of comments.


Of course, I have the first book in my “Snowdon Shadows” series, for which I have been wading through character sketches and interviews. Should that be next?

The option that I favour, at the moment, is to retire from writing, recognise that there are far better writers out there, and just focus on reading some great books. The pile is tumbling out of my Kindle so I need to catch up.

Just don’t mention the failing attempt to emigrate. Just don’t go there.

But tell me what you think about my options. Maybe I might even listen, for once. How do you deal with mental confusion?


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with other writers – aim for a dozen new people each time. 

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

We also have a t-shirt now! You can purchase it here – http://www.neatoshop.com/product/IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for the this August 5 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia! 

12 thoughts on “Was the first novel too easy?

  1. Oh my do you have a lot going on! Publishers do seem to be popping up out of the woodwork lately but trying to find one, the perfect one for us and our work seems to be more daunting than ever.
    Also no matter how much we hear that things are changing in publishing most publishers are still afraid to publish previously published material.
    That said I wouldn’t give up, ever! Good luck!


    • Thanks Doreen. I suspect that the previously published aspect was a factor, so maybe “Spiral of Hooves” is a novel to ensure is available for future readers, in some form, probably free.


  2. I’m afraid I can’t help you navigate the world of mental confusion – I’m a bit lost there myself.

    Perhaps self-publishing would be an option for you? That’s the route I’ve finally settled on after research and grumbling and blahblahblah (still have to get far enough ahead in my writing to self-publish in order to do it the way I think I need to).

    There’s a selfpublish yahoo group you can join with hundreds of people at various steps along the journey for it. If you don’t want to learn how to format your MS for digital, you can always go to a company called Formatting Fairies who will do it for you. If you’re more interested in getting the story out there, you can upload it to various platforms using Draft 2 Digital (while Smashwords is a bigger name, they also seem to have bigger customer service and upload problems).

    There are options for putting the story out there.


    • Thanks for that advice Kattywampus. I had considered self-publishing but I’m not very good at operating on my own. However, the way that you describe it. it’s not a lone path. Thanks.


      • It is and it isn’t – there’s a lot of services and support out there for the selfpub crowd, but at the end of the day, you’re still the one stuck doing the marketing and all the business choices from your desk.

        You’d be amazed at some of the discussion on the selfpub yahoogroup – some are about legal things and taxes, sources for research, who’s your editor, or even the nit-noid about “my crit partner says I have to use semi-colons this way, but I think she’s wrong, what do you think?” Or even “What kind of paper/font should I choose for my createspace print-on-demand copies to reduce cost?”

        There’s a lot of support there, from old hands who’s day-jobs are cranking out novels every year to the newbie lurkers who are working on their first manuscript.


  3. Do NOT retire from writing! All writers are different. We will never know why a book is rejected unless we are told. If you have some doubts on some scenes, etc. now is the time to fix them and then submit, submit, submit! Good luck!!


  4. Writing clicks with some people, and not with others. Some of the stuff a friend reads leads me to want to tear my hair out, while the stuff I enjoy absolutely confuses her. If you want to get your story to the world, and you want a publisher to accept it, I’d say keep trying. It’s the famous authors that faced hundreds of rejections. In the meantime, keep on writing if writing brings you joy. Make yourself smile with your own stories, and may there be many of them!


    • You are so right Loni. I just have to keep trying – but also remove the flaws that stand out, three years after the first acceptance. And there are bits that make me cry as well – must keep those.


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