J C MATHESON

Read the first chapter of Echo Valley here!


writingblogimage [writingblogimage.png]

It's that time again. The time where writers sit at their desks refreshing their emails, cyber-stalking agents and questioning if what they love doing is in fact a complete waste of time.

...No? Just me?

Since my last post on the Patience of a Writer, things have...well, happened.

It's been 2 months now since I sent off my manuscript to my desired agents. I remember getting one reply back from a letting agency. within a week. My heart was in my mouth as I double clicked the email only to see it was a message to tell me that the agent I had selected was currently closed for submissions for the following month. But, that I could choose another one from their agency.

Unfortunately, the agent I had chosen was the one agent on their list who, from their profile, had a chance of being interested in Echo Valley. (You'd be surprised how many agents are looking for cookery books, which is a slightly different from a book about teleporting cameras, monsters and a haunted library.)

So my heart sank and the longer I didn't receive anything from anyone the more the depressing thoughts crept in on how my work may actually never get presented by an agent. And how that might in fact be down to my work not being good enough.

Then I remembered there's self publishing. And the reasons I wanted to get published in the first place. Just so I have a damn physical copy of my book I can hold in my hands, hand out to family and friends and maybe sneak onto shelves in random libraries when no one is looking whilst wearing a balaclava.

With this in mind, and the obsessive email checking driving me a teeny-weeny little bit crazy, I distracted myself and tried to forget about it. I completed FFXV's story, started drawing again, realised how much I was actually enjoying my job and all seemed well. And as always, whenever things start to go well or seem peaceful, in the corner of my eye on a screen I saw something pop up.

inbox1 [inbox1.png]

My heart returns to my mouth.

Not only was it my first proper response from an agent, but it was from the one, out of my list of likely agents, I thought was the most likely to want to represent my book. I won't paste the entire email to you but I will tell you that it was short, sweet and the majority consisted of:

 

 

 I'd like to point out to those writers of you who haven't sent off manuscripts yet or still obsess over an empty inbox, that this is probably, from what I've heard, the nicest rejection you could receive from an agent. Most rejections are not far off simply, formally and professionally telling you 'no'.

The odd thing about it was that I wasn't upset. A little disappointed, naturally but not as much as I thought i'd be. I was just happy that firstly, i'd actually finally heard back from someone and secondly, that said agent had actually taken the time to explain more to me than just a simple 'no'. 

It also gave me hope that not warming to the story might simply be down to it not being her cup of tea. Surprised as I was though, considering I thought this agent would be the most likely to enjoy it based off her profile.

As I close towards April and my inbox builds up cobwebs, I'm starting to look at the options and likelihood of self publishing. And rather than obsessing over if or not I will get represented, I'll look forward to the sense of completion and achievement of finally holding something I poured a fair bit of my melodramatic heart into in my hands by then end of the year.
As long as somewhere in the world there is one person that enjoys what you make, what you love doing- even if that person is you, then that's all that matters.

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 45 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Stay in the loop with J C Matheson

Subscribe to News & Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News & Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Drifting

| 24 hours ago | Echo Valley

And now folks, it's time for a little backstory...   *Vision fades into blurry waves to reveal a small, coffee and man scented flat in Paignton, Devon.*   We're talking a good 5-nearly-6 years ago now, before I had any inclination to write, before I had any real idea of what I wanted to do in life other than a small handful of things. One of those things was going for a jam every Thursday evening with my brother-in-law-to-be.   We'd write songs. I'd bring my knock-off Fender Squire imposter (God knows how that thing still worked; it was £30 off ebay and held together with electric tape and a bottle opener i'd stolen from Travelodge) and Lee would sing or join in on his acoustic.   I'd record the sessions with an old Sony cassette player and we'd forever talk about how good this song and that song would sound when we eventually start a band (turns out you need friends to make a full band- who knew?)   This may seem insignificant, but (prepare for cheese!) I ended up asking Lee to be my best man for my wedding. I'd only really “known” him for about 5 minutes. But the guy who was originally best man, someone I'd known for a good 10 years I ended up falling out with big time. And the other friends who I asked instead for some reason or another couldn't make it to my wedding. So i'd asked my fiance's brother as a last resort- not that I thought in any way he was a bad guy, quite the opposite. I just imagined the best man for my wedding being someone i'd known a little longer.   Anyway, the year leading up to the wedding that followed turned out to be one of the best. We had an amazing friendship form and he became one of my best friends (except for the stag due. I've still not forgiven him for that.)   It's these reasons that I included 'Drifting' as the song I wanted to be in Echo Valley. When I was writing it, it was originally going to be a better known jazz song, but then half way through the chapter something happened where it was like it had to be Drifting; A song me and Lee wrote together and recorded back in those days in the man and coffee scented flat.   The song isn't an amazing song. It will never hit charts or be on every car advert, but it means a lot to me and it felt perfect for the scene in Echo Valley. I've managed to dig out the old recording on tape and transfer into digital. Lee's voice sounds like he's wearing trousers that are slightly too tight, but that's merely the tape's quality. In celebration of my dear Outlaw-inlaws birthday, you can listen to it here or download it for free.       *Blurry waves return, returning you to present day*   We jammed together for a good 4 years . We practiced in an old spare room with an obscene amount of dead flys landing on our equipment. We eventually found friends and they joined with drums, guitars and basses. I had went on to have 2 kids, the band didn't.If you want to hear what Lee's voice sounds like now in non-tight-pants tape quality, you can check out his band Deadfly's EP. And you should do, really. Because it's his birthday. They also released their first music video for their new single Demockary, which I'll link you to as well because people do nice things when there are birthdays. Happy Birthday, babe xoxoxox     Photo Credit to our lovely wedding photographer Holly  (Link version incase the embed fails)  Happy Birthday, babe xoxoxox     Photo Credit to our lovely wedding photographer Holly   ...

Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft

| 2 days ago | Echo Valley

Today marks the birthday of one of my favourite writers, Howard Phillips Lovecraft.   But he's not one of my favourite writers for the typical reasons that come with loving a writers work. Lovecraft is one of my favourite writers because his work genuinely scares the shit out of me. I like horror, but I find I get bored of it quite fast when it's just pure gore and “jumpy bits” for the sake of being violent. I don't find that scary. Lovecraft's strange, haunting ideas and captivating atmosphere are what terrifies me as well as draws me closer to his work.   Arguably the writer who defined the Weird Fiction genre, HPL isn't just known for his own works such as The Call of Cthulu, The whisper in the Darkness, The Necronomicon and so many more, but the term Lovecraftian has become a word used to describe and inspire so many works.   A few years back, I stumbled across what would become my favourite graphic novel series – Joe Hill's Locke & Key. With a lot of Lovecraftian themes and tones, the story explores a family and it's house, or more importantly its keys. Each one performing a different strange spell. From time traveling, to gender bending. The first book even having the subtitle of “Welcome to Lovecraft”.   Not long after I discovered one of my favourite works of ongoing fiction- Welcome to Nightvale. A fictional podcast based solely on a radio station broadcasted from a strange and eerie town. Also heavy in it's Lovecraftian ideas.   The show's writer, Joeseph Fink, wrote a book (sadly no longer in print) called The untold stories of H.P Lovecraft and What it Means to be a Grownup. It turns out, Lovecraft had a lot of ideas he'd never followed through beyond a sentence or two. 221 one them, in fact. The list is amazing and I highly recommend them as writing prompts for writers everywhere. The ideas go from beautifully dark, to incredibly simple and to just plain morbid. It was one of the simpler ideas in the list, 15 “Bridge and Slimy Black Waters” that contributed to the inspiration for my first book, Echo Valley.   The saddest thing of all, is that HPL was a sensitive soul and received a lot of criticism as well as praise for his work back in the day. And the smallest criticism to his work put him off from publishing a lot of his arguably brilliant stories and ideas. If only he could see how much his work has continued to inspire artists and writers today. So if you're an aspiring writer or creative and want to take one thing to learn from Lovecraft, then let it be to have the guts to finish and share your work. Have that confidence in your own creations that only you can make.   To celebrate HPL's birthday, I've created a promo code to knock 50% off of Echo Valley Paperbacks for today only. Just head here and use 'HAPPYBIRTHDAYHPL' on the checkout.   Here's to you Howard. Thank you for inspiring our art and haunting our dreams. Happy Birthday old chap....

Bristol Horror Con 2017

| 7 days ago | Events & Appearances

Hi folks, I know it's been a while since I've wrote a "proper" blog post but I have been busy, um...well, mostly writing and focusing on the release and promotion of Echo Valley.   But anyway, right onto it. Drum roll please...     Myself and the lovely Curiosity Cabinet Studios will be running a stall at this years Bristol Horror Con! We're gonna be selling all sorts of gross stuff in the month of Halloween like weird, scarily convincing props and of course, signed books of the banned variety.   If you're about at BHC2017 then come say hi and hang out with us. We're actually pretty friendly despite the terrifying make-up Laura's probably going to be covering us in.   You can RSVP the official event on Facebook and we've got our own one over here if you want to 'attend' that one too.   Keep your eyes peeled as I've also got more exciting things to announce soon (I know right? Where does it stop?!)   Until then, stay weird.   ~ Jon...

Echo Valley now on Amazon!

| 08th August 2017 | Echo Valley

For those of you who prefer reading light, electronic and cheap, you can now purchase Echo Valley on Amazon for epub and Kindle! Of course, if you would like to support me even more, then you can purchase a paperback copy off myself, complete with childish doodles and handwritten packaging. (p.s Paperback > Digital)   That's all for now. In the meantime, if you're dying to read Echo Valley but are otherwise broke then go forth and add it to your to-read list on Goodreads and/or your wish-list on Amazon. And whilst you're there, feel free to leave an honest review. It would help me out a ton. More thrilling stuff to be announced soon so do feel free to stalk me up on Facebook. Until then, stay weird and excited for your favourite time of year. ~ Jon...