02 February 2010
Guest Blogger - Author Paul Collins
I wrote Toby in dribs and drabs whenever I found myself idle. I had fun creating malapropisms. It’s not actually the lead character that mangles his proverbs and sentences, rather his friend, Fluke.
Those familiar with JK Rowling’s characters will know she puts a lot of thought into her characters’ names, which quite often have literal means which reflect the character’s personality.
On a less discouraging note, one leading editor loved it and recommended another publisher because his company was being subsumed by a larger publisher and he acknowledged that he was better with books targeting a younger audience. So I took up his suggestion and waited . . . and waited. And despite having a great recommendation from this eminent editor, my manuscript waited in a slush pile for four months. I enquired about it, but didn’t hear back from the editor. I waited another month before withdrawing the manuscript. The editor then said it was nearing the top of the pile to be read. But right or wrong, I figured five months was long enough, and if that editor was treating a highly recommended book with such nonchalance I didn’t really want to work with her anyway.
I withdrew the story. I was then faced with a dire predicament. Where could I send my new book? I was judging the Charlotte Duncan Award writing competition for Celapene Press at the time. So under the pseudonym I sent Toby to Kathryn Duncan, the publisher. It was accepted within four days and less than four months later it was published. Imagine that, accepted and published in a shorter period of time than a major publisher had it in her slush pile. This is one of the strengths of small press.
A major book club purchased the first print run and the second is fast selling out. I do regret that a major publisher didn’t see the potential of this book, but hey, some of the world’s best-selling classics were rejected by up to twenty publishers before going on to huge success. I read this morning it even happened to JD Salinger. I’m in fine company.
If you’d like to see the trailer for this book, go to: http://tinyurl.com/y8ugxd2
The publisher’s URL is: http://www.celapenepress.com.au/
The distributor is INT Books,
386 Mt Alexander Road
Ascot Vale VIC 3032
03-9326 2416 tel
03-9326 2413 fax
Melbourne February 2010