Some of you are aware of this, but most people here likely don't know about the fact that I'm an aspiring author. Yes, not only am I a book reviewer, I'm also a writer.:-) Perhaps you now understand why I break down every book review in a manner which is not always similar to that of other critics.
The truth is, I've been writing "seriously" since the end of 1996. Hard to believe that it's been close to a decade already. My first manuscript, The Eye of the Serpent, is a 250, 000-word epic fantasy tale. What else, right!?!;-) Running this blog has allowed me to get contacts with every major publisher. Hence, I was fortunate enough to bypass the "agented material only" golden rule, and a portion of the manuscript is in the capable hands of HarperCollins USA's fantasy Senior Editor and her assistant. I'm still waiting, keeping my fingers crossed. Apparently, authors such as Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist and David Forbes come first. Quite unfair, I know!
Understandably, I've been trying to find a competent agent to represent me for a long time. But the current market has made most of them reticent to take on an unpublished writer, especially a fantasy novelist. Plus, the fact that I'm a French Canadian hailing from Montreal doesn't help matters much. Still, authors like R. Scott Bakker, Steven Erikson, Brandon Sanderson, L. E. Modesitt, jr. David Forbes and many others have offered encouragements. So there is hope for me yet.
Nonetheless, in order to help me get a foot in the publishing world's door, last summer I elected to begin work on a more accessible novel, something that anyone could read and enjoy. I figured that if I could sell the rights of such a novel, then it would perhaps be easier for me to find someone to champion The Eye of the Serpent. Instead of working on its sequel, The Celestial Dragon, last August, after more than 6 weeks of pre-production (the plotlines had been swirling inside my brain for nearly a year at that point, ever since my return from my "exile" in Europe), I sat down and started working on Time of your Life.
This novel chronicles the adventures and misadventures of four people backpacking throughout Europe. This was a "can't miss" for me, since writing and traveling are my two biggest passions. And since most of the action is based on my own traveling experiences (25 countries so far!) and that of my friends, this manuscript is truly authentic. Writing this novel has been a riot thus far. I can't believe just how much fun I'm having working on it. Surprisingly, nearly one year and over 100, 000 words later, I'm almost done. If all goes according to plan, I will complete this baby in the next couple of weeks.
Feedback has been coming in from my test readers, and the vibe is unbelievably positive. I knew it was good, but I never thought that people would enjoy it to such an extent. So much so that I've been considering posting some excerpts online. What better way to get even more feedback before going through the inevitable rewrites?
Since The Eye of the Serpent is being perused by editors at HarperCollins and a submission is also in the hands of Sarah Ash's UK agent, I don't want to hurt my chances by posting sample chapters online. But the response to Time of your Life has been so incredibly good that I thought it could interest a number of readers here. And who knows? Perhaps attract potential agents and editors!;-)
So what do you think? Have I piqued your curiosity!?! Are you in the mood for a fun-filled European escapade!?! Let me know what you think, and I'll see if I'll go forward and do this. . .