Books (mine)

Books. I know it says in the tagline somewhere this blog is supposed to be about books, and it’s been more than a month now, so I suppose it’s time.

I’ve written three novels and not a one of them is published.

Let me make that a little clearer: all three have been reviewed by (one) particularly knowledgable and helpful agent and, with gentle expressions of kindness and hints of encouragement, each has been rejected.

I have great respect for the judgment of this particular agent and can understand why these novels might not meet with massive, instant commercial success.

But I’ve nothing against low-key, slow-growing success, which is why I’ve decided to self-publish on Amazon. That, and because it’s free. I’ve written the damned things already. It’s not like there’s a lot to lose.

There’s a “but”, of course. All three will require significant revision to get them into an acceptable state for any kind of publication. So I’m left to decide which one to invest my time in.

Novel A, written in 2010, is a first-person tale of life in a bank. An investment bank, a securitisation team, living up to and through and beyond the shocks of 2007-8. But it’s not a memoir. It’s a novel. And it’s also a thriller, kind of, because (since it is, after all, fiction) certain characters get up to certain activities they shouldn’t, and in the end there’s always a price to pay.

Novel B. 2011. A lawyer with a past and not much of a future. A journalist with nothing but future, with the world at her curious little feet. And some very nasty individuals with some very nasty secrets and not a lot by way of a moral code.

Novel C, 2012 (see the pattern yet?). The world died, or most of it did. The survivors live deep below London in the Facility. Most of them sleep, all day, all night, hooked up to machines that teach them the skills they’ll need to stay alive when the surface is finally habitable. Generation after generation, sleeping in their pods, waiting, nothing happening. Until the sleepers start to wake – and to die. And one cop and one technician will have to question everything they thought they knew in their quest to find out why.

If I can get round to rewriting them (“editing” is too mild a word for the surgery all three require), I’ll post the occasional extract on here. And all feedback will, of course, be most gratefully received.



  1. Look 4ward 2 reading some drafts. 1st or 2nd sound more my cup of T than sci-fi!

    1. Thank you. I’ll see what I can do!

  2. Are you going to initiate a Big Brother-esque vote to determine which book to rewrite first?

    [cue Geordie accent]: Which book? YOU decide?


    (PS: novel B gets my vote)

    1. Public opinion will of course be taken into account but I won’t be running some open vote. Democracy’s overrated.
      PS Novel B probably needs the most work!

  3. I may be out-of-date by now, but I stil have an interest in getting insight into the financial crisis. I think a novel on the subject by someone who was there – and who can write! – would be worth reading.

    1. I think people are still interested in this. Maybe more than they were in the excitable heat of the moment a few years ago – the dust has settled but the mess is still there, and people want to understand why.

  4. They say everyone has a book in them. I’m very envious you have managed three! Enjoying your posts Joel – keep writing.

    1. Thanks Alexis. I’ll keep them coming as long as I can think of anything to say!

  5. oscarpotamous the third · · Reply

    For what it’s worth, i don’t think 3 rejections is much to worry about at all, in fact i feel you have just started. Keep going, keep churning them out!
    That famous Harry Potter lady got rejected 12 times before Bloomsbury took her on and that was only because someones kid told ’em to! Also Si-Fi one sounds good, not sure about the banking ones though.

    Still have it in my head bankers = wa**ers

    1. Thanks. There’s always another book to be written, the difficulty is finding the patience to go back and redo the ones that need redoing.

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