Years ago I submitted a novel, Playpits Park, to Random House. I got an encouraging response from Simon King who was then the MD. He took the trouble to write me a one and a half page letter and also edited the first chapter (unknown in these days of curt replies or non-response from some publishers) . He said the industry was restricted by genres and he didn’t know where to place it. He also said that I would eventually get published, but it would take time.
Back then I sympathised. Playpits Park is not crime in the genre sense. Nor is it a thriller, horror or fantasy. It didn’t fit into one of publishing’s artificial divisions between fiction types. So where would it go, in a world of such subdivision?
I put Playpits up on the Authonomy* website, but soon took it down because I didn’t like the way it operated, see here
While the novel was on the site I received many complimentary comments. There were dozens more:
‘Richard, I read this in awe. You are obviously talented and I have no doubt you have had some of your work published before. This is perfect, engaging, excellent writing and a model to all those hoping to write a good book. If you think my praise comes lightly, it doesn’t. I want to leave critique, but there is none. You are a far, far better writer than I will ever be. Superb!’
‘Richard, I’ve read and admired your pitches and the first two chapters and will read more. I have to find out what they find in the attic. What a marvelous study of family dynamics, the tension between these brothers has me on the edge of my chair. This is ready to print. Hope it does, it certainly deserves it. I think your opening lines rank at the top of any thing I’ve read…’
‘Your sense of timing is perfect, slowing the narration to portray a mood, then moving it forward with action and dialog to advance the plot. The characters are so real you can almost smell them.’
‘I am not a happy bunny. It is does nothing for my confidence to see that the ‘competition’ could bury me with their literary efforts.’Playpits Park’, unfortunately for my ego, is no exception. Maybe I will keep the day job.’
‘A gifted writer brimming with ideas and a story full of humour… there is not much I can say about this except it is professional and deserves to be published… this is superbly written and expertly crafted.’
‘Professionally written, perfect dialogue and settings, the underlying air of sadness, the unfolding mystery. It’s the kind of book I’d buy and if the pitch is anything to go by, it gets better and better. Absolutely brilliant!’
GO TO AMAZON TO READ THE FIRST FEW PAGES OF PLAYPITS PARK here
*Authonomy eventually died the death it deserved – check here