Hold Your Nerve

A few years ago, I had an agent but when I expressed the wish to indie publish my agent and I parted ways. Since then I have indie published two novels and one novella and have sold two novellas to traditional publishers as well as finding success in the field of writing stories for women’s magazine. I went from not published at all to indie+trad published in one year and became a hybrid author.

Fast forward to 2017. I have completed my first crime novel. It’s a bit of a departure from the romantic fiction I have been known for to date and a world away from the light romances I write for the magazines. I have enjoyed the process and thoroughly embraced my dark side. Just as well I’m a Gemini and can write both genres even though they are poles apart.

I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written but then I’m biased.

Submission Hell

I could very easily have taken the decision to indie publish my crime novel and that may well be the path I end up taking. However, having met with enthusiastic and knowledgeable people at the Winchester Writers’ Festival in the summer I have decided to follow up on the contacts I made there and have sent my freshly polished manuscript off to one of the agents I met.

It is a long while since I have languished in submission hell. I had quite forgot how gruelling it can be. I am luckier than most because I gave the agent exclusivity for a limited period and she has promised to respond by my deadline, I at least know when, roughly, I will hear from her.

That, however, is only part of the pain of submission as authors who have trodden this path so many times before will know. It is the agony of the outcome that awaits, that holds me firmly on its tenterhooks, dancing first one way and then the other as my mood takes me.

Hook by Thomas Sturm courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/RyP7Rc https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Imagination is a vital asset for a writer to have. It becomes less than an asset in situations like these when my mind spirals away into various scenarios, very few, if any of which are likely to come true.

The Fearlessness of Youth

As is so often the case, I can usually find an analogy for life through sport. In the tennis or ice skating worlds you often find a precocious youngster, brimming with talent and utterly fearless, throwing themselves with abandon into their chosen sport, often vying for the highest prizes imaginable without losing their nerve.

Ice Skating
Ice Skating by Fabricio Zuardi courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/5uhDnD https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Contrast them to the older, wiser, competitors. They have seen it all before, perhaps were once a precocious youngster themselves, but now the years have passed, they have amassed titles and fortunes and yet they still crave more. Now when they compete they cannot mirror the fearlessness of their young competitors, they know only too well the pain of failure, the soul searching questions that accompany it, the sands of time slowly running in the wrong direction.

I am not as young as I once was. I have known my fair share of failure. It is time, once again, to hold my nerve.

The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes http://Author.to/EllieHolmes


5 thoughts on “Hold Your Nerve

  1. pamturnerblog 23/11/2017 / 3:37 pm

    Hi Ellie, This is a great blog and so true. II’ve had a couple of rejections so far both stating that they’re “not looking for this type of writing at the moment”, which raises all sorts of questions? “What do they mean this type of writing? Is it too graphic, not graphic enough? Is it really just code for crap?” You’re really dancing to their tune aren’t you? I’ve thought about Indie a lot, but what always puts me off is how my one wee book will disappear amid the thousands on Amazon – how do I promote it enough? etc.

    I’m so glad you’re doing so well and are now branching out into crime!! Well done – I’m in awe of you.

    Kindest regards

    Pam 😊



    • ellieholmesauthor 29/11/2017 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Please don’t think I have it all worked out. I don’t! I’m just making it up as I go along and hoping for the best. I think that old adage – the harder you work, the luckier you get is also true. Mostly, though, I think it’s about perseverance. Hang in there. I thought your work was powerful and moving and I’m sure there’s an audience out there for you. Don’t lose the faith. Ellie x


  2. deborahanndykeman 01/12/2017 / 3:31 pm

    Hang in there! It is HELL! Been there a few times. Wishing you the best results!


    • ellieholmesauthor 03/12/2017 / 11:50 am

      Thanks Deborah – it doesn’t get any easier with experience! Still it’s all part of the journey of life (she says feeling very chilled and philosophical today) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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