New Year Status Report 2015

I did one of these status reports on each of my projects last year, and I think it’s a useful thing for me to evaluate my progress (or lack thereof!) on an annual basis.

The Chimney Rabbit

My first completed book. After being sent to 27 agents and publishers, it received just one request from an agent who was interested enough to read the full manuscript, but has now been shelved indefinitely.

The Chimney Rabbit and the Underground Mice

A direct sequel to The Chimney Rabbit, written in naivety and optimism. Will never see the light of day.

Tales of the Ancient Rabbits

A stand-alone prequel to The Chimney Rabbit. Sent around agents and submitted to one competition, didn’t get anywhere. I didn’t shelf it immediately, because it became:

The Panopticon Papers

A rebranded version of Tales of the Ancient Rabbits, with the action transposed to an alternate history of the real world instead of a fantasy world, and with human characters instead of anthropomorphic animals. Sent around agents, didn’t get anywhere. Submitted to the Bloomsbury/National Literacy Trust competition, and actually made it onto the longlist of 25, but didn’t make it onto the shortlist. I think this one has run its course.

The Dragon on the Tower

A story of northern Scotland in the Dark Ages, featuring a Pictish girl and her dragon friend. I’m not particularly happy with this one, so it’s currently sitting in a virtual drawer until I feel like I’ve got a handle on what I can do to rewrite it. Still needs a better title.

The Wreck of the Argyll

A story of plucky Dundonian youngsters foiling a First World War plot by German spies, set against the real-life wreck of the Royal Navy armoured cruiser HMS Argyll on the reef off Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1915. This was written specifically for the Great War Dundee Children’s Book Prize, and to my delight it was one of three books shortlisted. I’m travelling up to Dundee in March to see if it has won. If it doesn’t win (and the competition looks pretty strong indeed) I’ll be sending this book out to as many publishers and agents as I can as soon as I get back from Dundee.

My Dragon Has No Nose

My work-in-progress novel, currently sitting at about 27,000 words out of an estimated 33-35,000, featuring a singing and dancing music-hall dragon in 1890s Edinburgh. This is a bit of a fun project that I don’t have any real plans for – The Wreck of the Argyll is taking up all of my attention for the next six months at least, I’d say – but I get itchy typing fingers when I’m not writing, so I didn’t have much choice.

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