Regular readers will know that I have been working on The Last Free City since April, and progress, although jerky, is definite.
In the interim I had submitted Dragonchaser to Macmillan as a potential follow-up to The Dog of the North. Yesterday I learned from my editor Will that Macmillan have decided not to publish it. Will had many good things to say about the book (all of which I agreed with) but his bottom line was that it is not as good as The Dog of the North (which I also agree with). My hopes for Macmillan now rest on the reception to The Last Free City, a novel much closer in tone and sensibility to The Dog of the North than Dragonchaser. So no need to give up hope just yet...
Writers almost by definition must possess a thick skin. While I am disappointed that Dragonchaser won't benefit from linking up with Macmillan, I'm not devastated. The book was written too long ago for the blow to feel too personal, and my emotional energies are now invested in The Last Free City.
Dragonchaser is neither a better nor a worse book for having been rejected by Macmillan: it is what it is. It's still a book I believe in, and one I think had some commercial potential. Luckily--for those of you who like to check things out for yourself--it's still available as a self-published title with Lulu.com. Check it out here, where you can also buy it in an omnibus edition with my first novel The Zael Inheritance.
It's almost a cliche that the best remedy for a writer who has received a rejection is immediately to plunge into more writing. And since I have a betrothal feast nagging to be written up (hint: it's not going to be all love and kisses...) that is exactly what I shall do!