My father always asked me when I was going to grow up and write an ‘adult’ book.

Well apparently I’ve done it. At least that’s what one of my editors said when she rejected that novel I’ve been fretting about and working on since March 2009.

I started it when I got back from the Serendipity conference in Vancouver last year. Geez, that feels like a long time ago!

I wrote the first draft in five months, which is always a good sign.

I remember Tim Wynne Jones once said that fast writing is good writing.

But funnily enough my editor’s rejection didn’t sting too much. When someone says that the writing is strong, the setting is interesting, and it reads authentic and believable, that’s enough to take the sting out of any rejection.

She also said she didn’t think she could get it past the ‘gatekeepers’.

Aye, there’s the rub.

The problem with writing children’s books is that there’s a filter between the literature and the market–the children.

When kids asked me what book I was working on, I’d tell them it’s a story about a kid who’s done something so shameful he thinks he deserves to die.

You should see their eyes light up!

And now a dear friend, having read the manuscript, says that even with the edgiest young adult literature out there, my book pushes the boundaries. And mind you there’s some pretty edgy stuff out there! Stuff that makes me squirm reading it! And yet mine is in no way graphic, everything is implied, but what is implied is, in the words of the editor who rejected it, terribly brutal (and it’s meant to be).

So that definitely sounds like an adult book, and here I am, at square one, starting from scratch, with absolutely no contacts within the adult publishing field.

Or maybe I’m starting even lower than square one. Maybe publishers will look at my credentials and think, “Yikes! She writes for kids! And she thinks she can write for adults now???”

Oh well, there’s nothing for it.

I think I’ll have to get an agent on board or something. We’ll see.

My first instinct when a book gets rejected is to think that maybe I just didn’t write it well enough. I had an idea of going back and tweaking the manuscript, but then I started reading it again.

I hadn’t read it for about two months at least.

Now, I find it very hard to get immersed in a story if it’s in Word format on a computer screen, and yet that’s precisely what was happening.

It flowed. And before I knew it, I had read six or seven chapters.

That’s a very good sign.

So hang it, I’m not touching it. I think it’s darn good.

I’m just going to start the process of querying.

That, and I’ll send it to the two international publishers who’d asked to see it. Maybe it’ll translate better overseas.

Wish me luck!