And right before Christmas, some lovely news: SPCK will be publishing Acts and Omissions next August. They will also be reissuing Angels and Men at the same time. This cheers the heart of a novelist. We don’t like our books to be out of print and only available second-hand for 1p on Amazon. SPCK will be publishing the sequel to Acts and Omissions as well, which I plan to blog between Easter and Advent of next year, in slightly longer weekly instalments. Look out for a new blog called UNSEEN THINGS ABOVE.
But why SPCK, you might be wondering? Don’t they publish Bible commentaries, important scholarly works by retired archbishops, and the complete works of Tom Wright? This is true. But they are launching a new Fiction List. I didn’t know this in August of this year, when I was on stage at the Greenbelt Festival with my colleague Gregory Norminton from Manchester Metropolitan University (where we both teach), moaning about the state of publishing. Sorry, we were ‘in dialogue’ about the state of publishing. We both read from our most recent books; Gregory from a collection of short stories about climate change, Beacons (available here: http://www.gregorynorminton.co.uk/beacons/) and me from Acts and Omissions. The full version of what was said and read on that occasion is available here: http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/media/talks/21534-catherine-fox-gregory-norminton/
In the question time at the end I explained that I wasn’t making any money from blogging Acts and Omissions. Anyone could read it for free. ‘It’s an act of love,’ I said (or something like that), ‘but if there are any publishers out there…’ And we all laughed. But afterwards I was approached by SPCK’s senior editor, Alison Barr. And we took it from there.
I just looked back to the post I wrote on this blog a year ago, talking about my New Year’s resolution to blog a novel in weekly instalments during 2013. You may refresh your memory here if you like: http://catherine-fox.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/new-years-resolution.html What I didn’t say was that right up to the point of writing that post, I was dithering. Was this a good idea? Was I squandering good novel material and wasting my chance of writing my Big Important Novel about the C of E? I can remember sitting in Liverpool cathedral and looking up at the sunlight coming through the big east window. I must be mad. I’ll just be giving this away for nothing. Oh well.
But then I found myself thinking, Wouldn't it be funny if this turns out to be the breakthrough?