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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

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Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

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The Cloak of Challiver
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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Time for another reality check?


Some of my old posts get a fair number of hits. One of them is a meme that originated with British author Charles Stross - Reality check: So you want to be a writer , which I wrote in December 2008. I just reread it and realised that I've progressed very little since I wrote that post.

In fact, it's now five years later, and I still haven't sold a novel. A couple of short pieces, yes, and lots of reviews and feature articles. But although I've had a lot of praise from various quarters for my novels - still no sale.

I read a book a year or two back that listed all the things that might prevent one from being published. I was able to tick the right boxes for all except the last, which said (and I paraphrase) - One last thing: if you're doing everything else right, and you're over fifty, it may well be your age. Publishers want to get at least twenty years out of an author, and once you're over fifty that is less likely to happen.

Well, I'm certainly over fifty, and have been for quite a while. What's more, I've never made any secret of the fact.

It's starting to look more and more as if self-publishing is the way to go. I know I have written a perfectly good, if conventional, epic fantasy, and I know a lot of people would enjoy reading it. What's holding me back is the knowledge that most self-published books (and, incidentally, most books from small presses) sell less than a hundred copies, and that wouldn't cover the expenses of self-publishing, even just e-publishing. So I'm in a bit of a quandary.

The inner discusssion continues. Will I or won't I? I'll keep you posted.

6 comments:

Keira McKenzie said...

Satima! Charles Stross is British! & don't give up. Keep writing.

Satima Flavell said...

Argh! I got Stross mixed up with a writer from New York whose name eludes me. Thanks for reminding me, Keira - I've fixed it now.

I think I shall get back to writing but right now I'm going through an 'Is it all worth it?' phase.

Lee Battersby said...

Elizabeth Jolley was well over fifty when she sold her first novel, and she went on to amass a pretty decent body of work. Every rule has its exceptions and, as a friend, I'd like to think you'll go on to be another exception to that particular piece of nonsense.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Lee and Keira! Our society seems to have become quite ageist in recent years, but there will always be some people who see through appearances to what the person has to offer. At least, I hope so! :-)

Sue Bursztynski said...

No question about ageism. And it isn't only publishers. The writers' festivals and such want to make a fuss over pretty young things who have sold their first book at nineteen. They're the ones who get invited to speak after a first book. Book, did I say? This year the MWF have invited a teenage blogger as GoH! As if there weren't about a million of them around. At seventeen, she gets to address the Melbourne Writers' Festival audience. Which says more about the festival than it does about her.

That said, my school recently hosted a boy writer who left the girls weak at the knees and got some glares from their boyfriends... ;-) Mind you, he's VERY good. His first novel was terrific, his second even better.

Don't give up. You never know what will happen. It took years before I sold a novel that had done the rounds for who knows how long and suddenly got picked up by someone who'd had to reject it, years ago, for reasons unconnected with iits quality. It even got back its advance.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Sue. But yes, this ageism thing is very real. As an older woman, I am virtually invisible - glances dismiss me before the glancer even has chance to register my presence.

But a youthful prodigy - ah, that's a different matter! It's natural to praise and encourage talented youngsters, but not always a good thing - so often talented people are burnt out before they reach their full potential, and that's a shame.

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