I forgot to say in the last post that on the Saturday afternoon I had a one-to-one with Lucy Christopher. I told her that I'd now added a new angle of the main character, Billy, being autistic. We talked about it all for 20 mins, and I had an encouraging chat with her about it. So encouraging, that the following morning, when I found myself sitting next to Rebecca Frazer of Orchard Books in the bar, I approached her about Billy. I asked her outright if she took submissions for 7+. She said yes, they concentrate on series fiction. Then I talked to her about the book and what I'd planned. She was v interested in it. I was heartened about it, and decided that weekend I wouldn't self-epublish first but query it with publishers again. We did writing in the morning. I drew family trees and shop layouts for the village Singleton. It helped me flesh out the series more.
In the afternoon we had a talk by Lucy Christoper and how she writes her books. Then more writing. By that time, my head was going a bit fuzzy so I decided to do some highlighting of Life instead of writing. Much easier on the brain.
We had dinner in the evening, which was gorgeous as ever. I think I had vegetables with cous cous, but added new potatoes and veg with it. I had fruit salad for dessert, and was the only one. I have to say that the food they provided was delicious, and very helpful to me and my dairy intolerance. So much so, that during the afternoon when I asked if they had dairy free biccies, they took out some nice Freefrom ginger cookies, and later on some choc chip ones.
That night, we had a pj party. A few of the others did change into their nightwear. In a circle, (I was on the outer circle so I could sneak away), we had to read out something that we'd written that weekend. I read out a dark magic piece where the trees and the weather got rather windy when the character went through them to go to work.
Monday morning, and last day there. I worked on Billy, starting to get it ready to email to Rebecca. Then Rebecca gave a talk about Orchard Books. She told us what they did, what they were looking for, and what interested me was someone asked if they were interested in taking on authors with packaged series ideas themselves, and she said yes. After that, I told Rebecca my pitch for Billy, which I had just worked out, and she told me to send it to her when I'd finished it. So that is what I've been doing this week, and plan to email the synopsis, 3 chapters and outline for series next week.
All in all, I had a very heartening and successful retreat. Although I know others didn't.