The Worst Piece of Writing I Have Ever Seen

Every writer has a story like the one I’m about to tell you. It’s the story of rejection.

Once upon a time, maybe fifteen years ago or more, I wrote my first story that I tried to get published. Well, I wrote the first half-dozen chapters at any rate. Despite being unfinished, I was unbelievably pleased with it. It had a great title (Time Shifters), a brilliant sassy lead character and an amazing plot. Then, by chance, someone who I was working with told me that she knew someone who worked at a publishing company and would show my story to them, if I wanted. Well, I jumped at the chance and sent her my six chapters. I waited for a really long time and then got an email from the person I was working with. She was forwarding on the comments from the publisher. The one phrase that stuck in my mind was, “this is the worst piece of writing I have ever seen”.

After that, I stopped writing stories.

For a while.

But after a few months I started to get other ideas. Ideas which shouted so loudly inside my head that I had to write them down. Ideas which turned into new stories, stories that would eventually also be rejected by publishers. But the thing was that I knew that I had to write, partly because I loved doing it but also because I couldn’t seem to stop.

Last month, my seventh book was published and I named one of the characters after the lead character from “the worst piece of writing”. I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see Peachy Keene live and even get illustrated by Paco Sordo (see below).

So, you know, don’t ever give up. Ever.

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