I love interviewing debut authors on this blog. Their paths to publication are great examples for other writers. This interview is with debut novelist Sean Pidgeon.
Sean Pidgeon is a reference publisher at Wiley. Born and raised in the south of England, he now lives in New Jersey with his American wife and children. FINDING CAMLANN (Jan. 2013, WW Norton) is his first novel — a literary novel with strong historical connections. Find Sean on Twitter here.
Please describe what the story/book is about.
FINDING CAMLANN is a literary mystery, a romance, and an exploration of the origins of the Arthurian legends.
Where do you write from?
I live in South Orange, NJ. Typically I write at home or in one of several local coffee-shops.
Briefly, what led up to this book?
This is my first novel, and the first work for which I have sought publication. The project arose from my abiding interest in the history and mythology of Arthur.
What was the time frame for writing this book?
My novel was sixteen years in the making, during which time is was written and revised several times before being abandoned in its then-current form. After I started again from scratch, the writing went much more quickly, only five years….
How did you find your agent (and who is your agent)?
My agent is Tina Bennett of the William Morris Endeavor agency (she was with Janklow & Nesbit when I first began working with her). I found her via my son, who is good friends with Tina’s son. On the strength of this connection, she was kind enough to read my draft. Pure serendipity, in other words.
What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
Biggest learning experience: I thought I knew how to write a novel (having read very many of them), but I did not.
Biggest surprise: that I was able to persevere and get the thing finished, even though it took a very long time.
Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?
I persevered, and got the thing finished.
On that note, what would you have done differently if you could do it again?
I would have written a proper outline at the beginning of the process rather than a decade in.
Did you have a writer platform in place? On this topic, what are you doing the build a platform and gain readership?
I had no pre-existing platform. Since my book was signed, I have been working hard on building my social media presence. I have also written a few short essays, some of which will be published on book blogs and in the traditional media.
(Learn about How to Start Your Novel.)
Another novel, I hope. I have a few ideas tucked away that I would like to dust off.
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