Monday, December 13, 2010

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and Kate Morton Never Gave Up

Kate Morton has been a huge international publishing success. Her books sold in the millions to 38 countries. Recently she was interviewed by Mariella Frostrup on one of my favourite shows, The UK Book Show with Nigella Lawson and another guest. She has struck publishing gold.

I've known Kate for years as we share the same agent the wonderful Selwa Anthony. Below is a photograph taken at the Sydney Launch of Kate's debut book, The Shifting Fog (released in the UK as The House At Riverton). This photo always makes me smile as it looks as if I"m trying to rub some of Kate's success off on me.

From left: Kate, me wearing the purple chook feather, Kate Forsyth (who has previously written an Inspiration post for Tale Peddler), and the very Sassy Leigh Redhead.

The reason why Kate is my pick for an Inspiration post is not her great success but rather her tenacity. She had previously written two books which were both turned down by publishers before she wrote The Shifting Fog.

I just love stories like this. I believe when it comes to writing, you have to have the hide of an elephant and be able to pick yourself up off the floor after many crushing disappointments.

We all know stories of people like JK Rowling, Louisa May Alcott (who had to work as a servant when Little Women was being floated around) or Stephen King (Carrie received 30 rejections before it went onto enormous success). The English crime writer John Creasey received 753 rejection slips and went on to publish over 500 books.

I know personally how tough it can get in the world of publishing. You can spend years investing all your being into one book that can go nowhere.

You can possess the talent, the discipline, the marketing appeal, the best ideas in the world in spades. But if you don't have tenacity and determination – well, publishing is a game of snakes and ladders, often with more snakes on the board than ladders.

You have to keep rolling that dice, stay pure to the work and never give in. If you need a dose of stamina power, here's a link to an article of some great souls who refused to give up.
Enjoy your week. Keep creative.

Flops are a part of life's menu

and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses."

~ Rosalind Russell

image of Kate Morton Source


  1. Tell Kate I love her. I did a post on her a few weeks back. She is a lesson in persistance indeed. Hope you are well. xoxo

  2. A great story,,, the inspiration came an a perfect time for me. Wonderful post.


  3. Like! I keep reminding myself far greater writers than I receive rejections too!

  4. So true... I worked as an author, music journalist and freelance writer for ten years before switching careers and becoming a psychotherapist. I still write for publication though, and while I've been very very fortunate in my career(s), it's always hard to deal with rejection letters. When I was in my 20s I used to get very mobilised by the anger induced in me by an editor turning me down - in fact that's how I first got published! I was so naive I couldn't believe anyone would say no to me!! Hard to believe that now.... I think my skin was a lot thicker when I was 22.... I remember a friend of mine who had a huge folder of No Thanks letters, and he went on to write a great book.... Musicians always faced this rejection too, because they had to be marketable above anything else. But there were always a few record labels who spent their days in bitter regret when their rejects went on to sell platinum worldwide...UK band Radiohead were one of the bands who were knocked back and went onto have meteoric success. So, yes, creatives out there press on. It'll be worth it!

  5. oh that rosalind russell quote (and pic) is fabulous! one to remember for sure. kate does sound inspiring and obviously deserves her success. hope you are surviving this busy time. jx

  6. Great post Josephine! Kate is definitely a worthy recipient. An inspirational women indeed.
    Cheers, Lisa x

  7. I just petted your blog. I am hoping some of YOUR success rubs off on me. You and kate are both inspirations.xoxo

  8. i love that photo of you all...a bunch of spunks!!!!

  9. My first little children's book was rejected by one publisher and accepted by another on the same day! Lovely post, TP. BTW i ADORE mariella. I hang on her every word. seriously! I truly do. jxx

  10. Jane, I left you a comment at the Pear Tree House.
    Joanny, I know we can always do with that shot of inspiration.
    Lily, I know. You really do need the hide of a rhino. It's a tough business.
    Clara, I know first hand how heartbreaking the business can be. I've endured my own 'dark night of the creative soul.' That's probably another entire post!
    Jennifer, I love that Sassy woman as well. I'll be around to visit you soon. It's such a busy time of year. Totally mad.
    Lisa, thanks for your comment. It's always love to hear form you.
    Belette, pet away. You always say the loveliest things.
    Cat, that photo is not photo-shopped but now I don't look anywhere near that healthy. A five year old can be very draining.
    Jen, Mariella is a genius, isn't she? We all love her here as well. She's perfect for the show. I love the rejection/acceptance on the same day! xx

  11. Love the quote at the end...and it is good to know these things as an aspiring writer. I think that is why you should write for you foremost and then the rest is just extra... xxx


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