And so more time has passed and I find myself having a well-earned rest in the middle of COVID. What a good opportunity to get back to this novel and do something with it, once and for all. The strategy I decided on was this: incorporate all the feedback from the assessment and start submitting to agents and publishers. If nothing comes of this, I will self-publish as an ebook. I have been very lucky in that some friends who were going away for a break allowed me to housesit for them. In the few weeks they were away I managed to add about 15,000 words to the MS to address the remaining queries raised in the assessment. I'm really quite happy with the additions as it raises the work from novella to full-blown novel in length now (around 70,000 words). I have also been pleased that, despite the passage of time, I found it very easy to drop back into the characters, their cares and concerns, and their dialogue styles.
As an extra safeguard, I also asked my ex-3 unit English teacher, Denis Corke, if he would be so good as to give the MS a once over. I was thinking more of his just reading it and provding broad feedback, but Denis exceeded my expectations and did not only do that, but also provided a very solid copy edit. Oh to have such generous (and competent!) friends!
So, having done some research, I have spent a few weeks sending off submissions to a selection of agents and publishing houses. These all have wait times of anything from 3 weeks to forever, so I'm not holding my breath...but you have to be in it to win it. If this option fails, I will go ahead with self-publishing as an ebook, which will allow me to get on with things and finally get back to completing the first novel I have sitting in second draft in the bottom of the wardrobe.