A “No” From Unbound

After six weeks of anxious waiting, I’ve had a “thanks, but no thanks” email from Unbound. The brief email explained that it wasn’t their sort of thing. Fair comment, but it would have been good to get a little more feedback than that. Onwards and upwards though. Salmonweird will see the light of day.

Copyright MG Mason 2017

I have a few more options that fellow writers and some readers in a book group have kindly recommended including Urbane Publishing which is likely to be my next port of call sometime next week. As I go through the spring, I expect to submit it to a range of publishing options – not leaving out local small press and major publishing houses.

There is a great, thriving publishing market for fiction set in Cornwall. Not just of the Poldark variety but of the sort of books that have titles that begin with The Little Teashop… I think it’s about time for a Cornish Crime Caper, myself. Just to give you another taster of what Salmonweird is about, here is one of my favourite snippets.

I bolted in through the open door and took the stairs two at a time. By the time I got to the top, I was already out of breath. I rounded the bannister and went crashing through the closed bedroom door, thinking to myself that I would be angry with her and feeling stupid at myself if it was only another spider she wanted me to throw out of the window.

What met me was the most curious sight. Wrapped in two towels – one around her body and another around her head and standing on the bed cowering, was my wife Valarie. At the foot of the bed and waving what looked to me like a thurible… Oh hang on, if you’re not Catholic you won’t know what that is, will you? I’m a lapsed Catholic and for those who’ve never been inside a popish institution, it’s the thing that the priest swings in the church with smoke coming from it; eventually it fills the building with incense smoke. It’s kind of pleasant and reassuring, or so non-Catholic friends commenting later on its appearance have been eager to tell me. Anyway, the thurible wasn’t the strangest thing about this whole affair – the thing was being swung by a man in black robes which were either impressive imitations or the real thing. He reacted to my wife’s screaming with complete indifference, continuing to wave the bloody thing all about our bedroom.

Valarie pointed at the monk with one hand and protected her modesty with the other. ‘Get him out, get him out, Karl!’

‘Calm yourself woman!’ the monk chastised as though he had an open invitation to enter our bedroom and ruin the breakfast I should have been enjoying about now. ‘This house is infested with plague!’

‘Plague?’ I asked incredulously.

‘If the woman continues to disturb me, I might have to have her removed from my presence. This will not do.’ He went on, ‘I have important work.’

‘Right, that’s it.’ I slammed the newspaper and milk on the bedside table. ‘Get out of my house!’

‘I was sent here at the owners’ request. I’m here to disperse the miasma.’ Finally, he stopped swinging the thurible. ‘You can’t send me away now, I came all the way from St. Michael’s Mount. More are coming here; we must begin the chantry as soon as possible if we’re to-’

‘No chantry, no miasma and no bloody incense. Get out!’ I pointed to the door. He gave us both a solemn look before silently gliding out of the room and down the stairs. I closed the door behind him.

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