My link with Varuna has been relevant. This particular book began its journey as a Young Adult manuscript about 2007. I submitted 10 pages of the first chapter, at that time titled Winter World, to Peter Bishop. We had an appointment at Queensland Writers Centre to discuss it. I braced ready for constructive criticism, but Peter said his (then) thirteen year old daughter would love this book. He encouraged me to enter the 2008 Longlines competition which I did, entering two books, this being one of them. I won a consultation with both entries and a lengthy discussion with editor Carol Major ensued. While talking on the phone with Carol I made copious scribbles then set about implementing some of her recommendations.
The book, then titled Red Moon Rising: secret stories of a sixties schoolgirl went on to win an Olvar Woods Fellowship Award in 2010, providing the opportunity to further shape the work. The following year it made the semi-finals in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest gaining great reviews from panel editors.
Although there was an opportunity to publish with Amazon, I wanted to go down the traditional road of getting an agent and publisher first. Life, another year and more editing happened before I did any serious submitting, but it must have happened at just the right time, after all!
Red Moon Rising will probably be marketed as an adult book rather than a YA.
So thanks to Peter for that initial half hour consult and Carol Major for her input thereafter. I'm sure they'll be pleased that I now have a top agent. Hopefully Red Moon Rising is on the final leg of its long journey - to a great publishing home.