Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Let's Hear It For MuseItUp Author...

P h i l i p  C o l e m a n 

 

Philip Coleman (author of The Master's Book) has worked as a biologist for most of his life—in Ireland, Belgium and now in Switzerland. Having been an avid reader all his life, he took up writing only in 2006. This is his first published novel. He drew his inspiration for the story from the period he spent working for the EU in Brussels. He has a grown-up son and daughter (who were roughly the same ages as Sean and Maeve during the time in Brussels but otherwise aren’t a bit like them at all!). He now lives in France.

The Master’s Book: Blurb
In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 24. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.
The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.
Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?
Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.
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FROM FIRST LINES TO PUBLISHED BOOK: The Longest Journey

                                                                                by Philip Coleman

I’ve always loved books – everything from non-fiction (especially history), to highbrow literary fiction, to thrillers and intelligent fiction for children. I did write a little as a teenager but after that, though I secretly dreamed of taking it up again, I never wrote any fiction until I reached my late forties. In the meantime, I graduated as a botanist and I’ve worked most of my life as a biologist, dealing with matters relating to both plants and animals.

I was prompted to take up writing again when I read Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, which I found absolutely enchanting, largely thanks to the strength of the central character, Lyra. The last scene of the story is set in the Oxford Botanic Garden and that gave me, a botanist, the idea of setting a fantasy novel in a botanic garden. The novel proved more of a learning experience than anything else but was followed by another fantasy which almost made it with two publishers before I decided to move on. Then, in order not to go back over old ground, I decided to write a novel set in contemporary Brussels, where I’d spent a particularly happy time when my children were growing up. I wanted to re-live that experience through a teenager’s eyes. The result became The Master’s Book. 

Again, I struggled to find an agent, without success, and again I had two near-misses with Irish publishers (one being Puffin Ireland). That led to a total re-write and some encouraging critiques but still no luck. I had more or less decided to move on, and was working on a sci-fi scenario, when I made friends on Facebook with an author named Kristy Brown. She told me about MuseItUp Publishing so I decided they would be my last try. A few months after I sent in the manuscript, I was in the USA on a business trip when I got an email from them. “Another rejection,” I thought, deciding to deal with it quickly before moving on to my work emails. When I saw that the email enclosed a publishing contract I nearly fell off the chair. 

What have I learned along the way? Well, lots of things really. Firstly, that when people try to encourage you by reminding you of J.K. Rowling’s story, although they mean well, don’t get carried away. You need to be very realistic. And, while it is true that you must never give up writing, there is a point where you must move on from one writing project in favour of a new one, if you don’t want to get de-motivated and depressed. That’s the part that I’ve found hardest to act on in practice but it’s important. 

From first writing attempt to publication has taken me nearly seven years, with a lot of heartache along the way. Thankfully, the writing part itself, although hard work, can be fun. And that’s what makes it worthwhile. 

~ ~ ~

Buy The Master's Book here.

45 comments :

  1. Congratulations on getting your book published. The premise definitely sounds intriguing.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I hope it proves as intriguing when you read it :-)

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  2. This looks wonderful. I can't wait until it comes out.

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    1. It is out actually. You can buy it on the MuseItUp website or on amazon.com.

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  3. Congrats on the book. It sounds very intriguing. I'm glad you stuck it out and got your contract!

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    1. Thanks. As I already said to another respondent, I hope it proves intrguing to read :-)

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  4. I love a happy ending to perseverance. Thanks for sharing your story of encouragement and congratulations on what sounds like a wonderful book!

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  5. Congratulations, Philip. Bet you're glad you didn't just delete that email!

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  6. Great post, Philip. I'm glad you stuck with it. Your book sounds wonderful.

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  7. Congrats and, yes, it's definitely a long and tough struggle. Glad you made it :)

    Left and Write

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    1. Thanks Mark. And I suppose the struggle is just in a new phase now. But it's nice to have got this far.

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  8. Congrats on your book release! Sounds like a great story :)

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  9. Congrats, Philip! Your story is extremely inspiring. :) Good luck with your writing career!

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    1. Thank you Sandhya. It's a start anyway.

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    2. Happy touring, Sandhya. Have a great day! And thanks for visiting.

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  10. Congratulations, Philip! I'm so happy for you.

    Hi, Joylene! :)

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  11. Congrats! The premise sounds great and very full of intricate historical information. No wonder it took seven years to bring to publication! :-)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lexa. Hope you have a great week.

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    2. Thanks. The historical information is just for a backdrop. It's basically about teenagers in modern-day Brussels.

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  12. Hi Joylene,

    I think it's most kind of you to bring further awareness of writers. And to you, Philip, your realistic approach has seen you realise your dream. Well done and all the best. I shall now share this through the various social networks. Wishing you much success and fulfilment with your writing endeavours.

    Thank you for highlighting this gentleman, Joylene.

    Gary

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    1. Thanks for your support, Gary. You are a star!

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    2. LLIkewise thank you from me Gary. I hope you like the book

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  13. Congrats Philip.
    Thank you Joylene for your comment about my blog post on Dubai Fountain.

    All the best !
    Rajiv
    http://www.magnificentdewdrops.blogspot.com
    http://www.magicalpresent.blogspot.com

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  14. Thanks, Joylene, for the intro to Philip! I am inspired by his story. The book sounds like a great read. Wishing you all the best, Philip!

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  15. Excellent advice, Philip. It is so easy to allow stories to become like our children and not let go when they aren't working out. Even if they aren't published, you learned a lot about writing from the rejected tales. I'm glad you tried writing something different. Writing is like any pursuit you enjoy. It takes practice to hit a golf ball, roller skate, etc and the joy is in learning how to do it better...Best wishes for success from another Muser.

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  16. Great advice. Congrats on the book!

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come in and sit for while. We will talk about writing. We will share our dreams. Then I will serve tea and cookies. Home made and Gluten Free.