Friday, 22 August 2014

Z is for Zest

Z is for Zest


Zest, or enthusiasm and keenness, are essential for a novelist. Would be published novelists have told me they wrote, for example, a quarter or half of a novel and gave up. Either they lost interest in the plot and theme, or they abandoned their would-be masterpieces because they couldn’t find time to write or because it was too difficult to finish them.


Published or unpublished authors need zest, by which I mean enthusiasm for the novel, and they also need to be keen enough to persevere no matter how many times their books are rejected.


In my early twenties my first novel was accepted by a reputable publishing company. I didn’t know that to ensure publication the date on which my novel would be released needed to be included in the contract. The publishing house changed hands and the new commissioning editor didn’t like my novel. I continued to write for some years before my circumstances changed and I did not have the opportunity to do so. Years later, my late husband encouraged me to pursue my dream of writing historical fiction. It was the nudge I needed to write all the stories which had been in my mind for years. After enough rejections to paper the wall in my lavatory I acquired an agent. Deep, deep sigh, he didn’t secure a contract for me. More disappointments followed until my publisher accepted Sunday’s Child.


My keenness to be published and a string of rejections are not uncommon. Many other novelists have had similar experiences.


It is zest which separates published and unpublished writers from those who don’t finish a novel, which is a huge achievement, from would-be-writers.


e-books available from,, & elsewhere. Sunday’s Child, False Pretences, Tangled Love, Far Beyond Rubies, also available as a print book, & The Captain and The Countess.


Rosemary Morris