Posts Tagged Little Museum of Hope
Little Museum of Hope – Cover Reveal!
Posted by Sally Jenkins in Promotion, Successes on February 22, 2023
I can hardly believe that Little Museum of Hope now has an actual cover (isn’t it beautiful?) and a pre-order link. This book has been a decade in the making and now it’s becoming a reality!
Around 10 years ago I read a newspaper article about The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. Its website describes the sole purpose of this museum as ‘treasuring and sharing your heartbreak stories and symbolic possessions. It is a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.’ This sparked my imagination and I decided to write a series of linked short stories based on a fictional version of this museum.
For a short time, I dabbled in self-publishing these stories on Kindle. The first was ‘Maxine’s Story’ about a teenager who has an unplanned pregnancy. The story went through various rewrites and became one of the six stories shortlisted for The 2016 Just Write Creative Writing Competition organized by Writing Magazine and John Murray Press. The prize was a rooftop reception at the London offices of the publisher Hachette. As well as the other shortlisted authors, there were several industry professionals present at the reception and a conversation I had with a representative of Cornerstones Literary Consultancy made me realise that these stories, about individual donors to the museum, could be woven together as a novel.
Creating a novel from short stories was more difficult than I expected because it needed an additional storyline or two which could run through the whole of the novel, thus binding it together. There were several stumbling blocks along the way but I stuck with it because I was convinced that the concept was strong. In 2017 the novel gained an agent’s attention in a Twitter pitching competition and I was given feedback on the whole manuscript. I edited the novel following this advice but the agent decided not to take it further.
In 2018 I was signed by a different agent on the strength of the novel. Together we did more editing but it failed to sell to any of the large publishers. Last year I decided to independently submit to smaller publishers and I was delighted when the ‘tasting panel’ at Ruby Fiction enjoyed Little Museum of Hope – I had finally found a publisher for the book.
Over the past few weeks there have been structural edits to hone the story for the readership of Ruby Fiction – mainly to add in some additional ‘bright spots’, in order to provide light relief from the emotional stories which the donors bring to the museum. There will be more work to come before the publication date of 25th April 2023. But today I’m sitting back and enjoying the satisfaction of seeing something that’s been brewing for ten years take its first faltering steps in the big wide world – and I’m really glad I didn’t give up at the first hurdle!
Little Museum of Hope is now available to preorder and will then be automatically delivered to you on 25th April. Fingers crossed that you think it’s worth the ten year gestation period!