Author strikes it lucky on six
By LEE McDOUGALL
PETER Cleary knows all too well how JK Rowling felt as she struggled to find a publisher to accept her now-famous Harry Potter children's books.
The Coffs Harbour local had 70 rejections in six years before 'hitting the jackpot' with Lothian Books, which has published his sixth novel, Trickery At The Toyworx.
"I've done various things from being a jackaroo, musician, painter, lawnmower man, peanut harvester and busker but I really needed a career," Mr Cleary said.
"I'd never really found my niche. I wasn't really happy doing those things.
"Then I read this article about how children's publishers are always on the lookout for new authors.
"So I sat down and wrote a story for my eight-year-old nephew. Then I wrote another and another and I've now actually written eight novels."
Keeping his motivation going through the rejection phase was at times tough, but Mr Cleary gives thanks to the support of his family and friends who never lost faith that he would one day be published.
"It was pretty hard to keep going when you receive rejection after rejection. I've kept every one of the rejection slips," he said.
"But I just thought my novels were as good as anything that was already out there."
And it seems that with Trickery at the Toyworx, the publishers finally agreed.
"I had Trickery assessed by Dr Virginia Lowe who has a great reputation in children's literature," Mr Cleary said.
"She gave me a letter of recommendation for the book and I think that helped enormously when I sent it on to the publishers."
Mr Cleary sent Trickery at the Toyworx to nine publishers, with the first eight rejecting the novel.
"When I received the letter of acceptance from Lothian Books I was speechless. It took a long while for it to actually sink in,' he said.
Trickery at the Toyworx is a story of three young children who move into their new home, only to find that things aren't as they at first appear.
The children's investigations lead them to Foxamosh's famous Toyworx factory, whose owner, Wedsley Foxamosh mysteriously disappeared several months ago.
As to the rest of the story, well, you'll just have to buy the book. Trickery at the Toyworx is available Pages Bookshop and Dymocks at Park Beach Plaza, and retails for $14.95.