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Suffolk author secures publishing deal after 16-year wait

PUBLISHED: 11:03 17 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 January 2019

Sudbury author Ely Percy, who spent 16 years searching for a publisher for their debut novel Picture: ELY PERCY

Sudbury author Ely Percy, who spent 16 years searching for a publisher for their debut novel Picture: ELY PERCY

ELY PERCY

A Sudbury-based writer who has received hundreds of rejections over the course of 16 years has finally secured a publisher for their debut novel.

Ely Percy secured a deal for not one, but three novels set in Glasgow Picture: ELY PERCYEly Percy secured a deal for not one, but three novels set in Glasgow Picture: ELY PERCY

Despite numerous knockbacks over the course of more than a decade, Ely Percy - originally from Renfrew near Glasgow - has now bagged a publishing deal for a whole trilogy based on the novel, Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz.

With an extensive portfolio of short stories published in small press magazines as well as one non-fiction book, it might be assumed that Mx Percy would have no problem getting their debut novel commissioned.

However, as an agender person, they said the road to publication has been tough due to “a really difficult couple of decades for writers from marginalised backgrounds”.

Mx Percy added that the book itself is inspired by diversity – featuring both non-binary and transmasculine characters.

The artwork for the novel Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz Picture: LOUISE DOLANThe artwork for the novel Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz Picture: LOUISE DOLAN

Speaking ahead of the book launch, Mx Percy was delighted to secure the deal for the “queer Glasgow trilogy” with publisher Knight Errant Press.

“When Nathaniel Kunitsky from Knight Errant Press told me that he wanted to publish not one but three novels, I nearly fell off my seat,” Mx Percy said.

“I’ve had literally hundreds of rejections from publishers – even other writers started to say ‘maybe it’s time you gave up and wrote something else?’”

Mx Percy said many people thought their work was funny and clever but too niche for a mainstream audience.

Preliminary sketches for the Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz artwork Picture: LOUISE DOLANPreliminary sketches for the Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz artwork Picture: LOUISE DOLAN

“It’s been a really difficult couple of decades for writers from marginalised backgrounds who’ve been trying desperately to get their work into print,” Mx Percy added.

“But I believe the world is changing and new publishers are saying ‘we want more diversity’.

“I have waited so long for someone to take a chance on Vicky Romeo Plus Joolz, and suddenly someone is saying they love my work and want more of it, and I’ll be eternally grateful for that opportunity.”

Mx Percy described the debut novel as “a queer tartan response to the rom coms of the 1980s written in the style of an Italian-American gangster movie and told from the point of view of a working class butch lesbian”.

Knight Errant Press have launched a kickstarter for the book, which can be found here.

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