A novel has been rejected over 30 times by publishers who cited that it was “too niche” just because it centred on a gay character. It was also said the story of Charlie Matthews’ obsession with Madonna was “too working class, too 80s, too immersed in pop culture, and too gay”.
The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain is a family drama and sees the protagonist Charlie’s obsession with the pop star Madonna. His infatuation with her “sees him through some tough times in life: being persecuted at school; fitting in at a posh university; a glamorous career in London; finding boyfriends; getting rid of boyfriends; growing up and family heartbreak”.
The book was rejected so many times by mainstream publishers that Matt Cain decided to ask the general public for help.
Crowdfunding has been a boon to creatives all over the world, accessing funds from backers to make their projects a reality. Cain decided to use Unbound in order to ask for backing for his novel and get it published.
Famous names offered their support: comedian and author David Walliams, and television’s Mark Gatiss are just two fans of Cain’s novel.
“It’s Billy Elliot meets Beautiful Thing wearing a conical bra – a story for anyone who ever sang their heart out, looked for love, dreamed of more, or wanted a Soda Stream more than anything else in the world…”
It seems strange that a book would be rejected for not being ‘relatable’ for the majority of people when it is a human story about human issues. A gay main character shouldn’t be off-putting for straight people- just as a book centred on straight people is not alien to gay people. Love, obsession, family, angst, are all themes people of all sexualities can relate to.
Read an excerpt here via Unbound and decide for yourself.
‘Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President’ has been written by Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence, and features watercolour illustrations by the second lady Karen Pence. This children’s book was published on Monday and “gives young readers a bunny’s-eye view of the special duties of the vice president.” Read More
Described as “a Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy novel”, Children of Blood and Bone combines modern-day issues and West African myth. The novel is set in Orïsha, a fictional world, and follows Zélie Adebola, a diviner with magic powers that transform her into a maji. When the King of Orïsha orders for all who posses black magic to be killed, it is up to Zélie to bring the magic back.
Markus must have felt an enormous pressure, and as most writers are wont to do he began to doubt he had another great story in him. Readers all over the world wrote to encourage him, thanking him for their favourite book of his, and eventually Markus announced he was ready… Watch his message to his fans below.
The new story will follow a grown up Tracy who is now a single Mum struggling to make ends meet in London. Wilson stated that she was inspired to return to the character after seeing mothers holding copies of the Tracy Beaker books they read as children. The first book in the series was published 27 years ago and followed Tracy as she grew up in a care home that was known by Tracy and her friends as ‘the dumping ground’. Now Tracy is a mother and is struggling to raise her own challenging nine-year-old. Read More
Their website explains the influences behind their anthologies:
“The Urban Word Collective was born out of a dream of a shared space whereby Urban Poets could mutually promote, celebrate and inspire one another for the benefit of their communities and ultimately country. Such poets are the Bob Dylans of today and have so much to say, to add to navigating a tumultuous world. The world of poetry has never been exclusive to one tradition, rather a tree with roots that propagates, seeding for the present and future.”