Well, the reader I had roped into reading Skylark for me and give me an honest opinion of whether or not it was worth pursuing got back to me early Friday morning. And I mean, early.
I'm really chuffed with his response.
Needless to say, my faith in Skylark has been restored. I'm back from feeling like I should give up on the book to continuing to find a home for it. And that's what I'll be doing.
It's nice to know that a few people, at least, don't think my faith in the novel was misplaced. And I'm really glad PY enjoyed it so much.
Part of the reason I decided to give PY a read of it was because, I realised, with the exception of my father, there haven't been an awful lot of masculine eyes on the manuscript. Two of my three beta readers were women. It crossed my mind that the bias towards the masculine that is still part and parcel of the publishing world might be working against the manuscript.
It was important for me to get another of male eyes on the story, just in case.
I can now put that niggling doubt to rest. That is a surprising weight off my shoulders.
I was asked to pitch this to a publisher that is coming to Can-Con this year. Alas, I had already sent the manuscript to them (not long before it was announced they would be there. I'm not impressed with myself about that!), so I won't be pitching Skylark to that publisher at Can-Con. Alas.
So, I'm feeling good about Skylark. Until the next rejection, of course. Because writing is like that.
So, thank you, PY, for your help in this.
I'll leave this here before the doubts about honesty versus trying to be nice to me start flooding in! Hah!