Friday, July 19, 2024

The Process Begins

I have my first contract for novel-length fiction in my hands. My six-years-in-the-making “The Empire’s Edge” has been picked up by The Wild Rose Press. Not for lack of trying at other publishers, mind you, but I searched my heart and found that with my career as an editor taking off, I don’t have the dedication to my writing that an agent wants to profit from. I stop short of using the word “hobby,” but I do write for my own satisfaction rather than for the money. For the professional author thrill, I can live vicariously off my friend Carrie and her new collaborator Ann on their AWESOME trilogy, for which I got to read the synopsis before they made the proposal. They rock.

So with brash confidence that my ms would find success at the one e-pub house with which I am rather familiar, I sent my baby, my learning piece, my BIG BOOK (80K) to them. Perhaps it would have gained more publicity, perhaps shelf space rather than mere cyberspace, at another house. Sales numbers are nice, but my ultimate goal is to see my imagination set down in physical form. My name on a library shelf next to Anne McCaffrey. Anything after that is extra happiness.

Don’t get me wrong—I want lots of people to buy it and read it. Yes, yes, my enormous family and my friends and former classmates and their friends and family and so on. Perfect strangers—I’ll take perfect strangers as readers, sure. I have big vague plans to trot myself around to blogs and be a more familiar face. Join FF&P. Blog here more regularly. We’ll see how well I can manage that now that I have something to talk about. I’ll be visiting my local bookstores and asking about what local authors partner with them for as far as publicity, how to sell print copies of the book on consignment, or convince them to order through TWRP’s print store option, etc. We are lucky here in Oregon to have some nice independent bookstores. Powells being the gigantor of them. You may have heard of it.

Look for a teaser to appear on my website. I’ll be posting tidbits that got cut from the final novel, such as the infamous prologue my fabulous crit group finally convinced me to hack off the beginning.

Will there be a second book in this world? Why does that question remind me of the demands people make of young brides about babies? “When are you going to have a baby?” “When are you going to have another one?” I’ll try, after Patti and I finish Canyon Hearts, the fourth book in her Echo Falls series. I have a few more in that series to co-author as well. I’m not disappearing. Just super busy with other facets of my life.

And supremely happy. If all else fails, I am now the author of a novel.