I just came across an old internet post from this day in 2013, when the book was book was finished but sitting idle, and when mom was still cheering me on from the sidelines. Reading this, I find it pretty amazing that most of the ideas hadn’t changed over the period of time between 2012 and the book’s eventual release in 2016. I hope this little essay gives you insight into where I was at the time…professionally and mentally!! I haven’t corrected any spelling, grammar, or punctuation…I have enough editing to do today 😉
Publishing My Novel (or “Keep Your Fucking Day Job”)
I just want to put this out there and see what you have to say. Ever since I began telling my friends about my book, and the good fortune I’ve had of having Award winning author Brian Keene read it and leave some creative and professional feedback, I’ve gotten hundreds of inquiries about my plot, my genre, what kind of money I’m going to make, when it’s going to published, etc. This can’t be easily answered, at least not by me. Let me answer a few of your questions to the best of my limited ability, and by that I mean let me show you how absolutely ignorant I am of the publishing business.
1. What’s your book about?
I’d love to tell you, but wouldn’t that take the fun out of reading it if ever it sees publication? It’s a horror story, mixed with a bit of sci-fi and a little ‘coming of age’ drama. I say a lot of naughty words, have a little sex, and meet some people / creatures that interest me enough to still be thinking about them even after the book was completed. It’s set in a bastardized version of my hometown where things aren’t quite as they really are. This excites me! Being the historian that I am for my own little corner of the world, it was fun being able to take my town and add in some things from the past and others that have never existed here. Time and space are malleable when it comes to fictional creation. This is the beauty of it really…I can do what I like and how I like. It’s like playing God (or SOME god) to a degree, except I don’t get a cool title and I would expect a deity to have a much better complexion! Enough on that…
2. What kind of money am I going to make?
I’m going to go with little-to-none! I’m not saying this facetiously, I’m saying this honestly. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how advances or royalties work…not one fucking clue! I hear horror stories from within the industry, but at the same time I look at some of the ‘Bestseller List’ authors and wonder how they count so much loose change. I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I very seriously doubt any ‘writer’ sets out to be a Stephen King. If you’re shooting for such heights, then good luck, but I wouldn’t count those chickens anytime soon. I’m pretty sure that any first-time author makes very little on what they have written. I think about all the sweat and time and late nights with my manuscript and wonder if it was worth the effort to write something that no one may ever see. The easy answer is YES! I like my story, I like my characters, and I would like others to be able to meet them and form their own opinions. I didn’t write the book to become an overnight success, or to make it possible to wipe my ass with $50 bills. I wrote it because I HAD to…if I didn’t, these poor characters of mine would never have had a chance to live and breathe, love and hurt, eat, sleep, and fuck! That’s why I wrote it. It just seemed too unfair to give birth to children and then make them sit in the dark forever without having a chance at their own lives.
If someone like J. R. R. Tolkien had decided NOT to show you his little part of the Shire, you wouldn’t have been any the wiser, but at the same time, that little piece of the fictional universe would be very dark indeed. I’m certainly not trying to say that my work is anywhere close to the genius of “The Lord Of The Rings”, I’m simply making a point, albeit a long-winded one. Anyway, I suppose the bottom line here is that I didn’t write this book to be the next Bestseller, the biggest Box Office adaptation, or the next poorly written CW TV series. I wrote it because it had to be written, even if that means I’m the only one who will enjoy it. At least my mind has been purged and I can rest easily knowing that Danny and his little group of friends had a real chance.
3. When is it going to be published?
This is my shortest entry. The answer? I have no idea WHEN or IF it will ever see the light of day. Obviously that part of the process is out of my hands. I suppose if someone wants this thing, it’ll happen eventually. That’s all I can say! I’m the low man on the totem pole now. The decision to make this thing available to the public is probably a dozen steps over my head. So, for all those of you who keep telling me you can’t wait to buy your copy and read it, I thank you very much, BUT I beg you to not hold your breath too long. I’m sure that better men and women than you or I have died from anticipation. You can rest assured that you will be the first to know if something good comes my way. If the news isn’t so good, so be it! There’s always the next book or short story.
At the end of the day, published or not, I can say that I have completed a novel, and that’s more than a lot of others can say. It’s the accomplishment that keeps me writing…even if it’s the bad day job that pays the rent.