Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My long, strange road to becoming a published novelist (Part IX)

(This entry is the last of my nine-part chain that began as a guest blog on author Gabriella Hewitt's blog and continued on through six others to author Jamieson Wolf’s blog, before ending here. Click here to return to Part VIII.)

I’d have to say that all the time I spent on editing and polishing paid off in the long run. The first drafts of either of the two books I sold (or my later ones) would never have passed muster. It was the endless, painstaking editing that made the difference. (That and critiques by other authors on critiquing web sites, and readers who’d liked some of my short stories and wanted more, that forced me to keep improving my writing.) Remember that, if you ever feel the urge to “leave it to the editor to fix.” Trust me, you’ll never get to the editor unless the manuscript is in reasonably good shape to begin with. It’ll be rejected long before you get that far.

As for my novels, The Mars Imperative (formerly Lichen or Not) was published in June 2007 (available in paperback from Amazon, and in ebook format on Fictionwise.com), and The Tesserene Imperative (formerly Tesserene) just came out this month (October 2007). I’m still editing and polishing Sunrise Destiny, and I finally finished the first draft of My Other Car is a Spaceship in July 2007. (All the editing and promoting of The Mars Imperative took its toll on my writing time in June and July. The 27,000 words I wrote after signing the contracts took me almost as long as the 85,000 words I wrote before then.)

Now that I’ve sold Lichen and Tesserene, it’s time to get back to work on Reunion, the third book in the trilogy (which will eventually be renamed The [something-or-other] Imperative). That is, if I can find some time to write betwixt and between all the promoting I’m doing….

Clearly, the route I took is the not the traditional one for getting published as a novelist. But with the advent of micropublishers, print-on-demand (POD), self-publishing, ebooks, and the like, there are more routes to getting published than just the “find an agent and wait while they try to get a major publisher interested and then wait some more” route, which can take many years, if it ever happens. Any of these routes could be the “right” route for you. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities, but don’t wait for opportunity to knock—seek it out. (And, of course, selling that first—or second—novel isn’t the end of the journey. It’s only the beginning.)

In the end, I may not be the astronaut—or baseball player or pirate—that I wanted to be as a youth, but—almost as good, and much safer—I get to write about them, and indeed have, in various books and short stories. And, I get to share those stories with others. What could be better than that?

My books are available from Amazon.com/Amazon.ca (paperback), Fictionwise.com (ebook), and other retailers. Or visit my web site at http://tesserene.com.

(Now that you’ve read this nine-part blog chain, what do you think of the idea? Leave me a comment and let me know. Also, please spend some time reading the other entries on the other blogs. There are some terrific authors represented in this chain.)

To begin with Part 1 of this story, click here to jump to author Gabriella Hewitt’s blog.


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