This has been the most exciting year imaginable so far. We’ve more than half to go, and I’m on a ride that two years ago I would have thought impossible. We started the year, first week of January, being offered a contract by Solstice Publishing for my novel Jacob Chance, U.S. Marshal, and here it is, June 1, and the book is available in e-book and print.
During these past five months I have also had several short stories published in magazines and literary journals.
On May 29, I was offered a contract on my fantasy/mystery novel The Quest, again by Solstice Publishing. It is possible that book could be on the market in time for Christmas giving. Amazing.
Maybe fifty years or more ago, I might have been enthralled to see my name in print, but having been a reporter and editor at several newspapers, magazines, and journals, that thrill doesn’t exist today. But since changing from a newsy to a writer of fiction, which is nothing more than being able to lie well, the thrill is the acceptance letter. Everything else follows along, but receiving that validation is a heart stopper.
Whether the letter comes by way of e-mail or snail mail, you know it can only be one of two things as you creep up on opening the missive. Will it be yet another rejection form letter, or, praise be to all the gods of ancient Greece and Rome, a contract offer? I’ve been known to let it sit, unopened for more than a day. I’ve tucked it away, fearful of running the knife along the envelope’s edge.
What sits in that unopened packet is a yay or nay on a product that that I have sweat over, cussed out, loved on, and feared. For how long? Jacob Chance took almost three years to write. The Quest did take a full three years to write. So, now, I open the e-mail from Solstice and very slowly read the words, “We would like to offer you a contract …” Yes! Bless thee, O mighty editor, it’s a contract.
If it’s heart-rending writing the book, now the hard work begins. Pick a cover. You laugh, but how many times have you picked up a book because of the cover? Or a magazine, or bar of soap, or cut of meat? Yes, Virginia, that cover is important. And the editing process is a killer, because those are your words that are being discussed in less than positive voice.
Ah, then you get the word. Your book will be released on such and such a date. In the meantime, you’ve already got 50,000 words into your next offering, and the process starts all over again. It’s a wonderful life. Or, did someone already say that?
Until next time, read good books and stay regular.
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