Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nova Byzantium is getting published!

It has been an ridiculously long time since I've updated this blog, and I have many excuses... many many excuses. After I'd handed off my novel Chronophage to my hardworking agent, he unfortunately informed me that it was a little too "out there" to be marketable. If I were a more established writer, such weirdness may have sold a few copies, but as it was, no go...This was a bit of a blow.

Since I've began the novel writing journey, I've long since made a friend of rejection and reality. I believe you can beat a dead horse when it comes to a manuscript. I've read many frustrated blog entries by would-be novelists who've hammered away, rewriting and rewriting the same manuscript until it's nothing but a puddle of mush, only to see it rejected time and time again. As I loath my nostalgic side bitterly, I've made it a personal mission to forgive (myself) and forget. Move on. This is especially true with writing. Agents often tell the rejected that their first novel was okay, but not ready for prime time, and that the writer should send them their new manuscript when it's completed. Oh the horror!

Telling somebody their child's ugly is bad business and there's no way to not take it personally. But a rejected novel, unlike a child, can be stashed in a desk drawer and forgotten about. So after Chronophage was cut loose, I started ruminating on my next novel. Discouragement, admittedly sapped a great deal of my writing will and besides a highly detailed synopsis for a new novel, I haven't settled down to write anything. Three rejected novels in the bank, and having hoped for so long, I had run out of gas. Until....

Stand-in cover art for Nova Byzantium. The Mi-24 Hind, a future mercenary's best friend.
Out of the blue, my agent emailed me and asked if I would be willing to submit my manuscript Nova Byzantium to a digital imprint of a reputable publishing outfit called Prime Books. After doing a little research, it seems publishers are looking to push a little more volume with less overhead by going the e-publishing route. While minimizing their risk to riskier sub-genres, they are now able to throw a little bit more at the marketing wall and see what sticks. I own a Kindle myself and haven't bought an "analog" book since. I was game.

A month or so later, my agent Evan Gregory emailed me to say my novel had been accepted by Masque Books (Prime's digital imprint) and sent along the contract for me to sign. With a quick swipe of the digital pen, it was done! Nova Byzantium is headed soon to an internet bookstore near you! As per usual, I'm managing my own expectations but am truly thankful I've had as much success as I've had. I do in fact realize that landing an agent is something that few novelists ever succeed in doing. Then to have some folks in the business think your novel worthy of throwing a little coin at to publish, market, and perhaps make a little return on is even more of a compliment. So I view myself lucky.

Defending my bride against a rival clan at Castle Muckrach
On a personal note, I've recently gotten married to my beautiful wife in my adopted would-be homeland of Scotland, and within a few short months we will be welcoming our first child into the world. I'm hoping they'll be time left to start writing again, but as they say with writing, you just have to carve out the time. I guess that's what coffee's for.

P.S. I have started up a non-writing related podcast with my old friend Mark Paul Hudson. The Cult of Matt and Mark is film related and we review a cult film weekly. So if you have an hour to lose every week to the dustbin of history, please tune-in/download/stream.

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