Thanks a lot, New York
May 31, 2012
Those of you who follow my blog realize that two of my books, LAST ONE CHOSEN and NEXT BEST HOPE are books one and two of a series called The Revelation Trilogy. As I type this, I am in possession of the final, or almost final, edit of book three, THE REVELATION EFFECT.
The funny thing about this for me as the author is that I wrote those three books between approximately May 2009 and August 2010. In other words, I finished THE REVELATION EFFECT almost two years ago, and it is only now about to see the light of day.
The reason for the lag between my finishing book three and its publication is a story oft-told in the world of publishing. Shortly after I completed the first book, I obtained an agent and she shopped the book around and told me the best thing for me to do was to just keep writing. I followed her advice and kept writing. Eventually she presented the three books to a total of four New York publishing houses.
Those houses went into radio silence. No rejection, no “we’re thinking about it,” no nothing. After a year or so of that treatment, I asked my agent to withdraw the submissions and release the books to me. She did.
While my first three books languished on the anonymous desks of first readers in New York, I kept writing. By the time I cut bait with my agent, I had almost finished book four THE SICKLE’S COMPASS, A Story of Love, War and Alzheimer’s. Later in 2011, I added MONEY IS THICKER THAN BLOOD.
So, as fate would have it, my fourth and fifth books came out ahead of my first three.
The first is that it’s hard for me to remember what happened in books one, two and three. This may sound strange to people who aren’t writers or who haven’t written multiple books. But I swear it’s true. When I began the editing process on THE REVELATION EFFECT a few months ago, I hadn’t read the book in over a year. It was like reading someone else’s book. As I went through it, I wondered how all the pieces were going to fit together, how the conflict would be resolved, what was going to happen next.
And, thanks to my extremely capable editors, I saw things about the book that needed fine-tuning.
Another issue is ironic. The common wisdom in digital publishing today is that the best way for an author to succeed is by having multiple books available. For most new writers, who may have labored for years on their first book, the notion that they must have at least three books ready to go when they first publish is like standing at the foot of Mt. Everest and looking up. Even if they can write a book every six months or so, they are looking at an eighteen month assignment before they even test the waters.
The irony for me is that my waiting game with traditional publishing provided me the time to build a book list. And it gave me some breathing room when my books began rolling out. Having those three books in the can allowed me to get my feet wet and begin building a brand without feeling the pressure to churn out new content all the time.
But the pressure is building again. When THE REVELATION EFFECT hits the digital marketplace in a few weeks, I will no longer have another book waiting.
Which creates the next challenge.
Maybe that is why I have recently felt a new burst of energy about writing.
It will be feeding time again for the digital monster a few months from now.
Not to worry. I’m working on book six.
Thanks for everything, New York.