To all of you incredible people who read this blog, thank you! Knowing you’re following my journey to publication makes a huge difference to me. For those of you who might be new, the purpose of this blog is currently to detail every aspect of my experiences publishing my first novel in 30 years, Standing The Final Watch: Book One of The Last Brigade.
As an introduction and/or refresher, my business plan calls for this book to be contracted for, represented or published by my deadline. That deadline is currently 9-30-2016, although I reserve the right to move that forward or backward. What could trigger an earlier deadline is if I reach 200 ‘No’s’ first, in which case I move to Plan B.
Current ‘NO’ count…37. One agent I had already counted out made it official.
Lest you get the wrong idea, I have had some successes along the way. 8 requests for the full manuscript, 15 partials and one very big YES. To that publisher, whom I will not identify without their permission, I owe a huge debt of gratitude. We disagree on several points, but I am moving toward their point of view, and if we can get close enough that is one blog entry I would love to write.
This weekend is MidSouthCon here in Memphis. For those who have never been to a science fiction convention, they’re a blast, and this one in particular. They might appear very strange, but aren’t new experiences a writer’s lifeblood? More to the point, there are some high-powered editors who will be there, several publishers and a whole writer’s track. Should be a blast, if I get photos I’ll post them next week.
‘Yeah, yeah, all these pretty words…so, what’s the deal Bill? Why all the ‘No’s’? Does the book suck or something?’
I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, because I think it’s great, and I am usually my own worst critic. I was lucky enough to have beta readers who were close friends, and took my instructions to come up with every negative they could find quite seriously. These were not the ‘make you feel good even if they hated it’ type of readers, I asked them to bash anything and everything they could. I’m currently at 11 beta readers, which is quite a few, and their comments have helped shape the finished product. One of them reads 5-7 books every single week in my general genre, Military Thrillers/Military SF. He’s my most enthusiastic supporter.
‘Okay,’ you say, ‘if it’s as good as you say-‘
‘As good as they say’.
‘Fine. As good as they say, what’s the trouble?’
Answer: hell if I know, although I think I know. The book is blatantly and overtly pro-American and pro-U.S. Armed Forces. My MC loves his God, family and country, he’s not torn by doubts about his mission and he’s not political. And therein, I believe, lies the problem.
It’s just the reality of where we are today, and I knew this when I started the whole project. And I’m fine with it, even if a bit saddened. But with two books already finished, a prequel moving quickly and a fourth book 14,000 words long, as well as a short story in this same series, I’ll be damned if I’m stopping any time soon.
So thanks for following me on this journey, cross your fingers for me! Or say a prayer if that’s your inclination, I wouldn’t mind God hearing something nice about me for a change.