Friday, July 18, 2008

I'll Bet Hemingway Never Went Through This

Okay, here's the thing: When I got serious about writing fiction, which was a little less than two years ago, I figured it would take me a few months to write my masterpiece of American Literature, maybe a few more to revise, rewrite and edit it, and then I would carefully select one or two publishers I trusted to get my work out, and after that I could sit back and work on scheduling my book tour.

Well, guess what? I doesn't work that way. It turns out that everyone is a writer! Who knew?

So many people, in fact, write books that most major publishing houses no longer even accept manuscripts from un-agented authors. "Over the transom" submissions, they call them, and they won't take them that way any more. It's a shame, really, because after the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours of work that goes into crafting a 350-page manuscript, the idea of throwing it at someone to get their attention is sort of enticing.

Anyway, I discovered that the way to get discovered now is by submitting your work to literary agencies in the hopes of gaining representation by an agent, who then takes your manuscript and throws it at his or her contacts in the publishing world, hoping it hits someone in the head and gets their attention.

So that's where I stand. I have completed two manuscripts, The Fixer and Paskagankee, the first a suspense novel about an assassin trying unsuccessfully to leave his career behind, and the second a supernatural thriller involving a remote town in northern Maine and a 350 year old Native American curse that causes some really bad things to happen.

I'm now in the process of trying to get an agent's attention, standing in the massive crowd of unknown novelists outside literary agencies throwing our material over their transoms instead of the publisher's. Confused yet? Me too, but sooner or later something good will happen, I'm sure of it.

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for that elusive book tour to start, I've written a bunch of short stories, one of which you can check out on my website and another of which has made its way into the Ten for Ten anthology, which, if you're interested, you can purchase right here at Unless of course you know me, in which case you can save yourself the shipping if you'd like a copy and I'll just hand it to you.

Thanks for checking out my blog and if you're curious how this whole writing thing is going to turn out, that makes two of us. Check back frequently, because I have a lot of stuff to talk about - like my trip to New York to meet a bunch of agents, who are busily studying my manuscripts even as we speak.

Phew. I can't stand the suspense.

No comments: