Work

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Three years ago, I wrote The Dark Communion.

In the time since, I spent much time and effort and energy attempting to get it published.  Submitting to different agents or editors, coming so close, yet falling so far short.

It was a daunting process.  At times, an uphill battle.  But it was a process that taught me a lot.

The original draft of the manuscript came in at 173,000 words.  Upon researching, that was considered an Epic Novel.  Epic is a word that sounds good, but what it actually meant was that I was too wordy.  I tended in parts to over-explain this new world I’d created.  I’d talked about monsters that didn’t feature at all into the book.  Luckily, from a few various points of submission, I received critical feedback that I was able to apply to the book and edit it down.

The final draft came in around 115,000 words.  The first draft of book two came in at about 108,000.  Clearly, I learned a thing or two in writing the first, epic draft.

I did a few other things in that time.  I did writing conventions, met agents in person, pitched in person, and likewise got critiqued.  Which led to the final edit.  I learned two important things from this.  1) I really liked the agents I met.  Some good, “cool” people that I would still be happy to work with, if the opportunity ever came up.  One local Nashville guy who reps a published author that I quite enjoy and actually got a chance to meet.  Another New York agent that compared my stuff to Lee Child and turned me on to the great author’s works.  Because of him, I am now a fan of Jack Reacher.  He helped me strengthen my dialogue even further.  2) That I was really, really tired of trying to publish the book.

Burnt-out, even.  Frustrated.  Annoyed with the very idea of writing because…what was the point?  I had submitted to over 100 agents and editors, and granted the book was still in Epic status at the time and thus not quite ready, but it had earned me a generous stack of rejection letters.  I now wear these letters as a scar, because they did come with pain, but they also made me stronger.  And I’m proud to bear them now.

Because the book is selling, and it tells me that their rejection was not a direct commentary on my story or my abilities, simply their lack of vision toward them.

So eventually I bit the bullet, designed the cover, and got the book out there.

I thought that meant the end of hard work, but no.

These last two weeks saw the book’s debut on Kindle and the following free promotion that saw 5,500 downloads.  Hopefully, 5,500 fans.  Hopefully, 5,500 sales for book 2 when it releases later this year.

It’s Twitter, blogging, shameless self-promotion through Facebook.  I’m exhausted.  But while I need a mental break, my brain has been kick-started.  The joy to write has returned because I know there are now those out there that appreciate my creativity and the story that God gave me to tell.

Book 3 is beginning to come into focus.  I’ve written one short story and have designs on still another.  I’ve got a children’s book and a book I call my “Lifeway” book that I’ve been entertaining revisiting.  I have a feeling that I will see both of those stories again very soon and have them in the market by Christmas 2014, as well as Book 3 of the Midnight Defenders.  And hopefully one more.

People keep asking me: You have a day job, a wife, kids…when do you have time to write?  It’s my passion, my dream.  I can think of nothing else I’d rather do.  I’m just thankful to be doing it again, thankful to have an audience at last.  And above all, thankful that God’s granted me the opportunity to share what I truly believe are his stories.

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