9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder
9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder
9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers
9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity
September Guest Bloggers
9/19 Judy Alter
WWK Weekend Bloggers
9/5 V. M. Burns
9/12 Jennifer J. Chow
9/26 Kait Carson
For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.
Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!
KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.
Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!
Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!
Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.
KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.
Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A Signed Contract
All kidding aside, I’m delighted Master Point Press, a small publisher located in Toronto and specializing in bridge books, will be my publisher. The process of obtaining this contract got me to thinking.
In 2009 I became the reigning Queen of Rejection of the Guppy Chapter of the Sisters in Crime. (Yes, I am really a guy; and yes, the Sisters in Crime and their chapters enthusiastically welcome men as long as they support the organizational objectives and obey the rules.) I earned the title because for the period of the contest I racked up the largest number of rejections from agents and/or publishers. As consolation for winning, I received a gift certificate from the Guppies and lots of cyber-chocolate.
Those were nice consolation, but the best gift I received was a piece of information from one of the other past Queens. She told me that most of the previous Queens of Rejection had gone on to be published.
Unlike the plethora of rejections I received for my first two novels, I sent my bridge book proposal only to Master Point Press. They read the proposal and asked for the complete manuscript. After reading the complete manuscript, they had a couple of suggestions and wanted the book 50% longer. Once I delivered that, they offered a contract.
Why were they interested in my book? One reason was I had identified a market niche that they agreed was underserved.
Underserved markets are a big difference between fiction and nonfiction. Spend some time and you can find them in nonfiction. In fiction, I’m not sure there is such a thing as an underserved market—at least not until the vampire trend morphs into something else and for a short while there aren’t enough books in the pipeline containing the something else. Unfortunately, to serve that previously unidentified niche you had to already have your novel written and be the first to enter the breach. Daunting, to say the least.
The second reason they liked my work was voice. I’m not a grand Pooh-Bah of the bridge world. After a 30+-year layoff I started playing bridge again four years ago. I wrote the book I wished I had available to me while I was learning. I illustrated the lessons in the book with mistakes I observed Intermediate/Novices making (including lots of my own). One of my early readers said reading the book was like listening to me talk—which you either like or don’t; fortunately the publisher did.
In the end, voice carried the day. Developing voice is a necessary but not sufficient condition to becoming published. In the world of bridge books, in another 15 months (and if the creek don’t rise) I will have met the other necessary conditions to having a published work. In the fiction world, I’m still plugging away. As one of the former Queens of Rejection told me, often the difference between success and failure in this business is the difference between trying yet again and giving up. Literary Agent Michelle Gardner also makes this point in her blog yesterday.
Let’s hear it for trying yet again.