E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez.
Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).
Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!
Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.
Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!
Congratulations to Jennifer J. Chow for garnering a 2021 Lefty Nomination for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. We're crossing our fingers for Jennifer!
Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.
KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!
Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday, February 28, 2011
Lights! Camera! Action!
“It’s going to be a bestseller!”
“No one will like. It will bomb.”
“No—an agent will snatch it off the slush pile, and say, ‘Eureka!’”
Have any of you experienced this internal dialogue? I’m a lousy judge of my own work. As easy as it is for me to judge others’ work, I can’t fathom my own. Critique group feedback may improve a script, but is no indication that a manuscript will sell. Even those who have won prestigious contests fail to garner book contracts. Endemic to the writing life, I careen from extreme optimism to extreme pessimism.
So often, neither extreme happens. I imagine most agent personnel reviewing first chapters or the first fifty pages conclude that most manuscripts are ho-hum. Not without merit, but not enough merit to garner any deal. The manuscripts will go the road of most others—a copy saved on the author’s hard drive, a hard copy placed forlornly by the author on their shelves. Some may opt to self-publish those manuscripts, but if unacceptable to an agent or publishing house, how could it be good enough to self-publish?
If the experts haven’t bought it, why would I presume to know better than those with vast experience in the industry? I dislike arrogance. It is unacceptable to me because within arrogance are self-important pufferies—lies, and I’m much too old to lie to myself. There are exceptions to the rule in self publishing. The other day I heard about a kid who published a YA book on Amazon and sold 450 thousand copies immediately. I don’t know if the kid even tried to get an agent—I think not, knowing that most kids are eternally optimistic and naïve. But then, the kid’s dreams came true, with just a little faith. As I said, it was an exceptional experience, which will be replicated by few.
Because of that experience, perhaps I am overcorrecting to guard against disappointment. I’m focusing on the process and not the result. As a professional (a suit I wear even if I’ve yet to garner the status or profit) I’m distancing and emotionally detaching. I’m writing the best book I can. If it succeeds, so be it, and if it fails, so be it. Will I self-publish if it fails with agents? No.
“Get on stage. It’s time to sing.”
“I’m trying, but I can’t get out of the dressing room.”
“I must have gained weight. I’m stuck.”
“But you’re supposed to be the fat lady who sings.”
“That damn writer fed me too many chocolates. I can’t fit through the door.”
“And how long will it take you to lose the weight, so you can sing, fat lady?”
“I don’t know. Leave me alone, these truffles she bought are great!”