Life’s Ups and Downs

Man, it’s been a long while since I last posted. I keep saying that, and I keep promising to do better, but those promises don’t seem to be kept all that well, do they? I sincerely apologize for that. Life has been pretty busy, though we can all say that, I suppose. Anyway, here is the latest update. I wish it was more pleasant.

The biggest — and most recent — bit of news is that I no longer have an agent. Back in the later half of last year I met Cari Foulks of the Tribe Literary Agency, and after having her on my podcast I submitted the manuscript for DIGITAL DECAY to her to see if she’d be interested in representing it. A few days later she said she loved it and would be thrilled to rep it. I was excited, my wife Krista was excited, and I felt like I’d cleared one of the hurdles to getting published. In the months since then Cari would inform me of small developments and bits of news, but nothing substantive until a little over a month ago when she told me that a large publishing house wanted to read the full manuscript for the novel. (For those who don’t know, usually when a book is submitted to a publisher, they aren’t sent the full work. Instead they’re only given the first fifty pages or few chapters. This cuts down on the amount of paper they have to deal with. If they like what they read, then they will request the full manuscript. That isn’t a promise of anything, but it’s a good sign). I was over the moon.

Shortly after that I went on vacation with my wife and mother. We flew to Virginia to see some of Krista’s family (whom I adore), and then we rented a car and drove to Washington D.C. before heading on to Baltimore a few days later so that I could attend BaltiCon. It was an okay vacation, all in all, but it ended on a sore note for two reasons. One, my digital recorder accidentally got swapped with another just like it, so I lost all the panels I’d recorded. Two, I came down with strep throat on the last day of the con and got to enjoy being sick for about two weeks after. My wife then got sick after that, and then I got an ear infection, and now I’m dealing with a sore back. Suffice it to say, getting older sucks.

Anyway, as I was recovering I tried getting in touch with Cari to see how things were, but found her to unresponsive. I tried emailing her, texting her, and I sent messages via Facebook, all to little avail. Things came to a head yesterday when she informed me that she was quitting the agent business. What does that mean for me and the book? I have no idea. Her partner, Jonathan, informed all of Cari’s clients that he would investigate the situation, but I’m not holding out any hope of anything. I don’t even know is the house Cari mentioned really was interested in the book. I’ve got nothing to verify or check. To say that I’m bummed would be to seriously understate the situation. If Jonathan gets back to me with good news, fine, but I’m not holding my breath. So far as I’m concerned, I’m back on my own. So be it.

On to more pleasant topics, I finished my edits on A MINOR MAGIC. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m sure that possible publishers would have more than enough suggestions on how to change it, but as it sits now, I really like it. I have ideas for where I could take the story in the future, making A MINOR MAGIC the first in a potential series. I’m not going to go down that road, though, until I get interest in it. Until then, I’m going to work on the next thing.

Speaking of which, I’ve started work on my latest book. This one is going to be a straight up horror novel. The title for it is STILL WATER, and it’s about a fictional West Virginia coal mining town that becomes victim to an ancient evil. I’m thinking of it as a combination of Silent Hill and the Spike TV realty show Coal, with lots of water. This week I began the outlining process, but I’m still having to do some research for one of the characters, and that’s hampering things. Hopefully I’ll be able to knock the outline out by the end of next week, and then I can get writing. My goal is to have the first draft done by the end of August. I’m betting I’ll come in under that.

Well, I think that brings the blog up to speed. I talked about finishing A MINOR MAGIC, going to BaltiCon, getting sick, getting sick again, starting STILL WATER, and losing my agent. Anything else? Hhmm… Oh, well, I did sell a short story. A friend of mine, Morgan Electra, asked me to writer her a horror short story for her upcoming horror podcast, so I wrote one called INTO THE DEEP DARK. I used it as an opportunity to do a dry run on some of the elements that’ll be in STILL WATER, so I set the short story in a coal mine. When I submitted the story to her, she flipped over it. Everyone else I’ve let read it has loved it too. The consensus seems to be that I should be writing horror. But, since all Morgan wanted were the audio rights for the story, I figured I could still shop around the print rights, and I found a home for it with Abattoir, the horror side of Flying Island Press. I don’t know when it’ll be published, but I’ll let you know when it does.

NOW I think I’m finished. See you next time, and hopefully it won’t be so long a wait.