Happy Canada Day, everyone. 2019 is half over, and there’ve been a number of developments since my last update.
First of all, I’m pleased to report that A Gentleman’s Murder won the silver for Mystery in the 2018 Foreword Indies. This makes a neat little hat trick for Inkshares, with Jacqui Castle’s The Seclusion and Juliet McDaniel’s Mr. and Mrs. American Pie also winning silver in their respective categories.
A German edition of A Gentleman’s Murder is also in the works and set to come out in December this year.
Some long-overdue paperwork was finally completed with respect to the option for the TV rights, so I think I can more comfortably say now that that’s in the works, too.
The most significant update I have to share, however, is that I have since relocated from Montreal to Calgary, a move that takes me to the other side of the continent. I’m writing this from what should be my study for the foreseeable future, once the movers deliver all my stuff.
It’s a new life. Perhaps there will be Bovril.
Until next time!
Bonjour mes amis!
Today is a good day because I identified the thing.
Rewind to about a month ago, me following up on the delivery of MINE draft three, and a long discussion with the publisher. It was not the conversation I expected, and caused a true Come to Zeus moment. Also, a valuable learning experience once I’d recovered from the shock and worked through the 5 stages of grief.
I believe it was valuable enough to share with you, my friends.
If you have a book in production with Inkshares, then you’re familiar with the Author Questionnaire. Check out number two below. It’s the question that needs to be answered to take the story to the next level (a.k.a. sell that shiz!).
2) What is the hook that will really grab your reader? Please pitch the book in one or two sentences. This ‘pitch’ should be as pithy and captivating as possible.
From the commercial perspective, I am an unknown author, aspiring to be a mid-lister, and not even regarded as an up-and-comer (to my knowledge) so the reality of creating a suspenseful thriller with snippets of beautiful prose in a compelling voice that has literary aspirations isn’t enough to sell the book. What I do have is thirty seconds and a paragraph on the back of the book cover.
That’s my takeaway.
So, I called a meeting with my dev editor. I said, no matter how much it costs, no matter what it takes, I want to get my hair cut into the shape of a dick head.
Kidding. Lighten up. Been there, done that.
What I said was no matter the outcome here, publishing wise, let’s take this story to the next level. She said, aiiight, let’s do it. Then she gave me a new insight into a core theme of the book I hadn’t noticed, but knew in my heart she’d nailed it.
Another big but, though, is how to illuminate the thing into the next iteration of the manuscript?
I put it all aside, knowing I had to trust the process which involves a cult-like faith in the creative higher power that the solution exists in the giant playground where ideas run and jump and fall off the monkey bars, breaking their arms and chipping their teeth.
Give it the space it needs, and all shall be revealed. Just don’t eat the sandbox treats.
Last night I lay in bed, feeling a weight like swimming in an ice-cold lake with concrete mukluks. Then, I got up early because something was going on and not just because I had to use the bathroom.
My process involves capturing precocious ideas when they throw rocks at me unexpectedly. This morning I went through those notes, compiled them into a document and parsed them into a solution, if not the solution.
It involves a looping cycle like the worm Ouroboros, the book’s tail eating the beginning, and…BAM! There’s the manuscript, regurgitated on the pages.
At some point this spring or early summer, I’ll let you all know if this works, being good at completion to a deadline (once upon a time a young princess told me I had two minutes, the end).
Here’s another takeaway.
Nurture that germ that’s going to infect the reader and spread the story like a contagion across the pages, so it grows, unchecked, into…the thing...