Almost four years ago I posted to this blog for the first time. The post, Your Baby is Ugly, is about dealing with rejection. And now we come full circle. Last year I submitted a proposal to Harper for the next several books in the American Faerie Tale series (four to be exact). It also contained the first four chapters of the very next book. After several months, they rejected that proposal. I was—and still am—disappointed but I will say I wasn’t entirely surprised. The sales numbers for my books haven’t been terrible, but each book has sold progressively less than the one before. Publishing is a business and, I hope, this was a business decision. As such, I hold no ill will toward Harper or anyone there. Sure, I would’ve liked to have gotten more support in terms of marketing and/or publicity, but I also knew from the beginning I was a very small fish and there was only so many dollars to go around. It should be noted that Harper has said they would be happy to look at anything new I might have. So what does this mean?
Well if you’ve read that first post, and several others, you know I’m sure as hell not giving up!
In the short term, however the series is done. I could finish the next book and self-publish it, but I’m not ready to go that path yet. It would be the fifth book in a series and I think would be more about my vanity than my readers. Besides, I would rather devote my limited time toward something new.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done. As I write this post I’m about 30k words into the first draft and I think it’s pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. No, I won’t tell you the title or what it’s about. I’d rather wait until it’s at least close to finished, or has a publisher ready to put it out. I will say it continues my habit of genre bending, and I don’t recall seeing anything like it before. That could be good or bad, we’ll see.
I’ve also started writing some more short fiction. It hasn’t been picked up anywhere, I think I’m better at long fiction, but you only get better with time and practice. So I’m going to keep trying. I’m considering posting the things that don’t sell on here. What do you think? Post in the comments if you have a thought one way or the other. I also have one manuscript finished, Luna and the Star, and I’m going to see about shopping it around while I finish my current work in progress. It might be my first self-published work, but I haven’t decided. Stay tuned for more.
Without any new books coming out, obviously I won’t have as many appearances, but that doesn’t meet I won’t have any. I’ll be attending RavenCon (April 28th-30th) so if you’re going to be there, stop by and say hi. I’ll also be attending the Nebula awards, and will even be on some panels this year.
In the long term, my goals are still the same. Rejection is part of life, and especially part of being an author. I’m still working towards living on my writing, and I’m not about to stop. The only way I’m going to fail is if I stop trying, and I’m not going to do that. If you’ve read the books, I offer my sincerest thanks. If you haven’t, well they’re still out there and still worth reading.
FWIW, I like your ugly babies.
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Thanks, Dan. I appreciate that.
This post is exactly what being an author is all about, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter in the life of author Bishop O’Connell brings.
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You’re a good man, Harry. Thanks.
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I’m with Dan. 🙂
As for shorts, you’ve definitely got strength. (I say based on what I beta read.) It can be trickier tying internal to external change in shorts, but you can do it. Keep trying.
And if you want to post some of the unsold shorts here, or maybe in a newsletter, that can be a good use for them.
Looking forward to seeing you in person for Nebula Weekend!
Thanks, I appreciate the honest feedback. I know like anything else, I’ll only get better at short fiction if I keep trying. See you at the nebs.
I think posting your unsold shorts here is a great idea.
Thanks. That’s two votes!
I hate to hear that about the American Faerie Tale series, I really enjoyed them! I think posting your unsold stories is a great idea, who wouldn’t love that? Can’t wait to read your next project.
Thanks so much! I’m also considering the next Faerie Tale series book being released serially on here. We’ll see.
I wandered into your books (sometimes the “suggested reading” on Google Books is right), and then I wandered over here to find out when the next one will be out. I’m a “but then what happens?!?!” reader, especially about charachters I really like. I admit to some disappointment, mostly that more people haven’t found these yet. I thought they were a ton of fun.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the faerie tales and thought you should know. I look forward to whatever you come up with next.
Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. I’m not giving up on the series, but I think what I’m working on is going to be pretty cool too.
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