In order to follow the “tortured author” script, I’m supposed to proclaim something here about the deep anguish I’ve been experiencing for the last month. Instead, I’m going to update you on the novel, Assault on Saint Agnes, and where we are in our publishing journey.
Let’s cut to the chase: the book will not be published in 20 days as originally scheduled. Why? That’s a good news, bad news issue in my life, mainly good.
I went to the ACFW conference in September with exactly zero cares in the world. I wasn’t pitching anything except my voice for audio books, and I was bereft of even a single one-sheet. It was lovely. Stress free. Wonderful. The night before it all began I met with my agent for dinner and a marketing meeting on how to launch Assault on Saint Agnes in November.
We schemed, nibbled, chatted, snapped a picture or two, and had a pretty good idea of where it was all going by the time we called it a night. We agreed to have lunch the next day so that I could rescue her if she needed some time without having to think too hard. (Yes, I’m strictly eye-candy, but I can live with that most days.)
The next morning I texted her from my class and set up lunch. Slight change, need to meet with a publisher. Me? Yes. They want to meet you, pitched the book to them this morning.
Eh, I’m dressed like me – you know what that’s like. If not, look at the right side of the blog and the margin picture. Not all that classy most days. But she wants me to show anyway. It worked out fine. The publisher was a delightful person who wanted details on the book, asked questions about how flexible I was in preparing it for other English-speaking markets, and how long until the sequel can be written?
After lunch I see her in the hallway between engagements. Another publisher would like to see the full manuscript. This is a major publisher who would do amazing things. This leaves me, exactly 14 hours after I launched the publicity campaign on this blog for independent publishing, with two possible buyers for the book.
I am not going to whine. I am blessed to have this opportunity. I am blessed to have an agent that keeps pitching for me even when I’m sitting on my backside. I also have a lot of work to do to ready that book for the next level. My agent, whom I love dearly, opened a can of – shall we call it enthusiastic fervor? – on me and let me know there was work to be done to make this a smash.
After a few years of reading, reworking, and thinking about this book almost every day, I wasn’t overjoyed to hear that my little darling needed work. Didn’t she, and everyone else, know it had won prize money! Accolades! Yeah, yeah, but it could be better. And that’s what I’m doing right now.
I am still pursuing the independent publishing line in the event that these two publishers pass on the work. I finished the cover changes/finalizing issues with the artist on Monday. I will have a copy of it to show you this next week. It is spectacular. I will have the book revised shortly. (Turns out that other nations/translations prefer a few different things than American audiences. I can change things so that both will be happy and not lose the story.) And I will forge ahead on other books I am writing.
I delayed spilling the beans until I was more settled on how I viewed the whole situation. But the work is moving forward and I didn’t want anyone to be waiting patiently for the launch date and hear nothing. After all, Christmas is coming and you have books to buy! I’ll continue to write reviews, post pictures of Stormy, and flash fiction. (I got more Twitter followers out of the Santa Ebola story than I could have imagined.)
In the meantime, please pray for me, the book, and my wife who has to listen to the “bam-bam-bam” of my head hitting the desk as I do revision #5,742 on the book. We all can use a little prayer.