Offers, Rejections, and Other Distractions

Well, my agent put a “closing date” on reads for my second book. That closing date was today at high noon. I was slightly shocked to learn that no offers came in before the deadline, but I’m even more intrigued by what happens now.

Two or three quick rejections popped in today. Nothing out of the ordinary. It’s who we didn’t hear from that was intriguing. The editor I had spoken to last month never got back to us. Last I knew he was giving my book to other people in his office to read and give feedback on. My agent tells me that the last he knew, that editor had taken my book to his editorial director…so far neither of us knows the outcome of that endeavor.

So, my agent is trying to get back in touch with him to see what happened. He’s also inquiring about another editor who had shown interest earlier on and told us to come back to him if any revisions were in order. There’s still a small chance that either of those editors will bite on the book under the premise of revising and refreshing. And they’re both with “Big 6” publishers, so that’s something.

The other avenue that’s more interesting to me is kind of a shock. My literary agency has an LA office and they’re evidently keen on trying to sell the film rights to my book before it ever even becomes a book. It’s kind of the backwards way of doing this business thing and it means less money at the beginning, but it’s still pretty damn cool. Shopping the film rights would only require a tweak to the ending of the book, which is less involved than the rewrites I had jawed about with the other editor.

Possibilities still abound.

As far as the third book goes, I’m over 20,000 words now and nearing 100 pages. I sat down to write for the first time in three weeks (vacation, parenting, videogames, etc.) and was able to punch out another five pages. Scheduled to put pencil to paper again today.

Fingers crossed…

So Close Yet So Far Away

The big news is that I had a conference call last week with my agent and an editor who is showing interest in Sleep Suits Irish. I refuse to namedrop at this point, but the editor works at an imprint of one of the “Big Six” publishers. He handles a lot of dark fiction, thrillers, and licensed books (videogames & comics mostly).

He was very energetic and the first words out of his mouth were “I love your voice.” (Meaning my writing style, not my speaking voice…though my dulcet timbre is quite magical itself).

We discussed some possible changes to some characters and plot points which greatly improved the flow of the book. Lots of dual motive stuff. Everyone in the book is two-faced to a degree. Of course, if he did sign on, I’d have to employ the “red pen of death” to hack the book apart and rebuild it Six Million Dollar Man style.

The conversation ended with the editor saying he was having other staffers read the book as well and he’d be back in touch soon. Seemed positive. Still waiting to hear more.

To be honest, I’ve gotten three or four other rejections and they’ve all been quite pleasant. Folks seem to like my style and my characterization. I think some editors just don’t want to put in the work required to make the book not necessarily perfect but at least more sellable.

Aside from that brief excitement, everything else is same old-same old. I’m plugging away on Book #3 whose tentative title I’m now 80% sure has been scrapped. Still looking for better wording to explain the book. In my head at least, I’ve replaced Penny Black Spinner Rack with Dreams of Robber Days, which is just as ethereal and meaningless to the general public. I’m nearly 100 pages into it and the plot is just now unfolding. Lots of world and character building to make it all seem lifelike. Feels good though. I like it.

So what’s new with you?

Building a Brand

I accidentally logged into my LiveJournal page yesterday. Didn’t even know that place still existed. My last post over there was on May 15, 2009 and I was unemployed and entering screenplay competitions. Seems like a lifetime ago. Also: makes me feel not quite as bad about neglecting this blog for over two months.

So, quick update: rewrites to Irish were finished before Xmas. After my agent gave a thumbs-up, our first “advance” submissions went out nearly three weeks ago to two specific editors. Just got my first rejection today…nothing but nice things to say about my writing style (compared me to Chuck Palahniuk) and the theme of the book, it just wasn’t quite there for him. He expressed interest in reading whatever else I produce though. That’s something.

Still have fingers crossed for the other early reader…he works for my all-time favorite publisher.

In the meantime, I’ll be putting pen to paper in another week or two on the third book. Spent a day earlier this week “on location” in the tiny village I plan to spotlight, just taking notes and soaking up the vibe of the town. Characters are forming, plotlines are beginning to knot themselves together, it’s almost GO time.

Other than that…wife…3 kids…trying to refi the house…going to Disney World soon…two good friends were diagnosed with cancer…my school’s basketball team is poised to take over the world…I let my subscription to SAVEUR lapse…uh…tacos for dinner tonight?

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I mentioned it last time, though neither of the people reading this seemed to notice, that my Tumblr is now active. I try to update daily (except weekends and holidays) with photos and quotes and tidbits that influence me or inspire me in some way. Think of it as a subconscious personality index.

And my Twitter is still going, though I’m not as quippy as I used to be.

And there’s this blog.

And my Facebook page if you know me in somewhat real life.

Basically, you can find me on all the major platforms under the moniker of deadbeatJONES.

That’s what we used to call synergy in the ad biz.

I think.

It’s been a long time, and I used to drink A LOT, so…