Another year has gone by and suddenly it is time for the annual Thankful Report. I started the practice three years ago, as a way to celebrate the publishing of my first novel, eHuman Dawn, released on 11/26/13. So much has happened since then and it's always interesting to re-read the previous year's report and see what happened and take stock of where I'm going.
2017 was a big year for me as a writer. I decided to leave my agent and publisher behind, taking back the rights to the eHuman series. The reasons for this were many, and some day maybe I'll share them, but essentially I knew it was time to set out on my own and seek new representation, as well as a new publisher. And since I had a new project, I went for it.
As a result, I didn't finish the eHuman trilogy. Instead, I rewrote the first book and will spend the next year doing the same to the second one. I want to give the entire series a reboot with my signature on it. In addition, there are many new developments in technology and the story will benefit from incorporating what has been discovered.
I spent most of the year querying agents for my Egyptian trilogy and man, that was excruciating. The process took hours and hours and hours. In exchange for my efforts, I received 56 rejections. Well, 57 actually, since one more came in yesterday that I'd sent out four months ago and completely forgotten about. There is nothing worse than this phase of writing and to all of you going through it, my heart is with you. We suffer together as fools, but don't give up. I know everyone says that, but after my 56th rejection in August, I was ready to quit, never to pitch again. But for some reason I got the notion to get on Twitter and look at what agents were asking for. It was #MSWL time and I thought maybe, just maybe?
Turns it wasn't #MSWL that would be the ticket to publication, but #pitmad, short for Pitch Madness. To participate, I had to come up with two, 140 character pitches for the story about the last native Pharaoh of Egypt. On 9/5/17 and editor from a small publisher asked to see the first three chapters. I checked out her company and decided to share. A week later, she asked for the whole manuscript. I was elated, only two agents in 56 had even asked for partials, so to share the entire story was a thrill.
Then, on October 1, 2017, I got an offer for my book. I sent them the rest of the trilogy and by the end of the month the entire trilogy was under contract.
Somehow, even without an agent, I still get to begin the great work of creating a beautiful story with an editor by my side. We've just begun round one and while she had a ton of suggestions, I couldn't be happier. This is what I wanted--an editor who loves my story and has an eye for creating beautiful literature. It won't be easy, but I'm grateful that 2018 will be the year of polishing, beautifying, and improving evermore as a writer.
As I edit the novels for publication, I'll be taking a break from social media for the world of Facebook and Twitter have fallen into a place of discord and it distracts me from the beauty and awe of the world. I do not think artists can create truth and goodness unless we're open and vulnerable. To be in that space requires trust and social media at the moment only serves to divide. Besides, I need to use that time to write.
There will be posts from time to time, mostly pictures of my family and the beauty of life on Earth, or articles about cool technology, and I'll still write for Medium.
I hope to have a new novel for you next summer...and for that I am incredibly grateful.