Monday, February 26, 2018

A (David) Rose, by Any Other Name...

When my publisher folded the very week The Awakening of David Rose came out, my heart sank. Not that I was expecting to get rich or have a best-seller, but this was my dream, a story I had conjured a decade previous, a promise I’d made to my children, at long last come to fruition. I know a writer must ultimately be his own best marketer, but I didn’t have a budget, and the ability of the publisher to market and give it a push had been one of the most appealing things.

The ensuing weeks and months were crazy, endeavoring to properly divest from the publisher and republish on my own. But the book had always been but part one of a series—the David Rose series—and I knew somehow, someway, I wanted to attract another publisher. No easy thing, mind you, given that it was published by a now defunct publisher, and then self-pubbed by me. Publishers want a cleaner path, and more original involvement in the process.

I will demure on further details if/until I have them, but I am excited to say a good publisher is tentatively interested in the series—I am talking to them now. Good timing, as Cucariva, my literary-suspense manuscript, is being reviewed by an agent presently, and so I have dusted off D Rose II—David Rose & the Forbidden Tournament—the seven chapters I have crafted, anyway. Rachel likes it so far—kinda a rollicking opening chapter, and it—along with the whole book—involves her character more than did the first.

Anyway, fingers crossed that they’ll want to publish the series—if they do, it’ll mean intense rewrites of the first, and an ambitious turnaround on the next. Life is crazy right now, to say the least, but I work best with a deadline, and besides, when a dream comes knocking, you don’t ask it to come back at a more convenient time. You welcome it in, thank the literary gods, then you roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s the deal. And I’m game.

Thanks, as always, for your support. Here’s a snippet from the sequel:

"No one move!" David called. "They're after me." He braced for the next assault, from whatever they were. Darting, diving shadows--yet somehow, not OF something distinct from themselves. As though fluttering animations of darkness itself. He tensed, but the next rush never came, and in that awful sliver of time when one realizes he’s made the gravest of errors, David understood why. It was not him they wanted.

He prepared to spring forward, but something in him gave him pause. Marcel, and all the strange events of the last year, had taught him things were all too often not what they seemed. But as his eyes widened and his mind attempted to register what was transpiring before them, like one of those rapid-turning flip-books, he’d no idea how things seemed. No frame of reference against which to even hazard a comparison.  This was something else entirely, something which defied somethingness. And so he stopped, hoping down to his bones that in so doing, he would not be failing Rachel yet again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Theme Party: The Rewriting of a Novel

About 1/3 through with revisions, trying to stay on pace. Or, get back on it. After letting it sit for several months, it's a challenge to immerse back into my story and characters, because it's really about waking them up, not me. But I've found the cooling off period in fact indispensable: the editing is easier, the flaws stand out more readily, this far removed from the blinders conferred  by familiarity and pride.

Really appreciating the power of purging--not just total words, but the right words--well, scrapping the right "wrong" words, and preserving the right "right" words(hmm, there were probably better words for that). Wondrous, though, how much more lustrous those words we retain can be, unencumbered by those superfluous ones we'd once been so sure of.

And, of course, it's never just about the words: character, story, theme, are paramount. Cucariva is literary-suspense, a pretty dark(but hopeful, hopefully) tale. A few overarching themes: human nature(what is is that, when all luxury and pretense are stripped away, truly authors our lives?), redemption, perseverance, and lost love. Imperative when rewriting, to ensure the themes are credibly, and impactfully conveyed.

A snippet:

A sensibility cellular in nature: she was the love of his life, this he knew in his blood and in his bones. The one person for whom he’d been procreated into existence—blood and bones and organs and musculature and tissue—his, in its precise assembling—that he might those decades hence meet and love this woman. Who until recently had professed a devotion no less profound. And so he brimmed with this imperative and wanted to tell her he loved her, for so he did. Not to persuade her toward some starry end, but simply, because it was truth, of the most unassailable type.  And truth had become an inestimable, if faltering beacon, upon the fringe of this fathomless sea.