Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Edits Have Begun

Got edits on chapter 1 last night and went through them today. The editing process is an exercise in controlled terror. You never how what kind of editor you're going to get, someone harsh, someone easy-going. Above all, you want someone invested in your work who's committed to making it better.

That being said, I've had editors who are quite caustic and downright grouchy. Not that they haven't been super good and right on, but, you know, it never hurts to be nice, right?

So it was with some trepidation that I opened my first round of edits in my in box. When I went through them, I was impressed and gratified. Her (I think it's a her, the name is kind of androgynous) edits were very smart and insightful, pointing out fuzzy language and things to be clarified. And you know what? There were even compliments! Like she actually liked what she was reading! I am amazed how some editors have never learned the basic lesson of pointing out good things in addition to the bad.

It makes me that much more excited to work on this. It's a simple rule, right? The carrot and the stick. But as any author knows, we are starved for the slightest appreciation of our work. Especially from the first person outside of my wife who is taking the time to go through my manuscript line by line.

So I'm feeling very grateful to be working with my new editor, and sent her back my revisions pretty quickly, we'll see what she says about it. There was one thing I'm not sure how to address regarding consistent tone of voice. I need to noodle a bit about that one. But everything else I fixed up pretty easily. It's key that she didn't suggest any major plot changes, which would have been more than a little concerning in chapter 1, right?

But even if she does, I like our rapport and the trust we've already built and will address whatever she suggests. I consider this a very good start on the way to getting my first novel published. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Novel Stuff!

All of a sudden, stuff is happening! The big news is, I've now got an editor!

After I got back from my family trip to Israel, I contacted the publisher of my debut novel and asked what was happening. His reply was somewhat confusing, that their calendar was full for the next 3-4 months, but that I'd be "hearing" things sooner than that. Naturally, I sat back and prepared to wait.

Then yesterday, he emailed me introducing me to my new editor, who will be helping me with revisions to the manuscript. And then I emailed with her, and she said she's going through it and I should expect her first round of edits tomorrow night. I know, pretty wild, right?

So I'm totally psyched to get moving on this, and at the same time have no idea what to expect. Will she shred it to bits? Will there be major plot problems to fix? Do I care? Honestly, not a whole lot if it will all make the book a better story.

In the meantime, don't I need a contract or something? Hmmm, have to ask about that...

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIS Episode 65!

Having a good MLK Day? So's the Dark InSpectre. Episode 65 is now online, in which our hero asks a colleague some polite questions. Then he stops being polite.

Here’s an excerpt:
The yellow bolt of psychic energy shot straight at me but I swatted it aside with my shields, then formed a spike of my own brain power and drove it into Darson’s head, twisting. He screamed, muscles spasming, and I let it dissipate just before he passed out.

He sat there panting, his eyes wild. His shields were in tatters, his psyche stinking of desperation and panic.

I took another slug of bourbon, calming myself before addressing the mess that had previously been one of my best detectives. “So, why were you following me?”

Check the episode here.

For more short story goodness, check out my most recent piece in Bards and Sages Quarterly.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thanks for Visiting...?

A strange thing has been happening on the Dark InSpectre site. Every once in a while, I get an email saying a new user has registered, and it gives me their email address. I usually get one of these every few weeks, and lately it's been increasing. I checked the admin area of the site, and I counted like 30 registered users. I was a bit amazed.

Who are these people? To make a comment on the site, you have to register, but none of these people have left any comments. A while back, someone registered and started making actual posts on the site like they were me, except the posts were ads in Polish, so he was basically spamming. I was pretty mortified and then my editor (before she dropped out of contact) changed the permissions so normal people registering couldn't actually do that anymore.

But back to the present, who are these people? Are they wanna-be spammers like the first person who tried it? If so, that's pretty depressing that there are 30 people trying to do that. I certainly prefer to believe that these are people who just want to follow my series. But they're awfully silent, whoever they are. I feel like shaking them. Say something!

Maybe this is a routine thing and sites just normally attract people who register. Anybody with insight into this phenomenon feel free to enlighten me. Otherwise I'll just continue to wonder...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Story Time!

The January 2013 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly is now out, with my short story Carousel. Here's the link to the kindle version, and here's the link to the hard copy version, both available for purchse.

You can probably guess what the story's about from the title. I got the idea after visiting the carousel near us in Brooklyn by the local zoo and reflecting on the amazing detail of the animals. The rest, well, wrote itself. Here's an excerpt from the opening:
Shoni Williams held her father’s hand, barely paying attention to the giant pigs that moved about like slow behemoths in their pens. She used to enjoy the County Fair that ran for a week each summer.

Rini Marcus, her friend from fifth grade, ran up uttering the words she feared most. “Let’s ride the carousel!”
Her stomach plummeted and her throat went dry. She felt uncomfortable enough just being here, let alone going near the dreaded carousel.

Rini’s eyes were full of expectant joy as Shoni’s father looked down, his voice deep and warm. “Go ahead, Shoni. You kids get in line, I’ll buy the tickets.”

Shoni gulped and pasted on a nervous smile. Inwardly she groaned. None of them understood. But how could she explain?

Intrigued? Go ahead and buy the issue and experience the rest!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bards and Sages

I got a jpeg of the cover of the Jan. 2013 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, which contains my short story, Carousel. The cover looks totally awesome, and I can't wait for the issue to come out, which should be any minute now.

The Dark InSpectre, Episode 64!

After a holiday break, The Dark InSpectre is back at work with Episode 64, in which our hero goes undercover as an insurance agent to get his man.

Here’s an excerpt:

I adjusted my glasses. “You spoke to him in the hospital? The police let you?”

He chuckled and there was a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Oh, I was pretty tricky in my day. I slipped in when no police were around. I’m sure you know that whenever we can interview people without officials standing there, they feel a bit freer to talk. Besides, he didn’t really know anything about the fire. He was just a confused young man.”

I smiled. “Yes, of course. What was his name?”

He opened the notebook briefly and closed it again. “Barton James.”

A deep click sounded in my brain. That name meant something but I couldn’t place it. I struggled to make the connection while Ellis kept talking.

Check the episode here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Damn You, Junk Mail!

Got back a couple days ago from a trip to Israel with my family, had a fabulous time made better by being able to bask in the knowledge that I'm getting my first novel published. Then I got this from a different publisher in response to a pitch I'd sent him for my manuscript:


For some reason this got sent to my spam filter and I just found it while searching for a Urban Pulp Fantasy proposal from another author.

Anyway, I would definitely be interested in publishing Badge of Lies. If it has a sexual component that is more than just implied, it would work very well for the Spicy line, otherwise we could fit it as an original stand alone novel.

Blerg! Are you kidding me? My book proposal went to your junk mail? I check my junk mail religiously just in case something important slips through. Doesn't everybody do this? This is every aspiring author's worst nightmare. HOWEVER, at least he liked it.

I had sent him my pitch about a month before the one I sent to the publisher that accepted the book. So if publisher number 1 had read and responded in a reasonable amount of time, it is likely I would be signing with them instead of the publisher I ended up with. So is it all for the best? Well, after I explained the situation, that I'd since gone with another publisher, junk mail guy responded thusly:

No problem at all. I would say Pro Se probably has a better handle on solid detective fiction than we do anyhow.

Keep us in mind for any original work you have in mind for the future or if you decide to take it elsewhere.

So I guess everything worked out. I'm with the best publisher for my work, and another publisher is potentially interested if I need them. Still, when I saw that first email, I felt awful. But I guess it's all good.

In other news, I just finished a short story that I'm pretty excited about. It's all dark and macabre. Next I'll let the wife read it and then start subbing around, the usual game.

Other than that, it's back to posting the Dark InSpectre on Monday. The end of the series is within site! I know, I can't believe it either.