A Writing Update, August 2012

So this morning I woke up with my left eye swollen shut. I kid you not.

Seriously, I looked like Rocky from the movies after a few rounds. I have had allergy reactions to things in the past, but nothing like this.

After a doctor and a specialist, it turns out to be related to allergies and the outrageous levels of pollen in the area. Of course, as a writer, I immediately wondered if there was some symbolism going on.

Symbolically: What am I not seeing that is right in front of my face? I mean, that is what it would mean in a book, right? I am blind to something…

Or, realistically it is just allergies and I need to take a break… Kiddies be warned: becoming a writer or studying English Literature can warp your perspectives, you look for meaning everywhere!

Here are three writing updates:

A Jane Austen Daydream

I wish I had more to report, but things are really quiet on that front, and silence is never a good thing really, unless you are at the library and it is required.

Right now, my book is in the hands of two agencies, and I would be happy with either one of them wanting to take it on. They are both very well-established in the field.

  • The first agency has had it since April and at the time asked for an exclusive two weeks for review, which they got… remember I am writing this from August. Anyway, I sent the contact at the agency an e-mail about a month ago for an update and didn’t get a response. Again, silence is probably not a good thing unless you are a library and blah, blah, blah…
  • The second agency asked to see the book in July, but they didn’t ask for an exclusive review time or anything. So I wait…

I really need to think of my next line of attack. I’ve contacted quite a number of agencies (My excel document for tracking the outreach is expansive) and I think I’ve reached the endgame for that route for the time being. I’ve given this attempt eight months to work.

Which means, in the fall (assuming I don’t hear from one of the agencies, and I am giving them into autumn before I make my move), I’ll try to start reaching out to small presses or independent presses. This angle does make me a little sad, because I feel the book has potential to be big in the Jane Austen community and literary world, and books printed by indie presses have a way of getting lost in the shuffle of published, self-published and ebooks out there in the world.

I want this book to be found. It’s all about marketing, and I want the marketing big guns of a publishing house behind my book. I want to be interviewed on Fresh Air,  not begging for reviews locally again!

Argh!

Deep breath, Scott

Anyway, so I wait a little longer. I still dream that someone will find the website or check out the book and contact me about it (Could that be you???).

Hmmm… Maybe that dream is why my eye is swollen… Scott, stop with the symbolism!

Permanent Spring Showers

I am enjoying the process of working on the book and am locking down the third chapter now for Friday. It is much longer than the other chapters, but I expect there to be a lot of variety in the length of the work; and, overall, I have a lot to set up in this chapter; it’s a big character study… I don’t want to ruin what happens… Can’t say more, can’t say more…

In the end, the book will have a lot of characters and I need to be careful how I introduce them (I don’t want to overwhelm you, the reader, and I don’t want the plot to slow down for each introduction). I also want each voice, as it were, to feel unique on the page for the reader, and you will see that in my chapters as I go forward… Between you and me, I really dig Chapter 3.

The one thing I am struggling really hard to do is separate the writing of this book with the attempt to find agents for Austen. If I see it part of the same process, my creativity might be killed in the waiting pattern. In other words, finding an agent is depressing, I need to keep my inspiration going… So welcome to the bi-polar world of trying to become a popular writer.

Anyway, because of this book, I’ll probably… wait… this should go in the next category.

Blogging

Here is the right spot.

Okay, typically, I tried to write on a topic four to five times a week. To write less would not help the site grow, to write more would be to overwhelm the 87 followers I have currently on it (I don’t want to be that guy in their e-mail in box). But with a book being created live as part of the site, I have to be smarter. The less time I have to give to the book, the more it will suffer.

And, as much as the process is fun to observe and take part in, I want the real conclusion of it to be a book I am proud of, just as much as I am of my other work.

So starting soon I plan to cut down my creating on this site to around three to four entries a week, probably closer to three with the new chapter at the end of the week.

Then once I complete the book, I’ll probably bounce right back to four to five new essays.

This feels right for me right now…

Oh, and by the way, my eye feels much better now. Thank you… but what do you think it means?

If you liked reading my article, why not check out some of my books? I had two novels published in the last few years, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading!

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