As I write this, it's coming to midnight on Saturday 21st April, 2018. Which means that soon it'll be 22nd April 2018. Don't worry, I've got more on my mind than just a calendar.
Little over a week ago, I had sold a novella, called "But Worse Will Come." There are a few notable things about this novella:
1. This story is nearly 4 years old.
2. Before I sold it, it was rejected 9 times.
3. It's the sequel to a short story I've already written.
4. It's rare, in that I can read it as a reader, despite the fact that I'm the author.
5. It scared me to the point that I slept with the light on.
So this has now been sold to Kensington Gore Publishing. They were good enough to take a time out for the announcement of signing with them, as well as doing a little Q&A:
Watch this space (so to speak), as there'll most likely be another novella from me. As of this moment, there's no release date for "But Worse Will Come." Things are tracking well behind the scenes, with an expectation for a release later this year. As soon as I get news, I'll update you.
I've said before that as an author and a reader: my preference is for the long fiction, because I find it a more immersive experience. You can take your time with it, sink yourself into it and let the story unfold around. Short fiction I find more of a wham-bang-thank-you-ma'am affair. That doesn't make the short form any less valid; and I've read some killer short stories (from The Beast Of Croglin Grange to Mark Morris' "Full Up" ), but they're not my preference. Not currently, anyway.
So the story had been rejected several times. Some publishers said they liked it but couldn't currently take it on, while others simply turned it down. It goes with the territory. I remember I wrote this one a few summers back, because come the usual summer trip to Toronto was where I finished the tale. Where exactly? Standing up at a display PC in the back of Best Buy, downtown Toronto. All because I couldn't find an internet cafe with desktop pc access. So when I went to Best Buy asking if they new of a place, the sales rep ushered me to a display workstation. Luckily it had Microsoft Word. A novella finished in about 3 weeks.
Like I said before, the story arc actually begins in a short story which was picked up some years ago in an anthology. The novella - as the name might suggest - let me explore more of what could happen. Let me tell you, I had fun writing that one. It still unnerved me to the point where I slept with the light on.
Currently I'm taking a break from writing. I finished the latest novella "There Goes Pretty" a few weeks back, and I'll be taking a holiday in the Caribbean at the start of next month. When I get back, I'll probably crack on with a new novella or novel. Either way, I'll have about 4 months to get it straight before I'm back out in Toronto for the usual summer holiday, along with the hang-time and networking with the local (Ontario) chapter of the HWA, along with other such like-minded people. I say 4 months, because I like to work fast, and 4 months should be plenty of time.
Which brings me to the issue of time and productivity. I need to put more of the long fiction before the masses; only, I can't seem to write fast enough. The muse is still outrunning me.
So I'll most likely start work on the new novel in the next few weeks. Partly because the idea has been scratching at me for a while, and partly because, as yet, I don't have a novel. Novellas, yes. Novel, no. If I start overhauling the latest novella now, it means more time away from the new novel. On the other hand, the novella is in dire need of an overhaul. Most likely, it'll be the novel. And thankfully, there are some understanding people who know how I work and are already on hand, as it were, to proof the new draft.
I count myself fortunate in that I don't really get writer's block, as some will call it. The muse is good to me that I need to work to keep her in my sights, let alone keep up with her. I get ideas faster than I can write them. Although, now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time I had a new idea. I do have a catalogue of existing ideas, waiting to be written. What I will say is that there'll be more long fiction from me in the near future. As a result, this means more time will need to be spent now getting that written. For me, longer fiction takes longer to research, longer to write and longer to edit. More time to get it beta-read too. Thinking about it, I may even start outlining the new novel now. I have the basic idea, but the edges are blurry.
There are still the author get-togethers I need to get on. Joseph E Cole and co. will be at Forbidden Planet in the West End this weekend, as part of the release for Not So Stories - a BAME collective offering their take on Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories.' I still need to get a ticket for Edge-Lit this summer: not only because Erik Hofstatter will actually attend an event. And, of course, there'll be FantasyCon this October, for which I've already booked. Despite reservations that I'd be spending my birthday there, it's too much of an event to pass up right now.
There it is: busy is as busy does. And it'll get even busier.