This post will feel like a big fat ramble.
I sent out my first novel submission to an agent yesterday. It took me two years to finally get to the point to where I could do this. Well, two years of actively working. This is really a lifelong dream. This book represents the most important resume I've ever put together. I don't know at this point if it is good enough. I've spent so much time looking at it that I can't even foresee how a professional reader will see it. I know that the people who have read it have enjoyed it, but I don't know how that will translate to the business end of things. Is it salable? There is a market for these kinds of books, that I do know. But is it unique enough to stand out? Also, let's say it winds up getting me an agent, and this book ends up getting published before any of my other books. I was asked today if this is something I wanted. Is humorous contemporary/urban fantasy with vampires how I want to start my career, considering that I've been building this platform of horror and science fiction? I thought this over, and yes, I think Scarlet Letters would make for a great first novel. First of all, it's probably the more commercial of all my books in progress. I would like to make sequels if it gets published. If they are successful, it could mean that I'd have a better chance of getting my other speculative fiction published. Also, even though Scarlet Letters is humorous, it is subversive and cynical enough to be within my overall realm. It was not a challenge at all to write in that vein, and if people wanted more of my brand of wit, I wouldn't mind making a career out of it. Do I sometimes worry that stories like this lack the social importance of some of the other stories I have in mind? I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wanted to make that kind of impact with my writing. But I also don't think I'm exactly slumming it either. There is value in humor and satire, not to mention good old-fashioned escapism and entertainment. At any rate, we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I have two other books to finish: Archer's Velvet and my collaborative novel with my friend Ian, The Oilman's Daughter. And I would also like to return to The Last Supper, and work on the two other ideas I have in mind. One is more a classic science fiction tale about an engineered being with a Stranger in a Strange Land bent. Another is a pulp noir book from the 1930s, but with anachronistic technology similar to what a recent episode of Fringe did. Only I want to to take place in the Prohibition era Chicago featuring gangsters and a rum-running heroine.
In other news, I'm feeling very tense right now about what all preparations we will need to make for this move. There is a lot of cleaning and packing to do. We need to sell some of our bigger items and prep for a big yard sale. Also, I'm nervous at the prospect of uprooting and transplanting without really having anyplace to live right away. We're going to be staying with my family for a couple weeks until we find a place, as it's been stressful trying to search for appropriate housing from 3000 miles away. I'm nervous that it's going to take forever to find a place and for my husband to find a job. I'm nervous that the drive with our cat is going to be a hair-raising nightmare. I'm nervous at change, period. Still, there is a calm voice in my head insisting that it's all going to be okay. That it will be so wonderful being close to my parents again and that I'll soon have even less to worry about than I have in nearly 10 years. But getting there is going to be bumpy.
Finally, I'm putting off doing any additional editing business until mid-August. I just wonder what life will be like by then and if I will have time to return to editing if I'm fully-engaged in writing activities. Frankly, it might end up being a better idea if I'm just doing a regular part-time day job and alternating that with my writing on the side. Editing tends to take a lot out of me, and given some of the upheaval I've experienced with it recently, I'm starting to wonder if it's something I even want to do on a professional level. I'd rather concentrate on beta reading my peers' books (should they need it). Anyway, I don't know if this means Allison Edits is going away or not. We'll just have to see how things settle once we get out to Ohio.
In the meantime, life feels like one big impending sunrise. Or earthquake, depending on what kind of mood I'm in.