Just Over the Horizon

Lots going on right now on the career front, and I've made some decisions that will likely impact my future, though hopefully in a positive way.

The first is rather all-encompassing.  I will soon be hybridizing myself as both a published and a self-published author in the hopes that I can build a brand and audience with the latter to help further my career as a former.  

While I still have queries out with agents for my humorous vampire book, Scarlet Letters, I have decided that if none of those prove fruitful, I am going to release it as an e-book perhaps later this year. I'm doing this for a couple reasons. First, while I still believe in Scarlet Letters as an entertaining romp, it's not the kind of writing I normally do. It was an unusual book for me and it will require unusual methods to bring into the world. Trying to get an agent who will represent me based on Scarlet Letters when that book doesn't come close to resembling my other work is not impossible, but not exactly easy until I can get my other novels ready for submission. 

In the meantime, I will likely make Scarlet Letters available to the general public as an e-book or a POD, and try to build an audience with it while I concentrate on the contemporary fantasy, science-fiction, and horror work that I hope will become my bread and butter and (most importantly) attract an agent and mainstream publisher.  While I would love to see the adventures of Louis Cross become an unstoppable cult hit, I'd really just like for him to have a small patch real estate to roam around on, even if it's only on a few dozen or so e-readers.

Within the next year, I also intend to assemble a collection of my short fiction, some original, some previously published and have that available for download. I have always wanted to release an anthology of my short stories, and I have been hot on the trail of getting some of my old ones dusted off and up to standard for submission into pro and semi-pro markets so that I might be able give the eventual collection some additional "as featured in..." street cred.

With all that in mind, I'm forging ahead with existing works-in-progress that I hope to have in the hands of some real editors early next year. There is the steampunk adventure, The Oilman's Daughter that I'm writing with my trusty sidekick Ian Healy. The book is coming along beautifully and I am growing more excited with it as we go along. Also on the docket is Archer's Velvet, my trippy contemporary fantasy that is like a modern Alice in Wonderland meets Carl Jung mash-up. I also have a dark YA contemporary fantasy I'll be working on in November for NaNoWriMo with the working title Aster in Bloom (that'll change long before it's done). 

So there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months. The seeds I'm planting now will likely start germinating next year, if not sooner. With the changing tides in the publishing industry, one must do what one can to forge a road to success. In fact, we often must forge many. 


  1. I'm excited about it all, and I can't wait for a collection of your stories all in one convenient package. :)

  2. Allison, You *really* should look into producing this as a Podiobook. I've developed a very nice platform which I think has helped get my work in text forms with a great indie publisher.

    See http://www.podiobooks.com and http://community.podiobooks.com for more info.

    [ Disclaimer: I'm not an employee nor do I have any financial interest in podiobooks other than as an author and content provider. This is an honest "it worked for me" suggestion :) ]

  3. Ian -- Exactly. I'd love to put out a collection every couple years.

    Nathan -- I've been very curious about doing this, actually. And I just wrote a short story I'm considering having published in Podcast form. Thank you for the info!

  4. Short story makes a difficult podcast unless you get it into an anthology where there's a new story with every episode. Otherwise it's a one-off, 20minutes and you disappear.

    Novelists (and even some novellas) are a great way to exhibit an extended work and because they take time, you can get some word of mouth going about it before it's done.

    As a platform development strategy, I don't really know any other way I could have built a global fanbase over over 10,000 people *before* anybody read a word of my work.

  5. I'm very interested in "Aster in Bloom" and can't wait for that one in particular. I'm also thinking that a collection of your short stories would be mindblowing. I normally don't really get into short stories as opposed to novels but you and Shirley Jackson are my exceptions, oops, and add Joyce Carol Oates, too. I'm still reeling from the power of "Big Winner". For personal reasons, it's one of my favorite stories. You have way of writing that definitely makes one feel that they are personally experiencing what your characters are. It's akin to a carnival ride that you know you'll survive in the end but it's scary as hell along the way.

  6. That last sentence describes perfectly how I write and why I want to do it. I'm not sure I could have come up with that on my own. Will you be my publicist someday?

  7. Yes! I seem to use this metaphor of a carnival ride often though, and even used it in your last blog entry about something completely unrelated. So, as long as you can deal with my habit of overusing my favorite similes then sign me up:)