Making the right choice

Joe’s Post #4 —

Every so often an opportunity comes up that you cannot ignore. Free pie. A trip to Venice. A chance to get your book published.

That’s what happened to me this week (no, no one gave me free pie or took me to Venice) but I did get a chance for one of my novels to be published. Not a big chance but one I simply couldn’t ignore.

The process for writers at my level is painful, but very simple. You write a novel, you send out queries, you hope the query gets out of the slush pile and someone, somewhere contacts you and says, hey, send me your novel. That’s all we hope for. That someone will at least read your novel.  Give it a chance.

This opportunity allowed me to skip the whole query letter thing and fling my novel onto somebody’s desk. So I dusted off an older novel called The Shroudmaiden, a YA fantasy story about a young woman who, like Katniss in the Hunger Games, must find a way to save her people. It has magic and a bit of steamy sex and lots of lovely Venetian-like locations (hey, I love Venice, sue me) and a character I just loved to write about.

But as I looked at it before sending it out, I realized just how far I’d come over the last few years. At least, writing-wise. Oh there was some great stuff in there and if I may say, I nailed the sex scenes, but it needed a bit of work.

So, new novel, you have to wait. Sorry dude. The Shroudmaiden needs some polishing.  100,000 words worth of polishing. 500 odd pages worth of polishing. All to be done by this Sunday.


It may pay off or it may not. A publisher will either like my brave, young shroudmaiden, Echo, or they won’t.  But I had to take that shot.

However, as a very pretty friend told me “Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.  I hear the sound of time chasing you down, heavy pounding footsteps, a portent of a doom for one poor 5 in 5 member…”

And she’s right. Time is running out to get that new novel done as well. I’ll really have to little-engine-that-could it next week.

5 thoughts on “Making the right choice

  1. Got a hint here – get the old one done, get it in and if it gets published, you claim that as your 5 month novel. What the hey – if it’s in print they can’t argue, right? Then go back to the original idea for the 5 months and start the commitment again.

  2. Ha! But as the ‘official rules police’ I feel compelled to point out to you that as fabulous as ‘Shroudmaiden’ is, the ‘official rules’ of the 5writers require that the participants novel be an entirely new creation, conceived, constructed and written during the omnipresent, ‘strangling strictures’ of this great writing challenge.

    You made the right decision to focus on ‘Shroudmaiden’ Joe, but alas, I do not think it will spare you from having to be, ‘the-little-engine-that-could’.


    Loved your post though, and you know how much I love Shroudmaiden! Your timing couldn’t be better, falling upon the heels of the Hunger Games trilogy. I’m beginning to think you’re clairvoyant!

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