Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Publishing Journey: The Possibly Helpful Tale of How I Got I Published – Part One

Hi, All!

My name is Jeremy F. Lewis and my first novel, a vampire book currently entitled BITE ME, is scheduled for a March 2008 release from Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books. During my writing and editing process, I found tons of authors' blogs; some were extremely useful, some terminally funny, and others utterly terrifying. I want to make mine a healthy mix of all three.

I plan to start out the first few blogs by running through how I got published in the hopes that it might be of some use to you. I’m sure I’ll scatter some unrelated blog in here and there.... my friends say if I had a superhero name it would be Nonsequitur Lad. It's just the way I am. I'm also a very organic writer. As an example, only four or five of the chapters in my most recent draft were written in sequential order. When I write best it is kind of like the non-linear editing that gets done with many modern movies. I write a scene without knowing exactly where it goes- with only a vague idea that it goes somewhere in the middle, beginning, or end. Once I have written ten or eleven chapters, I can often begin to see the shape of the thing coming together. This makes it very hard to complete a preliminary outline.

But that’s not how it all started.

Let’s just say that I spent ten years writing two novels and countless false starts. Roughly six hundred thousand words of practice. For several years, I gave up trying to actually publish anything. Then, Wizards of the Coast announced several open calls and I started writing drafts specifically intended for publication. You may have noticed that WotC is not publishing BITE ME. Which is just fine. If I’d done my market research correctly, I’d have known that and would not have wasted their time with an urban fantasy submission.

In 2003, my wife bought me several writing books for Christmas. Among them was WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maas. I found it very eye-opening. I'd suggest the book to anyone who is serious about a writing career. Six months later, I completed my first draft of BITE ME (then called WELCOME TO THE VOID) and we began the long and tedious editing process. Another four months later, it was ready to send out (or so I thought). I sent it in to the Wizards of the Coast open call and several months later, it was rejected. My loyal friends insisted that it was good stuff... really good stuff... and that I shouldn't give up on having it published. I decided it was time to find an agent…

Next time: Agent Search

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