Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking a Break

I'm on hiatus from writing for a bit. With a job change and my son's extra curricular schedule, I haven't been able to attend my writer's group meetings. I have heard from my agent here and there about sending my book out to  publishers and hearing back. (Another rejection.)

But I miss it. And I have stories boiling up in my brain all the time . . .

Saturday, December 28, 2013


The idea for my novel came to me back in high school. This was before the days of the Internet. I had a computer in my home but it was without a mouse and it was all DOS. And this was long before the movie The Matrix.

However people were expirimenting with virtual reality video games complete with huge clunky head gear and poor graphics. A guy took my sister on a date to one of these virtual reality games. I wondered about what the future might hold with this technology. What if there was a school where kids could attend class in virtual reality? Would the lines between realities become blurred? What if something sinister happened to a student within a virtual reality? Could the perpetrators be held accountable?

And so my story began. The main character, a young man, returned to this school after it had been shut down. He discovers that a person is still in a virtual world inside the building. He discovers it's the girl and rescues her. She remembers that something horrifying happened in the virtual reality.

The story was 30 pages long.

I resurrected it in my 20's and it grew to a 60 page story. I brought it to my writer's group and they suggested it be expanded into a novel.

I took their advice and expanded the plot significantly. Technology has exploded since I first drafted my story. Enter nanotechnology and Ray Kurzweil. I also had a little input from some of my students. I have enjoyed writing the novel and some of the rewrites. The sequel to the novel has also been rewarding even though it may never see the light of day.

Monday, December 23, 2013


My novel that my agent is currently shopping around has gone through a series of titles. Initially, when the novel was in short story form, I called it "Nature of Choice." It was without a title for a long time while I made it into a novel. I settled on Perception. This title earned me an audience with a couple agents and a contract with my current one. I don't know that I was a fan of the title and my agent wasn't either. For a very short time I called it Injected, only to be shot down again by my agent. Then it took on Uploaded for quite awhile and the title grew on me. But as I worked through another series of revisions with my agent, he wanted a better title before we sent it out to publishers. We brainstormed and came up with Infinite Worlds which I'm not a fan, but I realize it's a place holder. I'm sure if it does get picked up by a publisher (crossing my fingers, praying, wishing on a star), they'll want to change it again too.

A member of my writers group suggested, Undergrad God. I really thing that one was my favorite.

Out to Another Publisher

My agent contacted me about a week ago telling me that he sent my book off to another publisher for some Christmas reading. So cross your fingers for me!

The road to publication is long and requires much patience. And there's no guarantee that you'll find any success at the end of it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Adam and Eve

After working on my novel about King David's wives for a year and setting it aside when the publisher rejected it, I started working on another novel about Adam and Eve. Could I have picked characters that were any more daunting? I wrote in first person, alternating between Adam, Eve and Satan's point of views.

Four hundred pages later and lots of patience and guidance from an awesome critique group, I came to realize that my Adam character was flat and boring. While Eve's voice was pretty good, I found myself  (and the readers in my group) becoming more interested in a side character: Abra, a daughter of Cain. I also kind of enjoyed writing from Satan's point of view.

For now, the novel sits on a shelf, awaiting major rewrites. I did rip a scene from the novel and made it into a short story that got published this fall in Write Place At the Write Time.

So, this novel may be doomed to dissection. I can take my favorite parts and make them into short stories while I return to Abra and give her the space for a novel all her own.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Publisher That Wanted More: Harem

It seemed like I'd at least made a break through with my Esther novel. A publisher liked my writing, based on the first three chapters. They just couldn't publish a second Esther novel.

So I jumped on this chance and pitched an idea to the publisher. What about a novel about some of King David's wives?

I received a positive reply. "Yes, send it when you finish. Take your time. Projects like these take a very long time."

So for the next year, I researched and wrote the 400-page novel, called Harem. Then I sent it off to the publisher.

She took a year before she rejected it.

And I found myself back at square one.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Queen Esther Novel

I wanted to write a novel about the story of Queen Esther from the Bible. I did quite a bit of research, drafted and polished three chapters, and pitched my novel idea to a publisher at a writing conference. I caught a couple of publishers' interest and they wanted to see the whole thing. So, for the next six months, I busted the novel out and sent it to the publishers

They both rejected it.

Disappointed, but not wanting to give up on my book, I started shopping it around. One national publisher said they liked my writing, but they had recently published a fiction book on Queen Esther. The good news was that the publisher invited me to send more.

My Esther book is still sitting on my shelf. I let family and friends read it. My aunt loved it and wants me to make copies to share with some of her friends. I thought I'd clean it up and send it to her as an ebook. But then I read the first chapter and I see so many glaring errors that I don't even want to put my name on it! Guess it was a good thing that it didn't ever hit bookstore shelves.