Well, the day I never thought would come is finally - not here yet!
Just around the corner, though!
My novel, Homo Novus, after many years in the wilderness - roaming from writing workshops, to agents, to publishers - with lots and lots of rejections - will be published on October 17, 2022!
It feels amazing! Unreal, and undeniable.
It's really happening.
It might not have. I was ready to give up.
I began in 2009 with a story I thought would be novella length. In 2012 (that’s right - three years!) I workshopped a longer version of the novella at Bread Loaf Writers Conference. This version did not have a title. I had a great workshop leader and wonderful writers in my group. The story had a lot more characters and a different plot. The most important feedback I got was that I should focus on fewer characters and really hone in on one relationship.
This made me re-think the whole project. Another three years passed! And this is how Homo Novus began to take shape. There was some “research” involved, reading newspaper accounts, reports, books, essays, talking to people for background information. Of course, as a first-time novelist I kept thinking I was done. But no, it didn’t work out that way. More feedback, more reworking, more comments, more revisions. Ya gotta have friends!
All the while I was searching for an agent. A new world to explore - without a map! Just advice from savvy friends. And I managed to find one who was interested in my book. Meetings, paperwork, et cetera. Then waiting. And waiting. And more waiting. Submissions, rejections, and crickets.
Thank goodness for my day job! And thank goodness that I was writing short pieces and submitting those. Some were accepted and published in different online literary journals.
This kept me going. But at some point, I had to find a publisher. I began to look on my own after my agent vanished, disappeared - poof! Apparently this happens more than people think. I began all over again with the submission process. More of the same rejections and crickets, until I heard by word of mouth, about Rattling Good Yarns Press. I submitted to them, and in a few weeks the answer was Yes. I couldn’t believe it.
The editing process began in earnest, and over the next year and a half, during the pandemic, I edited, proofread, went over countless drafts, made decisions about whether Spanish should be italicized (no), whether to use quotation marks for dialogue (yes), where commas should go (or not go), what gets capitalized, where breaks should go in the text, the cover design, permission for the photograph by Mario Giacomelli, a famous Italian photographer whose estate gave me permission to use it on the cover, permissions for quoting texts by various writers and artists, and … somehow the novel was completed.
And now it is ready for publication. It’s as I said at the beginning of the blog post, a little unreal.
What began as something to try out in 2008, something to use the hours and hours I had suddenly “free” due to losing a job, has become a piece of creative work that I can share now with readers.
My part in the creating is done.
Now it belongs to you, the reader.
I hope it is engaging, thought-provoking, entertaining, and memorable.