I started out a couple of months ago to let friends and fellow writers know what a query letter meant to a first-time novelist. That little diatribe was interrupted by reality ... the writers conference, a pitch session, a push by an agent that my work needed work, and then extensive rewriting.
What has been the result? For me, it means I'm a little more grown up in this publishing world. I always knew rewriting would be a big part of the deal as my novel would advance through the process. I welcomed it. I'm a veteran copy editor, after all, so I know the need for editing in a "finished product" is usually necessary. But I am more realistic ... and just as committed to my notion that this is a novel worth publishing.
I have to bare my soul here. I always have enjoyed newspaper story ideas that went "outside the box" and examined something other newspapers wouldn't do. I call that originality. I crave that in my own novels, and I have achieved that here. My novel includes elements of crime, romance, spirituality (especially Christian belief) and even a hint or two of science fiction and political overtones.
So, how can something that is such a mixed bag deliver? The only thing I can say is that it works. It is unique and original, which means I have to find an agent and publishing house that is willing to go "outside the box" as well. I will work like mad to make it happen via the agent/publishing house method, but if that fails I will self-publish. (I talked to other authors who claim self-publishing is the only way to go, but I don't want to take the easy way out. Never have. Never will. I will go that route only as a last resort.)
I have grown up about what it takes to write a really good novel and in my commitment to my own work. I have put my second novel on hold while I have attacked these tasks, but I will get back to that soon. These ideas I have been creating need a way to reach the page. I am more than happy to make that happen.
In the meantime, I am a very patient man. Thank you to all of you who have stood by me, read my manuscripts or partials and supplied feedback. You are wonderful friends. I value that more than you will ever know.