Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Overdone and Shaggy

So it's a long story.

But earlier this week I sent off my novel Retreat to a few small publishers. I've decided "that's it." I won't be actively doing anything with it.

It's tough, though, when you've spent years on something... and then nothing happens.

This is a novel I finished in 2004 (I think). I got an agent. The novel was sent around to six or seven publishers. After they all passed (for similar reasons), the agent suggested I do another draft of the novel. I obliged. Then he/she didn't like the result. And that was that.

More rounds of submissions. Ups, downs. Contests. More submissions. Yes, I'd like to see the full manuscript. No thanks, this is isn't right for me.

Then I did nothing with it, focused on stories and started another novel, which is supposedly the best way to deal with this kind of stuff.

Now I'm sending out a few last messages in a bottle. Because, as Flannery O'Connor once said, people without hope do not write novels.

Yesterday I read an interview with Don DeLillo. He had this to say about his first novel, Americana:

"I don't think my first novel would have been published as I submitted it today. I don't think an editor would have read 50 pages of it. It was very overdone and shaggy, but two young editors saw something worth pursuing."


Ethel Rohan said...

Good luck with it, Andy. We are in a tough game for sure.

Ravi Mangla said...

Good luck on this round of subs. Hope it finds a home.

Jason Jordan said...

Yes, good luck! If this round doesn't work out, and your goal is for it to be read, then keep in mind you could do what Shya Scanlon did and release it online for free, which led to a serialization across many publications and eventual book deal with Flatmancrooked. Again, it depends on what your goal for the manuscript is. It sucks to put in a ton of work and time on something that won't ever be read.

Andrew Roe said...

Thanks all.