The Long and Winding Road to Getting Published

It’s the end of the week. I’m on the train home from work and I’m anticipating the weekend. Why? I get to talk to the person that’s planning to publish my first couple of works…It’s been a long road.

Long ago, say, around 2004, I’d finished a horror novel, NO HOPE.

(Side note here…don’t ever name one of your works that you hope to get published something stupid like “No Hope”…kind of self-defeating, isn’t it? I know of another prospective author who wrote a novel that seemed to go through endless editing and rewrites…it’s name? “Limitless”…as in, limitless rewrites and edits. Let this be a lesson to you! And now, back to our regularly scheduled blog…)

Looking for a second opinion, a mutual friend offered to have someone in the horror business read the book. It was an editor of the most excellent horror magazine Rue Morgue. I got some positive feedback, which was encouraging. Turned out the editor did some freelance editing as well and offered up her services. Even better.

Flash forward a couple of years. I’m now a regular volunteer at the annual Festival of Fear held in Toronto every summer. Amazing group of people, great guests, get to rub shoulders with horror author royalty such as Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene and Clive Barker (amazing and super-friendly gentlemen all – go out and read all their books…you’ll thank me for the recommendations). Anyway, somewhere around 2007, the same editor, it turns out, runs a small press publisher, Burning Effigy. They publish some of most beautiful chapbooks I’ve ever seen. High quality stuff, from the writing to the final product.

And this same editor asks me if I’d consider publishing NO HOPE with Burning Effigy. I’m stunned and delighted and immediately agree.

Unfortunately, we all know what happened to the economy around 2008 with GM going to the government, hat sort of in hand, other hand held out in a “brother can you spare a dime” pose.

That posed a lot of problems for all businesses, not just small press publishers. It pushed back the publication of the book at least a year. Well, 2009 wasn’t a hell of a lot better.

2010 showed some promise, and she asked me if I might be able to put together a smaller prequel to NO HOPE that might be published at less cost and it would help to get the word out about the upcoming NO HOPE publication. Seemed like a great idea to me, and I had a previous evil little story that I’d already begun looking at as a possible expansion project and the story easily adapted to the world of NO HOPE. So I started pounding away at it.

Then, well, without going into a lot of detail, my life took a major left turn and I didn’t complete the story (it was about 90% done), choosing instead to stitch my life back together.

A few months later, we hooked up again at the DarkLit Festival in Oshawa – another amazing event that I pray will become an annual event–and the prequel project was resurrected. I went home, got an immediate brainstorm that massively improved the ending, and punched it out.

Then, health issues kicked in for my editor. You just can’t count on life to run smoothly, can you?

But, here we are now, with the prequel, VANISHING HOPE finished, NO HOPE needing one last polish and I think we may be good to go. Just goes to show you, publishing your stuff, getting your babies out the door and into the world, is not a quick process.

But it’s definitely been an educating one.


One thought on “The Long and Winding Road to Getting Published

  1. Sequel – Hopeless?
    Sorry for your long publishing journey; it’s not much comfort to those of us at the starting gate. But writers are in it for the love of writing, right?

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