I know this post belongs in the section about my books. I am not placing it there because it is so very outsized it might overbalance the whole thing and tilt the website over on its side.
Some time ago – over a year but less than two – Nancy Palmer and I began a long back-and-forth about a story. Like all good stories, it was not about ‘issues’ but about people, but the issues kept growing and growing, until it was by major effort we had to beat them back, so that there would be a human story still in there.
We published it in Kindle, and Nooks, and whatever other place we could find. My old agent wanted no part of it because part of the plot line involved a story of love between two men. That boggled me, because I thought that part of the publishing world had moved on, but that rejection turned out to be good luck for us. In the long run.
We published Albatross as a KDP. We also published through the other channels, which Nancy knew of, but about which I was totally ignorant. We were both ignorant about promoting the book, which in our case meant simply getting folks to know it existed. (There are so many new good novelists out there, as well as the other 90% described by Sturgeon’s Law, that it is wildly improbable that any one book gets found. Unless, as Amazon wished, we had sold our souls to them, inhibiting other outlets and leading to some promotion. Anyway, we both smelled danger and steered clear of that.)
So – Albatross stayed on KDP and led to a handful of sales. I didn’t understand, until Balticon 50, where I was expected to give a reading, that the book didn’t read aloud at all. Like so many other stories written on a modern word processor, let alone written by two people, it didn’t scan. It isn’t poetry that needs to scan. It is something in the human body that means a book must appeal to the senses and not only the mind.
In the meantime, Nancy, in her travelling ways, discovered Kevin Anderson and Wordfire Press. At his request, we removed the limping version of Albatross from KDP and other sources. And we continued writing. Wrote like a wildfire, burning out of control. This time, using technical means and simple back and forth communication, we attempted to make the book sing.
When we were finished, we had a much larger book. One that in my early publishing days would have been called sizeable. Things in publishing have changed. Kevin suggested, (strongly,) that it be put into two parts, and so we did. The first part is still called Albatross, but the second part is titled Shimmer.
It is still a crossover work, that attempts to keep to the rules of Science Fiction while at the same time sliding more and more into Fantasy. Into what is almost a fairy tale. This was done on purpose, because as our casual near-future extrapolations became uncomfortable fact, a fairy tale was necessary to give us all hope. And the whole book was written to give hope. Gods know we need it now.
Anyway, this whole post is intended to let people know that the book is in the works. Albatross has been through editing, and I am waiting, like a racehorse in the starting stall, to do the necessary edits on Shimmer.
Albatross is scheduled for June. Shimmer for three months later.
I wish, to the whole universe, (whether manifest or waiting) that the publishing date was yesterday.