Those closest to me know I will not be signed and published with Marcher Lord Press. Before there is any sympathy, let me say don’t feel sorry for me. I was blessed to have the nicest rejection letter under the sun. Jeff Gerke is the leading publisher of Christian Speculative fiction and one of the kindest guys I have had the pleasure of speaking with in the writing industry to date.
For those not familiar with me, I had the great honor of participating in Marcher Lord Press’s first ever Premise contest late last year. Not only that, I was one of the three co-winners. We each won a full acquisition read. That is a big deal in the rough world of trying to get published. Especially to someone as green as me. Let me tell you, I have learned a lot and have met many wonderful writers. As a matter of fact, this whole blog is made up of participants from Marcher Lord Press’s contest.
Jeff took a while to get to the reading because let’s face it, he is very busy writing, editing, publishing, speaking, award receiving and raising a family I am sure there is more…the guy is Super Man. You will not hear me complain about waiting.
When the email came, I cried for a few hours and I prayed for even longer. He simply said it was not captivating enough for him to want to publish. Stinger, you say? Well, yes it was but he also gave me all kinds of great advice and did say it was an “interesting idea for a story” and “it feels fresh and original.”
When I reread these words, my whole heart lifted. This is the leading publisher for speculative fiction and he thinks I Am Ocilla is interesting, original and fresh? Whoa! That is a big compliment to get and I choose to focus on that. To me, this is hope to drive me on and give me the passion to make my work the very best.
So the slashing murder has begun. I am flat-out bloody with cuts, rewrites and edits. I didn’t think I could do it. I must admit, it caused great pain. I must admit, I felt ill during the hours I spent in chapter one this week.
I have taken hits for my style and point of view. First person present tense is almost a dirty word among my peers but on that issue, I refuse to budge. Yes, I am a rock-head. After some nifty reorganizing, major edits and murder on my flowery vocabulary, I believe my first chapter is on its way to a thing of beauty. Of course, I am a bit biased.
My focus now is another contest this fall hosted by Port Yonder Press. I plan on hacking my way through forty more chapters in time to submit I Am Ocilla in her finest wording possible this October. Wish me luck.
Peace, love and God’s will