I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking “Where is the book?” I had told you last fall I was working on a new edition of Make a Windsor Chair and that I expected to have it done early this year. Well… You know the old line about the best laid plans of mice and men?
This is what happened. Out of the blue, I was contacted by a woman who works for a major publisher. She was interested of all things, in the series of young teen fantasy adventure novels I have been writing. I had set that project aside, as I have had no luck securing an agent. Most publishers won’t deal with an author directly and due to the economy, most agents have their backs to the wall. So, I have been trapped in a Catch 22.
The woman had heard about my series from a fellow woodworker. I do wonder if he is someone who drops by here once in a while. Anyway, I sent her the first manuscript, synopses of the next three, and a series overview. She liked the project and referred it to the woman who runs the publisher’s children’s imprint. That is where it is now.
Meanwhile, I have a friend who for years was CEO of a major NYC publishing house. He had left that job to form his own company. During the fall he sold his start-up to another children’s publisher, and along with the sale, he ended up working for that company. He wrote to me suggesting I send the project to him.
So, right now, I have two publishers looking at the series. I had the fifth book in the series (of eight) all mapped out in my mind, and just in case one of the publishers expressed interest, I felt I should be able to show more recent progress. If they reject me, (that is the most frequent outcome for all authors) I have been encouraged by my recent ability to bypass agents. I plan to continue using personal contacts to get my foot in the door. That decision too, made me feel I needed to show more recent progress on the series. Consequently, during my winter break I wrote the fifth book. I know it sounds immodest, but it is a corker.
Wait! That’s not all. Last September I began writing an adult adventure novel for my Facebook friends. I reserve Facebook for family, or life-long buddies. I limit my number of friends as I don’t want to talk about woodworking or chairs on Facebook. I do that here. Anyway, to amuse my small list of friends, I write stories with them as the characters. I post a chapter every Sunday and after my characters read that installment they spend the week hurling brickbats at me. We have a lot of fun joshing back and forth. The story I started in September caught fire and ended up becoming a full-length manuscript that I will someday polish up and try to publish.
The result of all this writing is that I did not complete my reworking of Make a Windsor Chair. I have not abandoned it and hope to get back to it soon. I still expect you will see it this year. That is my plan, unless one of the publishers comes through. Then, all bets are off.
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