Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Tenth Muse, publishing a modern fantasy

A while back, my debut novel was published. It is a modern fantasy about the classical old story, good vs. evil.
Michael Smith feels the world is completely wrong, and his strange dreams take him to Santorini where his adventures start.
He is fighting for the existence of a great cost.

Publishing a novel in this time and age can seem close to impossible. And to be successful, you have to be determined and have so much patience you qualify to sainthood by the time you get your book in a consultant's hands. The most normal thing is getting a polite rejection.
I was connected to one of the biggest publishing houses in Norway for a long, long time, sending them scripts, getting them back with suggestions of what to change. But in Norway, the biggest deal are murder mysteries, and I write fantasy, so I kind of fell through (this is the story I tell myself to feel better, at least.).
In the end they told me that fantasy weren't really their thing, and I should look for representation elsewhere. I had learned a lot about the business, but not nearly enough, and I still was unrepresented. So, I felt quite lost. They had kept me on a lose leash for years and years, vague promises about a possible future release if this or that, and I believed them. I could have spent my time reaching out to agents, or other publishing houses, but I remained loyal.
My brother told me to look around for other alternatives, but the woman in charge of the writer's course I took, said I had to be loyal to one publishing house at the time. Both made sense, and both very difficult to follow.

What happened was that I just kept writing and writing. I never felt what other authors talk about, that dreaded writer's block, I still haven't met that phenomenon, but I have felt frustrated for having a million ideas, that I actually follow from beginning to finished story, and no one to share it with.

And when I tried sending them to publishing houses, no one wants them, because they weren't represented by an agent. So I felt lost in a spiral of creativity and no chances. Most publishing houses wants the scripts to be represented by agents, and that means another person, along with the publisher, takes a piece of the cake. Obviously, people have to be paid for doing a job, but as a struggling author, you feel it's an unfair business when you're out in the cold. But there is a solution... and it is what I did :)

Then, I guess I got lucky. One of my best friends live in Holland, and she said, I know this guy who is starting up a publishing house, do you want me to ask him if he wants your script? I said yes, of course, and waited his reply.
He wanted to have a look at my script about Michael Smith and his journey with the muses. I was seriously nervous, I sent him the original document, and in hindsight I might have been a bit naive doing that to someone I didn't really know or knew if I could trust. But I did, and it turned out that he, Rob, my editor, was for real.
He suggested a few changes, and if I managed to write in those changes then I would have a deal.
OMG, I was going to publish my debut novel.
Then suddenly I was on the inside, with a contract I only could have dreamed of. I have had to learn this with my publisher, as they are new to this as well, but we are getting there.
I am a fiery person, and sometimes I'm probably not the easiest client to deal with, but they can, and they do. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for putting up with me, and most important of all, believing in me when no one else did. I won't let you down. And I won't let me down!

If you like fantasy, if you like Shakespeare, England, adventure and dragons, then this is the book you should buy for your summer holiday. :)
And if you have a novel in you, contact Bullseye, they might be the ones to help you further on your way to reaching your goals.