This morning around 8:30 I emailed off a 36,000 word novella to my editor. It’s a piece I have a contract for with Falstaff Books. I delivered it on the deadline.
Now we’ll have to see if Jaym Gates, who is the chief editor at Falstaff and who edited Strange California, likes it, and what she will want in the way of rewrites. The theme of this line of novels and novellas is “Shattered Cities.”
I said, “Yes” to this project when Jaym invited me mainly because it was an opportunity to work with her again. She asked me back in the fall of last year. I accepted the invitation, and then a little bit later got a request from her for an excerpt, up to 5,000 words, and a synopsis. Well, I had a little more than 5,000 words already written (I had about 8,000) so I sent those off. At this point I had no acceptance letter, no contract, nothing. It was just like submitting to any other market, except that I’d been asked.
And I waited. And I didn’t hear anything.
While I was waiting, I worked on the project. The theme is “portal fantasy,” which is one of my favorites, and by a stroke of good luck, I had an alternate world already where metals conduct magic, and I was able to set my story there without a lot of development work, because I’d already done most of it.
You’d think that would make the story easy. It didn’t.
Several months later I got an email from the publisher, with a draft contract attached and some particulars, with Jaym copied. I hadn’t heard anything from Jaym herself. I reviewed the contract and sent it back with changes, and got a signed one back in about ten days. And then I got serious because I was on a deadline.
The signed contract came back about a week before I left for Florida.
It wasn’t until last week that I heard from Jaym, and fortunately what she had to say was good news; she loved the excerpt and thought the synopsis was exactly the kind of story she was looking for with Shattered Cities. I hope she likes the finished product. They can still reject it if she decides it isn’t right for them. I hope she doesn’t.
I’ll keep you informed. This will be my first experience with something like a real book, so I might have lots to share about editorial letters, rewrites, cover reveals and all that.