Monday, January 22, 2007

I was scanning the web today, looking for things to put in my press kit, when I came across an interveiw I did ages ago for Literary Potpourri, when my Alexander book first came out. The magazine editor, Beverly Jackson, asked me about finding a publisher. This is what I replied.

Jackson: Do you think you've created a new genre? This doesn't really fit sci-fi or magical realism or mainstream novels, does it? Did you have any trouble finding a publisher? Did the publishing world understand what you were up to? I notice the book is published in Australia.

Macaire: I can imagine Homer trying to sell his Iliad to a modern publisher, and it's more or less what happened with me and the agents and publishers I approached.

Homer: "Describe my book's genre? Well, it speaks of war, so it could be an adventure, but it has a love story between Hector and his wife…oh yes, and it has paranormal elements, there's Cassandra, she sees the future. There are religious factors, the gods and goddesses are always appearing and there is a definite historical slant, after all, it's about the siege of Troy, but there is quite a bit of humor. What do you think?"

Publisher: "I'm sorry, it doesn't fit our publishing needs right now. It's well written, but doesn't match any category. We wish you the best of luck with another publisher."

Homer: "I have another one too, this one is called 'The Odyssey' and I think it could be classified as a travelogue." He hesitates. "Adventure travel with elements of romance and the paranormal."

Publisher: "Send in the first three chapters and a synopsis. We'll get back to you in about a year. But don't get your hopes up. History books are not selling, series are out of the question for an unknown, cross-genre is not acceptable for traditional publishers and you haven't been published before."

I waited four years before finding a publisher. Most editors loved the story, but no one wanted to take a chance on something so radically different than what is 'out there'. I had a problem with the fact that Alexander had more than one wife, that he was bisexual, and that Ashley is not faithful to Alexander. She falls in love with Plexis, and Plexis is in love with Alexander, and the whole story sort of overwhelmed some people. One person sent back my manuscript with 'I can't handle this!' in big red letters. That was a low point, but I never got upset about it. I love this series, and to tell the absolute truth, even if it hadn't been published, I still would have been content. I truly love to read these books, and that, to me, is why I wrote them. Because they are fun to read and to entertain. Even if it's only myself."

Well, I'm glad I found that, because it's true that I am glad I wrote these books, I love re-reading them, and I definitely feel like I've accomplished something wonderful whenever I do read them.

I have queried one agent about the series, and I also sent a query to one publisher. I contacted an editor who loved my work, but she says her publishing company only accepts unpublished books. (I was crushed - it wasn't published all the way. Just the first three books in the series. Does that count?)

Anyhow...(that's my word for the day: Anyhow) I am finishing up my suspense novel (I keep saying that but it's getting to the end, I promise!) and I'm starting a new sci-fi novel. I also started a contemporary romantic comedy (and I know, I'm mispelling everything, but I have to go make dinner!) so I have lots of projects.

Oh, and we're calling the publishing company Triptych, I think.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I came across a wonderful book, that I'd seen recommended in a writer's group online... called 'The Writer's Book of Hope' by Ralph Keyes.

I think you might really like it... it's full of stories about 100's of now famous writers and books that were all rejected by short sighted publishers. I also really appreciated the premise of this book, which states that if a writer is frustrated, anxiety ridden and near despair... that just means they're on track. Insecurity, artistic doubts, all those dark achy shadows that follow around anyone trying to make a living with creativity... that's just the stock in trade and means you're doing the right thing.

I'm only halfway through this book, but I see the second half has lots of great stuff about agents, publishers, and the whole crazy world of publishing.


Patrice Michelle said...

Hi Sam,

It's been a while since I've stopped by. Did I miss a post about a publishing company?

Anonymous said...

Hi jn and THANK YOU for the link - I will definitely check it out.

Patrice, glad you stopped by! I'm going to donate some of my free time to become a designer and reader for a new publishing company. (Free time? LOL!) Well, I love art and reading, so this might be fun!


Wynn Bexton said...

Good name and attractive logo.
And I really enjoyed your interview. I'm sure that would be just what Homer would say!

Bonita said...

Classy name for the company. Good luck. When will you be starting up?

Patrice Michelle said...

Ooh, that's neat, Sam. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Triptych! Can't wait to hera more!