I have signed with Five Rivers Publishing. They are tentatively scheduling release of Avians for August of 2017. I’ll be taking champagne to tomorrow’s meeting of the Fantasy Five critique group. Five is my lucky number, it seems!
It all began in October, at Can*Con 2015.
The bizarre thing is, I didn’t intend to pitch Five Rivers at all. I didn’t think my novel, set on a lost colony planet, was a good fit for their preference for Canadian voices. I just wanted to find out from an acquisition editor why my opening pages were being rejected, so I signed up for a Blue Pencil Cafe with Dr. Robert Runté, Senior Editor of Five Rivers.
But when I introduced myself to him at the hotel coffee-shop before the convention started, he wanted to hear about my book. I was unprepared, and bungled it badly. Luckily, he gave me a second chance at the Bundoran Press party that evening. He offered to take a look at thirty pages, if I would wait until January to submit them.
Which meant that the day after he offered to look at thirty pages, I had to show him the first three of them at our Blue Pencil. The three that kept coming back. He didn’t hate them, but more importantly, he saw what the problem was: a weak opening paragraph and an unnatural patch of dialogue. Go back to my post called It Takes a Village to see how I took his suggestions and turned the opening around with the help of my critique group.
With revisions that strongly matched Robert’s wish list, the thirty page sample quickly generated a request for the full manuscript. When I got it back a few weeks later there were some preliminary edits and a contract offer. This is a first for me, so I had to take a little time to quiz friends and mentors about the meaning of it all. Now I’m enthusiastically on board.
This August, at Calgary’s convention for writers, When Words Collide, I’ll be attending a master class on Working With an Editor. The class is open to any registered attendee, but for me, it won’t be an editor, it will be my editor. Dr. Robert Runté is the presenter, and I’m pretty stoked about the chance to get three hours of face time.
It feels good to say “my editor.” It feels even better to say “I got an email from my publisher today.” A warm glow spreads up from my heart to my mouth, and I grin.