Wanted, Publisher to Share my Fame and Fortune

I recently found I really enjoy writing. Maybe late in life at 60 but that is relative I guess. If I live to be 120 then this is a mid life kind of thing. After 60 years I should have learned something to share. Oh I know! Here is one you can keep away from the bank. Start putting money away for retirement at say age six. Tell mom your school lunch went up by a quarter and then put it in a jar under your bed every day.

The whole idea of creating a world and the people that live in it just fascinates me. Write what you know, I recalled reading. I got up five days a week, went to work for 40 years and have two great daughters and five wonderful grandchildren. I think it’s a best seller but I'm new at this.

I chose the saying “Those that can’t do it, teach”, to inspire me. Well, more the implied logical extension of that idea, “Those that don’t live in a Hollywood love story, write one”. If the shoe fits, I jumped into a romantic story. Don’t get me wrong, there was passion in those 40 years. I mentioned I have two daughters and that didn’t happen by hitting 'print' on the key board. My ex wife may have a different version, but it was passion. Where’s that delete key?

I created two people, not perfect individually that overcame some obstacles and surprisingly at the end they were perfect for each other. Yes, I write fiction but it could happen, we will talk about do-over’s and re-writes later.  Down in the lower left hand corner of my word document I see, Words: 45,235. A short story or Novelette, an accomplishment yes, but for someone with less life experience, I thought. That’s not to imply at my age I had a goal of 500,000 words but I needed to get into the real novel length range. I could throw in some more obstacles, I thought, but truth be known, I love these guys and didn’t want to torture them any more than I already had. Conversely, I thought about adding more hot steamy love scenes but my goal was not to be a bathroom book kept next to the hand lotion dispenser.

Then it hit me! An adventure for my new “perfect couple” to tackle together was the answer. I didn’t want to delve further into fantasy, I figured the romance section got close to that line, so it was amateur sleuths’ for these two. I wanted believable heroes saving the day without the need of a phone booth for flight or the rapid green body transition. So these two wonderful people jumped in when the local police didn’t and save a young girl. Words: 61,250 . Over the hump, I thought and started looking for the lucky publisher that was going to share in my fame and fortune.

I saw this on a publisher’s web site “It has been our experience that less than 70,000 words leaves the characters underdeveloped and the readers disappointed, not getting value from their purchase”.  

Not over the hump! I read a lot. I've read some authors that take a ditto approach. They tell you something, and then tell you what they told you. That could work I thought, that may be a solution I reasoned. See it works! That would not help with my second goal of selling more than the one book mom promised to buy. I guess my sisters and daughters would each buy a book, or at least they would accept one as a gift from the author. Either way, a book sales count on one hand doesn’t justify opening a Pepsi, yet alone that bottle of champagne I just happen to have picked up the other day.

Ok, so we take the reader through the romance, solve the crime to save the day, then flash back to our heroes growing up, living through life changing trauma of maybe, losing a pet hamster at age nine. I am talking, the shoe box and the whole family gathered at grave side, always an emotion grabber, and add other tragic stuff.  Words: 83,034.  A respectable novel length, don’t you think mom?

That little voice in my head became a big voice in my little head, “You've got a country song without a cold beer!” The lights went on! I woke up my protagonists with the news they weren’t done yet and presented them with another adventure.

I got a lot of gruff from them in the beginning. I gave Charlie and Jenny the choice of either working together in love, or the Marine boot camp obstacle course before they even shared a kiss. She came around instantly, he was a little harder sell, after all, I created him to be a stand up, take charge kind of guy. The threat and power of do-over, I talked about earlier is mighty. I simply told him, you know that love scene on page 127 and 128? I can make it a one liner or go away completely! Or, I had his full attention at that point, I could repeat it with enhancements in the future chapters!

“What can we do, oh powerful one?” he said, quickly.

I love this writing thing. Well, with their attention back in the story, and a new enthusiasm in them to reach the promised new love scene, they almost got themselves killed reaching 78,150 words. That’s a wrap. Did I think I had the “Great American Novel”?  No, if nothing else, I’m realistic. I created two people, all of America would fall in love with, as I had, and they did interesting stuff. The sequel would be a cake walk, more interesting stuff from the people all America loves.

I reviewed my check list to ensure that I had all the elements. The hook was my only area of concern. Did my first paragraph draw the reader in? It needed some help I realized but I was very satisfied with the re-write adding, “Warning this extremely graphic book is intended for adult readers only. Those with a heart condition should abstain.”  Now tell me you could put that down! It would surely draw the teen age market.

I was ready! I hurried to my local book store and bought the latest edition of “Writers Guide to Publishers that Want to Share Your Fame and Fortune”. I knew I was on a lucky roll, it was marked down in the bargain section. Imagine that.

I had to find publishers that listed their interest in both genres I had written, Romance and Interesting Stuff. I caught on quickly, well it was definitely less than an hour at most, that “Interesting stuff” wasn’t listed by any of them. So I had to find an equivalent genre for it or one that brought them together.  Thriller, that could work. There was blood pumping on pages 127 and 128 and outside the bedroom dodging bullets and car chases. Then mystery caught my eye. It just kind of draws you in. It’s the very definition of interesting stuff you don’t know about but have to get to the source for answers. Like lining up M&M’s and watching a very focused grandson work his way towards the bag.

Ok, that’s it! I wrote a Romance/Mystery/Mystery. They still had the touchy feely thing going while they solved the mysteries so I settled on Romantic Mystery. It occurred to me, the potential reader would think they would have to search for clues to find out why there was romance. I had made that part clear, even before pages 127 and 128, I was just over thinking again.

So back in the book searching for publishers, I'm thinking we have time, it’s only September. I'll have books to send to family and friends for Christmas. You know that excited feeling you have, one number away and the gal beside you yells, “Bingo!”  That’s how I felt when I read over and over in my search for the lucky publisher that was going to share in my fame and fortune, “Due to the high volume, we respond to queries between 6 months and forever. If you don’t hear back from us within that time frame, don’t quit your day job.”

A query is only one page! I know that because I read the book on ‘Writing a Query for Success’. I wanted success and bought it. The book arrived in an envelope and was one page. Teach by example. How long does it take to read a one page query? Apparently 6 months to forever. So maybe this Christmas was out. Then I really got depressed, figuring their reading rate and that I only have another 60 years to live, I wasn’t going to see my book wrapped under the Christmas tree, ever!

To expand my initial advice, start saving quarters at six, send manuscript in before age seven.

© 2019 Ronald S. Craig. All Rights Reserved. Powered by HostBaby.