Monthly Archives: January 2012

It’s Away!

Seiðman has been sent!

Now I just need to get back to work on Murderous Requiem, in order to keep from fretting about whether Seiðman will be accepted.

I have a lot of confidence in the novel, especially after so many people have helped out by critiquing it over the past three years, including a couple people in Norway and Iceland.  But there are a couple things that might be problematic.

One is the vocabulary.  I counted twenty words in Old Icelandic, the language spoken in Iceland during the Viking Age.  Do I think that’s a problem for a YA novel?  Not really.  Teens are certainly capable of processing twenty foreign words.  But I don’t know if there’s some magic formula in the publishing world that says each foreign word equates to 27 and a half buyers who will turn away from purchasing the novel, or something like that.  I did included a vocabulary list on the last page of the novel, in case readers need to refer to it.

The other thing is the ending.  I went for a happy ending, but there had to be a caveat.  It simply isn’t realistic for a 17-year-old chieftain in Iceland in the year 1,000 C.E. to be a bachelor.  He must be married, and he must father children.  Otherwise, his “manliness” would be called into question, and he would lose supporters.  That’s just the way it is.  On the other hand, I personally have a big problem with men sneaking around having sex behind their wives’ backs.  So the solution is an amicable agreement between all parties involved.  It’s the only possible solution, apart from living a tragic, miserable life apart from one another.

But will a YA publisher go for that?  I don’t know.  I feel like I’ve proposed my characters stand up at the Althing and suggest Iceland adopt Socialism.

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Filed under Romance, Viking, Writing, Young Adult

Sending Seidman Out Into The Cold, Cruel World

Seidman was the first complete novel I ever wrote, and many people who have read it tell me it’s my best work.  The first draft was finished three years ago, and it’s now on draft six, which is more than I’ve reworked any story.

And it has yet to be published.  In fact, it hasn’t even been sent to a publisher.

Why?  Well, when you start thinking of something you’ve written as your best work, then you start getting pretty protective of it.  You keep tweaking it, trying to make it absolutely perfect, and you start telling yourself, “I’ll send this out, just as soon as it’s finished!”  But of course, at that rate, it will never be finished.  I’ve seen others do this, and saw how easily they got trapped in this never-ending editing loop, until the end result was that their “best” work was actually something they’d created so long ago that they could probably do better now, if they would just let go of this work and move on.  I vowed I would never fall into that trap.

Yet, here I am, three years down the road and still “polishing” the manuscript.

The other thing that plays a factor is fear.  If this is my “best” work, then what happens if I send it out and everybody hates it?  Will people sneer at me and ask, “Is this the best that you could do?”  What if it is?  Will that mean I suck?

Fortunately, I am not a patient man.  Which means I’m a disaster at detail work, but pretty good at saying, “That’s good enough!  Ship it!”  This has served me well over the years, and it has now come to the rescue of Seidman.

It’s time to let it go.  It’s good, but it’s not Gone With the Wind.  It probably won’t win a Pulitzer.  It’s time for one last quick polish, followed by a firm swat on the butt as I send it out the door.

It’s first stop will be a new gay YA imprint that’s being launched soon.  I can’t say much about it, until the imprint is launched, but I’ve contacted the editor, informally, and she’s expressed an interest in seeing the novel.  So I’m planning on sending it out this weekend or early next week.  If she doesn’t like it, then I have a couple agents in mind.


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Filed under Romance, Viking, Writing, Young Adult

Interview on Shelter Somerset’s blog!

Fellow Dreamspinner author, Shelter Somerset (author of the M/M Amish romance Between Two Worlds and its sequel, Between Two Promises), has posted an interview with me on his blog today!

Thanks, Shelter!   It’s an honor!


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