The problem, as I’ve been lamenting in past posts, is where to send it. As I finished the final draft, I found myself with tears in my eyes at the end. This is a good sign. I definitely think I have something that needs to get out there, so others can read it. But who would publish it?
I got a couple suggestions from other writers. One, sadly, turned out to be a dead end: that publisher is no longer accepting novel-length manuscripts from writers, unless they have agents or are previously published through that publisher. Perhaps if I send them a short story, I can get my foot in the door for future submissions, but finding an agent for gay romance is…challenging. More challenging than finding a publisher for it, frankly.
The problem is that it doesn’t quite fit the category of “romance.” There are two gay relationships in the story — one between two adult characters that doesn’t really change much, and one that gradually develops between two of the teenagers. Since the most romantic relationship in the story is between teenagers, my first instinct was to consider the story to be a YA gay romance.
But it’s not really about that romance, and two of the main characters are adults. Ultimately, it’s about the descent into (metaphorical) Hell and eventual redemption of Isaac, the fundamentalist father of the boy who kills himself at the beginning of the novel. That character isn’t gay, so there’s my problem: I have a novel that revolves around gay issues and even has a bit of (very mild) gay sexual content, but the character who is really at the center is not gay himself. It’s about a father dealing with his son’s suicide.
It’s been suggested that I might not want to avoid sending it to Dreamspinner Press, since they often surprise us (in good ways) with what they’re willing to publish. Their editors are all very friendly, so if they decide the novel isn’t for them, I’m sure they’ll be nice about it. With all that in mind, I’ve decided to give Dreamspinner a look and let them decide for themselves if it fits their catalog.
If they don’t want it, then I have one other option that somebody suggested. Hopefully, I’ll have more, after doing some research.
I considered self-publishing, but my one foray into that — my novella, Finding Love Through Bigfoot — utterly failed to reach readers. Well, perhaps not utterly. I have had a few people read it and tell me they liked it. But for the most part, I haven’t been able to give it away. (And, in fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do, since it’s FREE!) By That Sin Fell the Angels is, I think, good enough to warrant better distribution than I can manage on my own, so I’ll try to find a publisher for it.