Halloween Release Date

Exciting news, friends!

I have decided upon a Halloween release date for my self-published novel STAR-CROSSED: THE CONFOUNDING CALAMITIES OF BYRON THE CAD AND MARIETTA THE ZOMBIE. I mean, Halloween = Zombies and Zombies = Witty Dialogue and Witty Dialogue = MY NOVEL, so it all checks out.

I’m going to start out on the Amazon Kindle and then move to everywhere else in the market. Print books will come soon, too.

Below is a little re-vamped (ha! see what I really didn’t do there but totally could if I wanted?) cover for the Kindle version! It’s slightly greener, and as we all know, GREEN = ZOMBIES (and maybe the Hulk), so that checks out, too.

You sure do have a purty cover

I’m really only expecting to sell about fifty copies (and those all coming from my friends, family, and those I have threatened with bodily harm) but anything could happen. I’ve had to really re-assess what it means to me to be a writer and what I want from my life as a novelist. Is it more important to be seen (i.e. get published no matter what) or is it more important to find an agent and go the traditional route and continue to shop a somewhat unmarketable novel around until, years later, it may or may not ever be published?

I’ve had three different publishing houses request this manuscript and each one has given me the feedback: “Yes, we like it! It’s really well written with a unique world and great dialogue, but:

  • it’s not a romance novel (which was so cute because I’m probably one of the few authors who doesn’t ACTIVELY put a romantic plot in her writing)
  • it’s TOO world build-y and there was too much detail in the first chapter to explain
  • it’s TOO clever”

Which pretty much sums up all of the criticism I’ve received about my short stories too, so I’m now of the understanding that STAR-CROSSED is just too weird, too niche, and too genre-bending to find an agent or a house any time within the next decade.

So it came down to deciding that I’m more interested in having other people read my work, regardless of who publishes it. The stigma is slowly going away for self-published authors and I have edited/re-written/fine-tuned the ever-loving shit out of this thing, so it’s time to give it one last spit-shine and send it into the world, like a turtle leaving its eggs to hatch and find the ocean by themselves. (That metaphor kinda fell apart, but you get the gist.)

HALLOWEEN. YOU. ME. A STEAMPUNK ZOMBIE NOVEL.

I think the best part is going to be talking to my mom after she (unsuccessfully) tries to read my novel.

“It was…interesting, dear. Good job. You finally did it. Why do they have to eat other people, again?”

It’s no wonder Synopsis rhymes with Nemesis

Part of the ridiculousness absurdity charm of submitting to different agents is a.) they all want different things and b.) they all want different lengths of different things.

Most go like this:

  • Query letter
  • Synopsis
  • Sample writing

Easy-peasy. I can do that in my sleep. (In fact, I had a dream the other night where I was writing query letters, but not to agents to publish a manuscript, but rather to Illyria Illyria from Angel, asking her if she could take me to the shrimp world.)

Anyway.

Some want a 10 page synopsis. Totes, yo. I can do that. Some want a one page synopsis, which was incredibly difficult. Suddenly the 450 page novel I worked a year and a half on is now reduced to a one page no-frills, no-chills, no-spills dried out husk of what said novel should be.

After much struggling and rewording and laboring, I got it down to one page.

The next agent wanted one paragraph.

It’s a good thing I was writing on my desktop and not an easily-throwable laptop. (Never trust technology that you can throw out the window, I always say. I’m looking at you, phone.)

The hard thing about synopses is that they are not a movie trailer, they’re not a blurb on the back, and they’re not a pitch. After trying to hard to hook people’s interest and to sound as “in-a-world”-y as possible, to write a non-partial, non-prejudiced account of a novel is incredibly boring. I looked at my synopsis of Byron and just about fell asleep.

Or maybe I’m doing this wrong…

Apparatus Publishing

Apparatus Publishing is a little ol’ startup established by my good friend and fellow author, Blue-Haired Stevie. (I worked with another Stevie, the infamous Stevie’s Mom Stevie, and the Blue-Haired epithet is to differentiate the two.)

Their goal is to create an app for e-readers and the like that completely changes the way people read stories. Instead of the boring turn an electronic page because we’re humans and we would feel obsolete and somehow backstabby to our caveman ancestors who turned pages for millions of years, the stories organically scroll upwards continuously, displaying content and pictures — yes, pictures — slowly as one progresses through the story.

Back last year they needed a guinea pig story to work their Apparatus-y magic on, and voila! a little ol’ story of mine called The Retriever was entered and won their competition so as to be the flagshipstory.

What they do is add pictures — drawn by their lovely staff — add sounds and music — composed by their also lovely staff — so that the reading experience engages more than one sense.

They tell me that soon, (SOON), they’ll be up and running and publishing stories and changing the e-reading experience and stuff. I’m so *sniff* proud.