The Trail to Self Publishing

Ever since finishing my latest manuscript, I’ve needed something to keep myself busy during the mandatory cool down process. Some of that has been conducting research for the next novel. But most of it has been one final editing pass through a book I wrote a couple of years ago.

I’m definitely the kind of person who thinks trunk novels ought to stay in the trunk, but I’ve had a few that were pretty close to being “a real boy”. And since I made the promise to myself that I wanted to self-publish this year, well I needed something to publish.

I still have a couple of books doing the querying rounds, so they’re not exactly on the table at the moment, leaving me Fairfax Cleaners, my one and only urban fantasy from a couple of years ago.

The pitch:

Gus, a cleaner for the fairy overlords of Chicago, turns against his family by protecting a girl with immense magical potential from being murdered to jump start a ritual to revive a forgotten god.

Those of you already making the connection, I conceived and wrote this book way before I read any Jim Butcher. I like the books, but imagine my frustration, right? Well, I made the choice not to change locales because I used to live in Chicago and I liked the world I’d created. Other than fairies, magic, and Chicago, this book and Dresden have nothing in common so I like to think I’m safe.

Going through it again has been enlightening. I definitely tightened up a lot of the beginning, reworking some troublesome chapters before ultimately cutting another 13,000 words from the whole thing, streamlining it shark-smooth.

I gotta say, I’m thrilled with the final result. I really like this book. It’s the first one where I really cared about structure and I feel like it shows. I’ve got someone doing the cover as I write this and hope to have more information in the next couple of weeks.

Guess it’s time to finally make those KDP and iBook accounts so I can get this party started.

Those of you who’ve blazed this trail before, any advice?

Advertisements

Just Like the Dentist

Short and sweet today. I need to get some stuff finished so I can run home and mow the grass before the rain comes.

After being off writing for about a week, I’ve had to get back into the saddle before I can ramp up the word count. My little inspiration critters were skittish early on, but they’re coming back. Not yesterday though. Oh man. Yesterday, I had to fight for every single sentence. I know you can’t always pick the time to write. You don’t have the luxury of waiting around for inspiration to strike, but yesterday was just torture. I made myself get at least 600 words down so I felt like I’d accomplished something, but I had to throw in the towel.

I think it was a problem of direction. I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to go next and I hadn’t done the proper prewriting for it, so I just ended up floundering. Solved that today though, so I’m back on track and the world is good. Although, I ran into another interesting issue.

I have a secondary character (one who I hope will one day spawn his own spinoff series) who’s a magic-usin’ Scotsman. I used to live in Aberdeen when I studied ethnology and folklore for my master’s degree, so I like to think that I know a thing or two about the Scots. I’ve always wanted to write a Scottish character and I do a pretty mean accent, but for whatever reason, this guy is coming off as Irish.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t confuse the two cultures. Not one bit. I absolutely know the difference. I like them both, but I had a target in my mind that this guy was Scottish. His backstory confirms it. But when I hear his voice in my head, it’s totally Irish. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing on my part and that’s how I’ve actually always envisioned him, but this is the first time where I can absolutely say that my character has a mind of his own. When authors talk about characters doing what they want, I usually smile and nod and say “Sure.” But I get it now.

Try as I may, I might just give in. What the hell? I can rework the backstory to make him Irish, sure. Plenty to draw on. Maybe this just wasn’t the time and place for my Scotsman protagonist.

Has something like this happened to any of you out there? Characters going differently than how you thought they’d be?