Monday, July 11, 2005

I Hope For A Great Deal of Godspeed

For a good deal of time now, KW and I have been writing separate novels. And we are both done with them. I have pretty much done my editing work and KW, having just finished his first draft, has begun on that task. I am now in the act of shopping it to agents. I sent a couple by mail today, and I sent one e-mail. I'm sure I'll be sending a deluge before it's over with.

The fact is, the writing of a novel is the fun, and the hard part is trying to convince a stranger that the fun you had writing it will translate into someone else's (actually, about a million someone elses') reading enjoyment. I am fairly confident in my own writing--and at the very least I would figure the synopsis of my work to be intriguing, worth reading further. Three people in this world have read versions of my text, and they've given me the thumbs up, and through their reactions I know that I have a more than fair chance of getting noticed.

I have written an oddball story, to be sure. All the more reason I feel like it will stand out. But basically, I'm writing this entry as sort of an announcement, and ask for all the good vibes that I can get (i.e., from prayer) in order to get this thing going. I'm sure when KW's time comes, he'll be hoping for the same. But basically, it's time to use talents in something that is more appreciative of them than a movie theatre. It's a sort of brick wall to my development, a crutch. It's been fun to work in that industry, but now the bad clearly outweighs the good. In the early days of my, ahem, "career," in 1993 to 1995, there were things to look forward to, new things to learn, and there has always been a little bit more to learn here and there for the remaining years. Now, it's just the same old grind, and there isn't anything on the outside of that work to make it worthwhile--I guess, except for writing, which might have kept me sane during the past year.

So anyway, on to a new "grind." If there was a way to toast champagne over the internet, I would hold my glass up and say, "To Something New." Clink.


At 7/11/2005 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...


(That was my glass, clinking your glass in return...registering my own toast to your endeavor).

Clearly I hope you succeed. I hope it as your friend, knowing how much you want it. I hope it as a fellow writer (and "workshop" partner), as any success you have will breed hope for my own. And I hope it just because if you become the next J.K. Rowling you'll have billions of dollars and you might buy me some hats or something.

As Chris mentioned, I only just finished my novel yesterday. And yet even though I still need a thorough re-write, I spent the day balled up in tension, wanting desperately to send out my unpolished work so I could get the ball rolling on this thing they call publishing. Thankfully I managed to keep those impulses at bay. I'll be sending mine out in a few weeks.

But imagine, Chris, if you and I had never had that conversation 8 months ago where we both learned the other wanted to write a novel...we may never have started our weekly reading/writing club thingy...we may never have finished.

We couldn't have written two more different types of stories, and I think there's talent and market enough for both of us to hope for the best. But as you said, the journey is in the writing. I've had a little bit of sadness, even, now that the book is done. I've really enjoyed the ride of living with these characters and their struggles.

And we may never get any more success or readership than we have now. But I'll still count it a great thing to have done, as I assume you would as well. Think about it...we can both say at this point that...we are novelists.

Your book is hilarious. Hope the agents and publishers see that. Best of luck, man, and leave some of the good vibes out there for me to latch onto.

At 7/11/2005 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I think, clearly, in my case, my novel would not have been finished. I'm not one of those who can just write something, spend months on it, and then (and only then) show it to someone. I need encouragement even though I may find my own writings amusing.

And this shopping-around thing is not fun, and as I mentioned to you previously, it probably won't be long before I start on the sequel or start pulling out another one from the archives to finish. I've got a couple of other genres in the arsenal, if need be.

So yes, clink! and we must find the road to good fortune. I'm planning a LORD OF THE RINGS-style quest to achieve that.

At 7/12/2005 12:05:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Wow... I wasn't expecting that! Good luck!

At 7/12/2005 07:50:00 AM, Blogger MaraJade said...

::clink:: (And I don't even do that normally)
That is so awesome! Sending some good thoughts your way.

Publishing, agents. . .scary stuff. I finished my novel over a year ago and though four friends have read it and loved it I usually just tell myself, "They're friends. They have to love it."

How great that the two of you could encourage one another. None of my remaining friends (after the whole religion thing) are writers. That's neat for you guys.

So I really wish you the best of luck, from one "writer" to a (hopefully soon to be) real one. :)

At 7/12/2005 08:10:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

So...tell me about your experiences with trying to get your book published. Were there any comments from prospective agents/publishers? Do you still hope to get it published?

At 7/12/2005 08:29:00 AM, Blogger Kevin Rector said...


You need to send me your book. KW has been raving about it over lunch every week for the last 8 months and I'm to the point now where I just have to read it.

If you don't e-mail it to me, I might just punch you in the nose the next time I see you (which might be like a year from now since we never see each other really).

KW has my e-mail address.

At 7/12/2005 10:50:00 AM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Hmmm. Interesting that my good friend Kevin "just has to read" the book Chris wrote...and is showing nowhere near the enthusiasm for reading my own. I guess he likes Chris better than me.

Oh well, at least he definitely will enjoy the Chris book.

At 7/12/2005 02:58:00 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...


Good luck to you. I'll buy it as soon as it comes out. Of course, I'll expect to get it autographed at some point.

At 7/12/2005 03:11:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Man, there are enough "Clink"s in this comment section to fill an entire Hogan's Heroes convention.

Thank you, thank you...I'm here all week.

At 7/12/2005 06:08:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah, KW's book is probably the best time travel book I've ever read--now, before anyone says, "It's probably the only one you've ever read," realize that I have read Dean R. Koontz's "Lightning," and I liked that book quite a bit.

All I hope is that we can both get book deals. I think our books are certainly--now this isn't a winning endorsement but I think you get the spirit of this comment--just as good or better than anything that is on the market.

At 7/12/2005 06:44:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

See here's the thing: there are a lot of successful authors out there whose books are not all that good.

Kevin was telling me today about the Left Behind books (the mega-popular religious series about the end times) and I've never read them, but...apparently...the writing is just atrocious.

I know I've read a lot of harsh critiques of John Grisham's work, though I've personally enjoyed some of his books.

There's obviously a need for some skill, either in story or in actual writing ability, and then subjectivity takes over.

I happen to think both Chris and I have great stories and writing. So what we're left with is the subjectivity of the literary community. Will there be an agent or editor or publisher that thinks our books have what it takes to sell? Who knows. Personal taste is going to have to factor into it. Which, I'm guessing, is why Chris is hoping for a good deal of godspeed. As am I.

Interesting that you bring up Lightning. My mother, who is one of three people to read my whole novel, said she'd read it and that it was about time travel (also that she'd liked it). I may have to check it out. Never read a Koontz book.

By the way, for what it's worth, Chris's book is by far the best amnesia/pirate/alien/mutant story I've ever read.

And before you go saying it's the only amnesia/pirate/alien/mutant story I've ever read....well...wait, i guess you'd be right. But it's still freakin' hilarious.

At 7/12/2005 06:49:00 PM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...

Oh yeah, one more thing...on this Lord of the Rings-style quest...can I be the dwarf? He makes me laugh.


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