Saturday, October 16, 2010

I actually get paid for this?

So, about six months ago, I started writing again, mainly for my own entertainment.  You see, I spend a few nights a week in a hotel room, because my job requires significant amounts of travel, and as a result, I have loads of time to myself.

I usually work until I have caught up on all of my correspondences, and then I have choices:  (a)  I could sit on the bed and rot my brain with the TV, which, save for "LOST" when it was still on, was something I had very little interest in, (b)  I could read, but I generally saved that for the plane trips, when I had a couple hours of uninterrupted reading time, or (c) I could do something else, like write.

Writing was something that I did quite a bit when I was in college studying Chemistry.  I know, those things don't seem terribly compatible, and it probably makes me strange, but I have long since given up the fight to be normal.

Anyway, I digress...

So, in early May of this year (2010), I wrote up a very short piece called "A Summer Wedding".  It was sweet.  In fact, I was more than a little surprised that I had written what could only be called a Romance.  But, in the end, that's what it turned out to be (no, not a "bodice ripper", but a sweet coming-of-age story of young love).  After I polished it up, I submitted it to a new digital publishing company called Untreed Reads, and within a couple of weeks, the impossible happened.

Jay Hartman, the editor-in-chief, emailed me and said that he absolutely LOVED the story, and would be thrilled to publish it.  Positive that this was a joke, I chuckled to myself dismissively and then re-read the email.  It seemed legit.

Sure enough, a few weeks later, I received a contract.

So, here I am six months later.  I was just informed that preliminary information indicates that "A Summer Wedding" sold 200 copies in the UK last quarter (July - Sept), which is about 200 more than I had imagined it would sell.  Certainly not making the NY Times Bestseller List, but at (kind of like, it has been on the e-Book short story bestseller list (usually in the top 5) for the last two months.  Furthermore, my new story "5" is out in the US and subsequently will be released in the UK in the next couple of weeks.

On top of that, "A Summer Wedding" has been translated into Spanish ("Una Boda de Verano") as a pilot for Untreed Reads...let's hope that goes well.  I have looked over the translation/retranslation manuscript, and I am extremely pleased with the outcome.

Finally, my longer short story, "The Annex" is slated for release in late November.  At around 8000 words, it is quite a bit longer than my other pieces ("A Summer Wedding" was less than 1000 words, and "5" was around 1500 words), so I am a little apprehensive about the final editing process, but so far, I have found working with Untreed Reads to be a pleasure.

So, we shall see...

I guess the obvious question now is this...why am I writing a blog?  Because I'm vain?  Probably.  Because it has been suggested that a blog is a pretty good idea for a published author starting out?  Sure.  Pure marketing?  Okay, guilty as charged.

Also, as I press on towards the ultimate goal (the publication of a full length novel), I thought I would document the process.  I don't know exactly who is going to read this, but if there are other aspiring "Accidental Authors" out there who would like to read the exploits of a new author trying to becoming something more than just a hobby-writer, here it is.

I promise to not deluge you with posts, but also, I promise that every post will be completely honest and unvarnished.  You can help me celebrate my victories as well as my crushing defeats.  Okay, well, that didn't come out right...I don't want ANYONE celebrating my defeats.  :-)

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