Working, is it?

Well, I remember sending off many things for consideration and once it’s done, the obligatory “you may or may not hear in six to never weeks” means I often send and forget. I have learnt to forget and not dwell and when the email rejections come it always adds that surprise feeling that you forgot you sent the submission in the first place!

I know that sounds dismissive and believe me it is far from that…it is my coping mechanism to deal with the plethora of “thank you but…” and “no reply is coming” type emails having tried to pitch what we believe is worthwhile but the Agents and Publishers probably think we shouldn’t bother spouting about.

It is, after all, a very big game to play.

That said I did recently submit a short story I wrote last year to an anthology following seeing a post on a Facebook Authors Group. I never thought anything more of it until last week when I had an email.

I almost deleted it “regarding your submission….” my mind was filling in the gaps already, preparing me to deal with another rejection. That said, fully expecting the no thank you I was pleasantly surprised when the Publishing House said yes!

Did I read that right? A story, by me, in an anthology, published for proper? Filled with scepticism I decided to read and re-read the offer letter.

Which, I digress, but I recall about a year ago getting a contract sent through the post from what I now know to be a Vanity Publisher. Don’t get me wrong, getting that well laid out publishing contract pushed through your door seems almost too good to be true that your hand shakes with excitement. The big words and bumph of paper (they even had a personalised paperclip….come on who has that other than reputable people right!?!……WRONG!) I remember wanting to jump at the chance but decided to do my research. And that was when it all fell down. Pay us up front and we will “share the risk” a few thousand (pounds or dollars you choose) here or there and suddenly the offer isn;t as good as it felt at first. In fact, it was utter tripe and after a few conversations with other authors, it was a run a mile event that was both liberating and soul destroying at the same time.

So back to this anthology offer. I did my research and it wasn’t a Vanity Publisher (so we were nto a winner here). I did my reading up on the company, a new one, and thought this was a good path to go down. Who knows, it may open up something for the future considering my subject matter fits their submissions so I may send them a full novel.

I even had a conversation with one of the founders. It was just a normal conversation, nothing about the “business” but instead some praise for my story and a few answers to some questions I had. It was refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong I could end up with egg on my face but considering the fact I am not having to pay anything up front I cannot say the risk is anything other than handing over my story. The contract reads sound (but I am no legal brain….well not on this sort of law anyway).

I am going to take it as a good sign, a step perhaps in the right direction. Maybe it will open doors, maybe it won’t but you know what it is encouraging that someone enjoyed my story enough to have faith it was worth a part in the anthology they are putting together.

But with that glimmer of encouragement I have been on fire when it comes to creating and writing. Blackout, my mid/end 2018 novel is well underway and I am loving writing it. Into The Dark is ready to rock and roll with some final touches on the paperback version along with Blue Light Christmas 2 ready for finishing edits. Oh and of course the final in the Origins Of The Magdon Series for release in October.

Wow! Please, rest assured these are not rush projects. Origins Of The Magdon has been a two-year project split across five novelettes so have been written for some time just a staggered approach to release. As for Into The Dark, this will not come out until next year (and I am hoping to pitch it around some more to see if a mainstream Agent/Publisher wants to run with it). As for Blue Light Christmas 2 this is in the works along with the illustrator so I am hoping the collaboration will make an exciting new story to raise money for Care Of Police Survivors again this year.

So yes I am busy but for the right reasons and motivations.

Hopefully, I don’t let any of you down!


Attacking from every angle!

Wow, this life can be fun………and intense at the same time. I’m currently running four projects at the same time, all at varying levels of completion which is quite fun. Thankfully I am only “writing” one of them which is BLACKOUT.

By working on I need to explain why this seems to work. The final Origins Of The Magdon book is done and just in need of a final read through and format ready for an OCTOBER 2017 release. That is probably the easiest of the projects.

Then there is Blue Light Christmas 2: A Cry For Elf which is second draft ready and in need of editing, formatting and illustrating. At the moment I have left the project in the hands of my ultra talented illustrator. If he can connect with the story and draw something then the story is right, if he can’t then I would rather shelf the project than creating something that doesn’t work. So this project is on HOLD PENDING CONNECTION but if it works then I will look for a DECEMBER 2017 release.

Of course, then comes Into The Dark which is final draft done, formatted and in the process of submitting to different people/places to see if I stick Self-Published or drive for something different. I now have a physical paperback copy from CreateSpace which has helped me find a whole new plethora of formatting issues. While I know paperback isn;t the current thing and not many people go for a physical book I still pride myself on getting that part right.

So, these three projects are already created meaning to me the story requires tweaking and editing but I don’t have to create. This more a process of finishing touches than anything else. Which, by doing it this way, allows me to have Blackout in the works. This is my (current) new project which is in the formation stages. I have three and a half chapters as I write this blog post which isn’t a lot but means it is all “up here” *points to my own head* and the hard work is yet ahead of me getting it out and down onto the page.

In my other life, my real life, it’s been a very demanding week of shifts but I keep that and my writing life as separate as I can so as not to conflict!

So that is just a little update on where we stand with the future of Tobey Alexander……you never know one of them may actually get me seen and recognised. You never know!

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The latest “idea book” – Italian Leather bound journal, I use a new one per “big” project.