So, if you haven’t followed the saga that is the co-authored novel, Netherworld, you can catch up here.
For your memory, as well as my own, I’ll tell you that a fellow author friend, Amy Miles, and I decided a few years ago now (wow, time flies) to write a book together. She is a wildly read fantasy author and I am (a lesser read) author human emotions. We thought it might be fun to mix the worlds together. She would handle the fantasy parts and I the human. The premise was simple:A human teen would run into and see a banshee (a creature from the Netherworld who ferries the dead to their final destination). He would see her when he shouldn’t be able to and they would form a connection and all hell would break loose. So that’s what we set out to write. For a year we worked on this book, she from her state, me from mine. It was done entirely online until Amy surprised me with a trip to the Bahamas where we finished the novel (yes, we worked while on a cruise. I highly recommend it). We also plotted out the next two books on that cruise. Fast forward to August of last year, 3 days before it’s intended release mind you, and a promo image for the book caught the eye of an agent at Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management. They wanted to try to sell Netherworld for us which meant we’d have to pull the plug on our release. With three days before release, Amy and I had a LOT of talking to do. We decided to take a risk and see if this could be done traditionally. Once we were settled in with the agency, they had a few suggestions to make to the manuscript, so the once finished book was back in re-writes. It meant I had to read the book again! And edit it. Again! You know how I adore editing. But we did it. We re-worked it. I flew out to Amy’s for a week and stayed with her family and we hacked the shit out of the manuscript and put it back together, stronger this time. There was a lot of excitement.
The agency sent it out to the Big Six (biggest publishing houses there are) and we all waited. And waited. And waited. Traditional publishing is s l o w. Finally, a reply.
Fantasy was no longer hot, and they didn’t anticipate it being hot again for a long time. However, they did like the human world I had created and wanted me to re-submit the book, without the banshees.
Um. huh? How do I re-submit a book I co-authored on banshees without the banshees?
Needless to say, the agent, Amy and myself all had a long chat. Our agent suggested we split the book. Amy would take all things banshee and tuck it away until fantasy was hot again, and I should take the human element and resubmit to those same publishers who really liked my writing style. Amy and I begrudgingly agreed.
Now, while I’m happy that the big 6 editors like my writing, I am a tad gutted that they didn’t want the baby we’d worked so hard to develop.
The ABC’s of Dee is set to release in mid-April and my agent wants me to focus on this re-re-rewrite as soon as it’s out. A lot to process.
This image makes me sadder than it probably should. I won’t say the time Amy and I worked on this is wasted, because I think she will make a kickass banshee novel with what she’s developed without my human world slowing her down. We learned a lot about our writing styles and about each other. Time I wouldn’t trade for the world. No writing is wasted writing. I’ve always believed that. I guess it’s time I put that mantra to the test and rework this book, yet again.
2 thoughts on “News on Netherworld.”
I hope that this decision is only temporary. I haven’t read, as yet, any of the collaboration, but I have no doubt that one day it will be a viable work, I am reminded of Robert A Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. The original manuscript is about 35,000 words. The publishers forced him to cut it to 15-18,000 words. He tried, but could only get it to 22,000 words and the publishers published it. This is what originally came out. After his death, His wife took the original manuscript and read it along with what was published and decided, rightly, that the original was far superior. I have read them both. He was right; she was right; and the publishers were wrong. Go with your gut on this. Don’t put it on the shelf. Just leave it on the back burner for now.