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.