I'm not going to search back through the blog archives to find links, but I know that I've mentioned my unpublished mainstream novel. Several times. And I'm pretty sure that each time I mentioned it, I also declared that I thought it was my best work, but for whatever reason, it just never found a home.
After that first series of rejections I didn't actively search out publishers for the book, but I never gave up on it. Here and there over the last decade, a small publisher would ask to read the manuscript. I'd get my hopes up, only to receive another rejection.
So when a very nice eBook publisher expressed an interest in The Nut Hut, I didn't celebrate with champagne (or my latest Wine Crush: Moscato). I didn't rush off to tell family or friends. I didn't announce it here (or on Facebook). I just waited, expecting disappointment once again.
Imagine my surprise when my agent let me know that the very nice eBook publisher had offered a contract on the book!
Imagine my greater surprise when my agent mentioned that though the eBook publisher was very nice and quite reputable, if we published the book ourselves the same way we've been doing with the Tory Bauer Mysteries, we stood to make more money, with the added bonus of still controlling all of the rights should a mainstream publisher want to produce a dead tree version.
I thought about that for awhile, and then I did something that I've never done before... something I never expected to do: I thanked the nice eBook publisher for his contract offer, and then I turned it down.
I'll pause while you absorb that: I turned down a legit contract offer on a book that I had waited long and long to be published, a work that I consider to be my best writing. Instead, we're going to release the book ourselves.
I'm working with the exceptionally talented Kelly Brewer who is editing the book (she has already discovered that I have a Very Special Relationship with the comma), and though he's really really busy with paid gigs these days, I hope that Curtis Taylor can work his cover magic once again for me. We don't have a set release date, but I am hoping to have it all ready before the end of the year (after the final Tory Bauer Mystery, Foreign Body, is released). It'll be available across all eBook platforms, and it'll be text-to-speech and lending enabled. And if there is anywhere near enough interest, a print version is a real possibility.
Oh- and the story: The Nut Hut centers on an 18 year old girl's first week of work in a state-run institution. It's set in 1971, in a universe that most certainly existed. I worked in just such an institution at the same age, during the same time, but though the practices and procedures are true to life as it was back then, the story is not autobiographical.
I'm really, and I do mean REALLY, excited that this book will finally be published. And there is no doubt that I'll keep everyone posted on the progress!
Okay, now I'll open the Moscato. Cheers!