People regularly ask me if I'm going to try to get Laryn Rising traditionally published (aka, query an agent, have them sell it to a HUGE publishing house, and ideally rake in the dough with a rare-in-this-day-and-age $100,000 advance). That would be awesome. And if I secured such a deal (even if they didn't give me the life-changing advance) they'd design my book cover, edit my book, proofread my book, print my book, and distribute it to bookstores. Where it would sit on a shelf that millions of readers flocked to with like-minded books.
And therein lies the problem. My book has no genre, and in the publishing world no genre means 'no shelf'. End of story for the first time author (most of the time).
For those of you who have read Laryn Rising and are tempted to disagree with me, let me put it to you this way: it's dystopian, but only for the first three chapters; it primarily takes place on a space ship, but other than that there's nothing scifi about it. (Seriously, hardcore scifi junkie's would tar and feather me if I tried to sell it under that genre. They would be up in arms. They would cry out in reviews that there was no science, no technology, and no alien invaders, and my book would be mud.)
It's the nature of the beast, really, because the whole point of Laryn (and her sisters, and the 500 other Fed girls) going on the ship is to join with a civilization that has no technology. They just use the ship to get them from Earth to Nequam, and let the hired crew do all the sciency stuff. It's almost anti-scifi, if you think of it that way. They grow vegetables, learn how to use paper, tend animals, cook their own food, and about the only technical aspect of their lives are the sliding doors. The ship probably does use 'warp drive' and cool things like that, but my characters certainly aren't aware of it.
And it's not fantasy either. There's no magic. No other-worldly creatures. No fantastical elements at all, other than the idea of space travel and inter-galactic colonization which really fit much more neatly into the scifi category anyway. (Although, if inquiring minds want to know, once they get to Nequam it's a whole new deal - and genre. Nequam is a different world with it's own creatures and-- well, I'd hate to give too much away before Laryn actually gets there...)
Technically, Laryn Rising would be considered speculative fiction, ie, not fantasy, not sci-fi, but out-of-reality in some other vague sort of way. (Consequently, this is also where vampires and werewolves belonged until Twilight). But when was the last time you walked into a bookstore and said to yourself, "Hmmm, I think I'll go check out the Speculative Fiction shelf today,"?
That's what I thought. And that's what the traditional publishers thought as well, which means that more than likely even if they read my book and loved it (which of course they would), they would hand it back to me (with great sorrow in their eyes) and say, "Although this is the most astounding work of fiction any of us here at [insert name of giant publishing house] have ever seen, we regret to inform you that there is no shelf for you. You are unmarketable."
And this, Dear Reader, is why I have chosen to self-publish. Although there is always an exception to the rule, let's face it - the odds are stacked against me on this one, and I have decided that rather than spend the next decade of my life querying every publishing house in the world with the vague hope of becoming 'The Exception', I will accept my place as 'The Rule' and write something else next. Something that has a shelf.
A big shelf, that millions of people flock to, and that publishers like [insert name from above] love to fill.
With that said, since Book Two in this current series finishes Laryn's story, the project I've decided to work on next is juvenile fiction of the very, very, very fantastical sort. And I am so excited, because I have come up with the coolest story ever - and my kids each get a starring role. It's already titled The Gift of the Cornesh, and it involves large, silver eggs that hatch out mythical, magical creatures to the rare and very lucky person who finds them. For a glimpse of pieces of what this world looks like, go here and check out my pinterest board for this next adventure. I've only just gotten started on it, but I'm already in love with the world of Kylandria and all the amazing things that are possible there.
Any thoughts on this latest decision? I'd love some feedback...
About This Blog
This blog is about my books (of course), but it's also about writing in general and the editing process. I love the puzzle of a novel, and I'm happy to share anything I know about editing and revising. Any questions? Leave them in the comment box or send me an email, and I'll address them as quickly as I can.