Thinking Outside of the Box
Frankie – thank you for having me as a guest on your blog and for allowing me the opportunity to share my experience. My journey to publication has been fairly short. I sold two novels in 2011, the first year I began actively submitting.
I wrote Mystic Ink as my NaNoWriMo novel in 2010. In 2011, I polished it up and began entering it into contests. I pitched it to editors at CT Fiction in May and received several requests for the full manuscript. One publisher read the book, liked it, but passed due to marketing concerns. I also had one of the big 6 interested as well. Then I waited, and waited, then waited some more.
In the meantime, I wrote another book – The Undead Space Initiative. I knew the book didn’t fit into any conventional publishing genre. It’s a book about a vampire stripper who has to escape to Mars! The dilemma – how do I pitch it? As paranormal romance? Sci-fi romance? Urban Fantasy? Bigger publishers want books in clearly defined genres. So I had to think outside of the box and target publishers who were open to cross genre books which led me to digital first publishers.
So, later that summer, I sent out Mystic Ink and my other completed novel: Ascension. I still needed to edit The Undead Space Initiative, so I held onto it. Right away, I got full manuscript requests for both books.
By fall 2011, Soul Mate Publishing offered to buy Mystic Ink. I suppose I could have waited close to a year for a response from the traditional publisher, but why? Publishing is a business and I wanted my book in readers’ hands. Keeping the book out there for a year or more meant that no one would be reading it! I’m a story teller and I have a lot more stories left to write.
My other rationale – If I was going to be expected to do all my own marketing and promotion anyway, I might as well try an e-publisher. Their publication turn-around times are much shorter and they generally don’t want the rights to your story forever.
In November, I sold The Undead Space Initiative to Pink Petal Books. I almost sold Ascension too, but it wasn’t meant to be. Not yet. I haven’t given up on the book. It’s back out for submission.
My focus right now is promoting Mystic Ink and working on my next book – Devil’s Advocate. And I’ll need to revise The Undead Space Initiative. 2012 is going to be busy!
I haven’t ruled out pitching to traditional publishers and I hope to have my latest WIP in shape by May for CT Fiction Fest 2012. Someday, I may consider Indie publishing too.
All paths are viable options for me!
Thanks for much for having me as a guest.
I’d love to hear from your visitors about their publication experiences. And from readers- does the publisher (traditional vs. electronic) or format (print versus e-reader) matter to you? Or is it all about the story?
Visit Casey on the web: www.caseywyatt.com or at http://secretsof7scribes.wordpress.com/. You can also find Casey on Facebook and Twitter (@CaseyWyatt1). Mystic Ink can be found at www.soulmatepublishing.com and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Mystic Ink Blurb:
The last thing Nix, a Sea Nymph, wants to see behind the dumpster near her tattoo shop is another dead mortal. She also doesn’t want to hear Hades piss and moan about how the souls of the dead aren’t making it to the Underworld. And Nix certainly doesn’t want to be attracted to supernatural police agent, Calder Quinne when he comes to investigate. All Nix really wants is to run her tattoo shop in peace and quiet. Hey, we don’t always get what we want, now do we?
Mystic Ink Excerpt:
Nix, thoughts still swirling in her mind, headed toward the side door. After she unlocked the deadbolt, her eyes automatically went to the dumpster. Nothing. Thank the Gods. Her sigh of relief was quickly sucked back in. A dark shape further down the alley caught her eye. Maybe it was a heap of clothes or a bag of garbage. Whatever it was, it was lying near the entrance of the Underworld Gate. The Gate was invisible to all eyes, except Guardians—like her, Hades, and Charon. Whoever or whatever was back there couldn’t have known how close they were to the Underworld.
“Hell. Now what?” Please, be trash that some rude asshole left in my alley.
Rather than kick it with her foot, she decided to be more prudent and find something long to use as a poker. While grabbing a shop broom inside, she registered how quiet the place was. Of course, Basil wasn’t there. He was still with Jason.
Back in the alley, Nix slowly approached, straining for a better look. The pile was inside the building’s shadow. The closer she got, the more the lump resembled a body. She cursed. “Oh, come on! Why does this keep happening?”
Broom at the ready, she gave it jab. The mass was solid and there was no crinkle of plastic. So much for the garbage bag theory. Man, she did not want to have to call the police. At the rate she was going, they would probably arrest her just on principle.
She lifted the broom, ready to strike. An arm sprouted from the pile and shot up, stopping the handle from falling.
Nix barked, “What the hell?”
The broom clattered to the ground.
A dark figure rose up. The set of the shoulders, the short black hair . . . it was awfully familiar. “Cal?”
“Nix,” he said, his voice strained and tired. His arm extended, propping his body against the brick wall.
“If this is your idea of a joke, it’s not funny.” When he didn’t respond, Nix came up behind him and placed her hand on his back. “Are you—”
The words choked off. There was something wrong. Really wrong. His energy, the essence of his life, was out of whack. Like he was missing . . .
She put her hand up to her mouth, swallowing dread as he turned to face her. “Cal, where’s your soul?”
Thanks, Casey, for sharing your journey with us! Be sure to check out Casey’s website where you can learn more about the inspiration for Mystic Ink.