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Friday, September 28, 2018

Seven Noble Knights in Search of a Home, Again

Seven Noble Knights will always belong in Salas de los Infantes... 
The steps between completing an excellent novel and becoming a published author can be painful and confusing, and frankly, most authors would rather skip them and get to "the good parts." The ones I'm thinking of include researching and querying agents and publishers, receiving multitudes of unhelpful rejections or brushoffs, wading through contracts, and waiting, waiting, waiting.

In the case of my Seven Noble Knights, I experienced all of the above plus an evisceration that ended up vastly helpful to the complete rewrite of the beginning of the novel.

When Seven Noble Knights was accepted for publication, it felt like my writerly dream come true--with all of the trepidation something like that can cause. (I read somewhere that writing long fiction is the most cognitively complex task known to brain researchers. Input from all directions! Is it any wonder that every moment of a writer's life is fraught with mixed feelings? This is not a profession for wimps.)

It turned out to be a long journey from acceptance to publication. I'm thinking about this now because this week, my contract with Bagwyn Books has been terminated and I've received the publishing rights back. Which is to say, Seven Noble Knights is again an unpublished manuscript.

The contract came to an amicable end based on mutually recognized issues at Bagwyn that have nothing to do with my novel. I'm pleased to have the rights back under auspicious circumstances. All the options are open, which is ideal and also scary.

It also feels like starting over, but it's really not. Seven Noble Knights has already debuted to critical praise from the Historical Novel Review and thrilled at least two book clubs. I fulfilled my dream of giving a reading and doing a signing at the Harvard Book Store. Seven Noble Knights has rubbed elbows with the Book Doctors, countless luminaries at the Historical Novel Society Conference and the Tin House Summer Workshop, and was the focal point of a lightning-fast radio interview.

My options include researching and approaching more agents and/or publishers, or redoing the launch and publishing myself, or letting it rest for a while until the time is right. I'll definitely consult with a few of my writer friends who have gone through something similar (rights reversion is not uncommon in the volatile publishing industry) before I make a final decision.

So there you have it. Seven Noble Knights will soon be unavailable for purchase. It's an end that promises an even brighter beginning.

Hold onto your bloody cucumbers! Great things are on their way!