“To cut a long story short, I lost my mind.”

(Re: the post title: That’s the only Spandau Ballet song I really love, but it’s a damn good one, and it kind of sums up my attitude these days. Be forewarned, I am in a Mood right now.)

Results won’t be formally announced until next Tuesday, but the finalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award should have received congratulatory phone calls from Amazon on Monday. I did not receive a call.

There are conclusions to be drawn here.



Eh. The publishing contract with Penguin would have been awfully nice, but odds were long -- they only pick three finalists out of a pool of fifty highly-qualified semi-finalists -- so it’s hard to take the rejection too personally. I mean, I did take it personally, much too personally, being human and all, but the cold-blooded lizardlike part of my brain recognizes that it’s a fool’s game to obsess about this. Bias Cut is a kick-ass book, I say modestly, and I received a totally kick-ass Publishers Weekly review out of the competition for it, chock full of great pull quotes: “Snappy dialogue and accomplished descriptions,” “fresh and dark,” and hey, let’s not forget that final “Well done” (thank you very much, unknown PW reviewer. You did me a solid). Someone’s going to publish it. 

Some of you have probably noticed I’ve been a little… off lately. And by “lately,” I mean “the past year and a half.” Some of you have probably put it together that the steep decrease in number and corresponding scattershot nature of my posts are most likely linked to my dad’s illness and recent death, which came far too close on the heels of my mom’s death. Yeah, there’s a connection. Whatever’s going on in my life, I try to maintain a neutral hail-fellow-well-met demeanor in my posts and not let too much self-pity and despair seep in around the edges, but, my friends, it has been hard to do that lately.

So what’s next for Preppies? Miami Vice recaps, once I get my act together enough to, like, write them. Max Headroom recaps, too. More music videos. If any of the fall shows look good, I might try them, but no promises; I chose poorly last season (neither Ringer nor Awake turned out to be my cup of tea, and anyway, both have been canceled), and my few, feeble recaps ended up being a waste of energy.

Also, I’m long past due for a good site overhaul. That obnoxious business with how my expanding posts open in a new browser window? Yeah, I’d really like to fix that. Maybe I'll get a whole new template. We’ll see.

In the meantime, the one-man party that is Andy Taylor has republished more of my Duran Duran reviews at his site. Here’s “New Moon on Monday” and “Union of the Snake.”



Andy, you're a good egg. Let's get drunk and talk some gleeful trash about my beloved Nick Rhodes together sometime.

Comments

Jason Gilman said…
I think that rather than waiting for your dream publishing deal you should begin selling your completed novels (Charlotte Dent, Bias Cut, any other unreleased gems you've been hoarding) digitally in the Kindle, iBooks, and Nook stores as soon as possible.
Morgan Richter said…
Jason, I'm actually in the process of overhauling two of my other books with the intention of self-publishing them under a nom de plume as e-books. They're both in the urban-fantasy genre, which tends to sell fairly well electronically; I'm holding off on e-publishing Charlotte and Bias Cut for the moment, because the demand for self-published literary fiction/general fiction is weak (compared to genre fiction -- YA, mystery, fantasy, romance, etcetera, all of which have more specific built-in audiences), and I doubt my ability to market them effectively.

In the case of Bias Cut... it's really strong. It seems to be polarizing, which is interesting, but the readers who respond to it tend to love it. It's impeccably structured, it's got clear themes and emotional heft and strong character development, it hits in all the right places. Even in the current depressed state of the industry, I think there's a place for it in traditional publishing. We'll have to see how my efforts go later this summer (due to ABNA, Penguin has right of first refusal on it through the end of June).
Jason Gilman said…
Your reasoning on holding off on the two I mentioned makes sense to me. Glad to hear you've got some things in the works specifically with e-publishing in mind though.
doppiav said…
Dear Morgan,
I know what you have been trough; my aunt is on the point of passing away, due to liver cancer.
I understand that the ABNA results caught you in a bad moment, but the harsh truth is: if you want to publish Bias Cut you must act now. The great recessions you got and the fact that you got on the semi-finals are great weapons in your publisher-hunting; but you must act when the track is still fresh.
I was not kidding when I said that I would see a whole series about Nicola and Laurie; also I think Wrong City as a good shot as urban fantasy is one of the few sectors still looking for new hot authors.
I know it`s difficult to be active when you feel down and you have been trough a lot, but for personal experience I also know that if you don`t keep busy you`ll let time pass by.
doppiav said…
Ah, it`s Veronica BTW.
I forgot to sign!
Morgan Richter said…
Veronica, I'm sorry about your aunt.

As I told Jason, I really can't do much with Bias Cut until later in the summer, as under ABNA rules Penguin retains some rights until June 30th; it can't be shopped around to other publishers until after then. The reasons for this are good: Penguin (and its various imprints) has in the past published several novels that were entered in ABNA but did not win. (This is rare, and I do not expect it to happen in my case.) So Bias Cut is stalled for the moment, which is why I'm devoting my attention to earlier books.
doppiav said…
Sorry I didn`t read your comment to Jason.
Anyway June 30th is not that far; you could still use the ABNA glamour for your submissions.
I wish you any luck with Bias Cut; it really deserves to be published.

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