Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dragonchaser: now to become a collector's edition!

Regular readers will know that I have been working on The Last Free City since April, and progress, although jerky, is definite.

In the interim I had submitted Dragonchaser to Macmillan as a potential follow-up to The Dog of the North. Yesterday I learned from my editor Will that Macmillan have decided not to publish it. Will had many good things to say about the book (all of which I agreed with) but his bottom line was that it is not as good as The Dog of the North (which I also agree with). My hopes for Macmillan now rest on the reception to The Last Free City, a novel much closer in tone and sensibility to The Dog of the North than Dragonchaser. So no need to give up hope just yet...

Writers almost by definition must possess a thick skin. While I am disappointed that Dragonchaser won't benefit from linking up with Macmillan, I'm not devastated. The book was written too long ago for the blow to feel too personal, and my emotional energies are now invested in The Last Free City.

Dragonchaser
is neither a better nor a worse book for having been rejected by Macmillan: it is what it is. It's still a book I believe in, and one I think had some commercial potential. Luckily--for those of you who like to check things out for yourself--it's still available as a self-published title with Lulu.com. Check it out here, where you can also buy it in an omnibus edition with my first novel The Zael Inheritance.

It's almost a cliche that the best remedy for a writer who has received a rejection is immediately to plunge into more writing. And since I have a betrothal feast nagging to be written up (hint: it's not going to be all love and kisses...) that is exactly what I shall do!

6 comments:

Alis said...

Onwards and upwards....

Tim Stretton said...

Given the alternative, I can only agree... ;-)

Len Tyler said...

I've just been reading Thomas Hardy's biography. Macmillan turned him down all the time ...

I really enjoyed Dog of the North and look forward to The Last Free City.

David Isaak said...

I'm proud owner of both Dragonchaser and Zael, which sit side-by-side on my to-read shelf.

I admit to wishing Macmillan had taken Dragonchaser for very base reasons. They would probably have made you withdraw it from Lulu, and then I would have a rare and potentially valuable edition. In fact, I would probably have bought a few more before they got around to making you shut down your Lulu sales, and I would be rich, Rich! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Alas, I shall have to cherish it on its own merits rather than as a collectible. (It is a rather handsome volume...)

Matt Curran said...

Tim

There's always the small press (though I'd say "small" does them a deservice, especially now). PS Publishing, for example, have relatively small print runs compared to a normal paperback, but are equal to MNW's hardback print runs. They also have good coverage and have a respect within genre circles (Joe Hill, for example was largely discovered in the UK through PS Publishing - that's before everyone knew he was Stephen King's son). And they're not the only ones to be doing well on the indie front.

Must agree on writing being rejection-therapy. To be honest, writing tends to be my therapy for everything these days: crap day at work, when the football team loses, when I get pissed off with "how the world works" etc etc etc. (David - I think that's why I write so much... Being pissed off can be a great motivator.)

Signed:
Mr Angry

Matt Curran said...

(Apologies for the seplling mistakes.

Not sure what's rong with me to day.)