Last year I entered the manuscript of my comedic novel, Plundered Booty and it had advanced past the first two rounds as well. Round three is judged by reviewers from Publishers Weekly and save for one line of the reviewer had good things to say about my writing and the novel. However it was clear that the reviewer had not been blessed with a great sense of humor and therefore didn't fully enjoy the comedic flair of that novel.
This year I entered a women's fiction manuscript titled Waiting On The River. At it's heart River is a relationship story. A tale about the various relationships between men and women. As lovers, spouses, brothers, sisters, daughters and fathers. The core relationship is between Blue Riggins, a grieving man whose wife died in childbirth and Lindsay Parker a young woman who ran away from home at seventeen after her father forced her to have an abortion. Tormented by the fact he has neglected his child, Blue is running from the fact that a large part of him wished his wife would have had the abortion suggested by her doctors.
Two character two very different set of regrets.
I thought this type of emotional story would have a broader more commercial appeal. I truly thought I'd stand a good chance to make the Top 50 this year.
And then I got cut.
But I reasoned that with 500 entries there had to be more than 50 really good books entered. Surely book 51 was publishable. Maybe even book 75 or 80. Of course Amazon doesn't rank them so an author has no idea if their entry would have been 51 or or number 250.
However, you do get to read your Publishers Weekly review so I figured that would give me some idea how close I was.
Well, a week after the cut my review finally came in. and in the terms of closeness to that Top 50 I am somewhere on the other side of the Milky Way.
Therefore I must revert to angry pirate talk from this point on.
Her she be. The Full skivvy from them scabrous bastards who dare challenge me authority to dip a pen in ink and set sail upon the literary world. BE WARNED -- SHE AIN'T PRETTY.
ABNA Publisher Weekly ReviewerA love story that is long on melodrama and short on dramatic tension, this novel traces rodeo star turned champion poker player Blue Riggins and his unlikely companion, Lindsay Parker, on a road trip from Idaho to Oklahoma. The strangers are thrown together when Blue nearly runs down Lindsay while she’s out for a pre-dawn run. It turns out that they have an acquaintance in common, and that connection is enough for them to decide to become traveling companions. Both of them are damaged and running from their past, and neither is willing to reveal the cause of their pain. The author spends much time detailing their inner torment and hinting at an inexplicable bond. The exact cause of their distress is annoyingly withheld from the reader for too long, and when the details are finally revealed, the circumstances do not seem to merit the characters’ brooding. By the time they reach Colorado, Blue and Lindsay have divulged their secrets and hopped into the sack. Meanwhile, the landscape and minor characters pass by without comment as Blue and Lindsay learn, at tedious length, to let go of the past.
Aye, the review ran blood red like the streets of Portabello upon Captain Morgan's invasion, but we pirates are not one to take a scabbard without a fight. I shall live to prove thy 'stablishement has erred. I shall push off from port and find new treasures to plunder. I shall, dip my pen in ink and ply the waters with me next manuscript. A true tale of rotten and wantful lust called The Feedstore Chronicles. Tis chocked full of shady characters, including meself fer it is a coming-of-age memoir with heavy emphasis on that first word if ye get what I'm point me musket at. The critics might sink that ship as well, but you can bet your booty it won't be before I make 'em blush.