ust got the green light the other day on my new effort, Tubitz and Mergentein. No, it wasn’t anything as fantastic as that literary agency call or the proverbial “rich and famous” contract. No, this was from the first reader to run eyes along it.
I’m out to 100 pages now, double-spaced, which is about a 50% reduction from the initial effort 30 years ago (and, frankly, I think it’s far superior). It’s been a couple of weeks of chapter-here, chapter-there work, just writing and remembering how much I enjoy writing. So now it’s done, the first book section. My wife’s busy with her own book, and usually she’s too nice to give me what I really need to hear.
My boss’s admin, however, would be a perfect test subject. A pleasant Okie grandmom, she does a lot of reading. We’ve even foisted books on each other, The Martian from me, The Egyptologist from her. So I’m thinking, if I can get her to see any value in a steampunk fantasy (she didn’t really know what steampunk was), I’d have a chance for a market. She’s the perfect test.
So I asked and she said yes. And I gave her a copy.
And the next day, she told me (with a nice rosy smile) that she enjoyed it. It was a little off what she normally read, of course, but once she settled in, she was good with it. She even told me about her twenty-page meridian (my phrase, not hers) where she hits a point and then accesses if she’ll continue. For T&M, she was very interested in what was going to happen next.
So that’s great – I’m too close to my own project to predict if its voice is unique or just strange. And maybe it will never find an agency and publisher, but maybe it will. I feel we’ve won that critical first step.
The effort continues…