Christa: A tough decision
A few weeks ago I submitted my first novel, HURT, to a startup small publisher for consideration. This came after 90+ agent rejections, some of which provided the feedback that the agents didn’t feel they could sell the novel. I figured it was just the business, and maybe my chances were better with a small press.
Then I read this post by well-known crime fiction critic David J. Montgomery, and I realized I was that desperate writer he was talking about. I realized my novel wasn’t particularly original–well-written, yes, but not about anything or presented in any way new–and that, as he writes, I could actually harm my career (not to mention the small press’s reputation) by trying to get it published.
So I decided to shelve it and start over.
Remarkably, this doesn’t bother me that much. I think I’d grown tired of the novel, and I came to understand that I don’t want to spend a lot of time marketing something that I know is “just decent” but not great. I’d rather focus on my current WIPs, which I do think are more original, and better written too.
With that, though, I find myself once again back at square one: which project to pursue? HURT is a crime fiction novel, and I’d like to be known as a dark crime fiction author who occasionally forays into horror. So do I work on the next crime fiction project… or continue the horror novella? (I don’t have any particular momentum on the novella, so all projects are more or less equal in terms of desire.) What would you do?