Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An award and an epiphany

A new blog friend of mine, T.C. McKee , gave me an award a couple of days ago. Thank you!

First off, please check out her blog. It's awesome. I'm glad I've found it. And I'm glad I have a new Internet writer friend. One can never have too many, right?

According to T.C., here are the rules for this particular award.

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers( I'm going to pass it on to fewer because, well, I'm lazy).
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

So, here's the questions:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now? I like having my name out there. It's the main reason I started the blog -- to start building a public platform for my fledgling writing career. Ditto for my Facebook and Twitter usage.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side: I'm still writing, after all the rejections and slights, etc.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
A man who is getting a bit tired and worn out, but one who cannot stand the thought of giving up. Oh, and a slight thinning of hair in the front. I really hate that last one.

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink? Lipton's Diet Green Iced Tea. Love it. Could drink it 24-7. Iced coffee would be a close second.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do? Um. I suppose I should keep this one clean. So. I love to read, exercise, listen to music and spend time with my family and friends.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it? Of course. I want to be a published author. I want to make a living from my fiction writing. I want to see my name on a book.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching? Class clown, definitely. Still am.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see? The births of all three of my sons. Incredibly awesome moments that likely will never be repeated. Also, marrying my lovely wife. Best move I ever made.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events? Ha ha. If you read this blog with any regularity, you already know the answer to this one. My life is pretty much an open book, both here on this blog and in real life. We are only as sick as the secrets we have.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read. I hate talking on the phone. I always have. I'm not sure why, since I really like talking to people and interacting. But there's something about a phone ....

Okay, so here are 3 bloggers who totally deserve this award:

Anne Gallagher



And now for my epiphany, if that's what one can call it.

I met with the woman I may or may not hire to edit The Devil You Don't Know on Sunday. She is fairly young and seems to know her stuff very, very well. She scanned my manuscript and told me she doesn't think I need a full blown developmental edit. (She actually told me my writing was very good. Yay!)

But she did say something that worries me, although it's something I've long suspected. She said that the fact my book is about God, good and evil might make it next to impossible to sell. Apparently, people are able to read novels about werewolves and vampires and fairies and stuff, but refuse to read anything that postulates that God might be real, too.

I mean, come one folks. It's fiction. A story.

So. One of her suggestions is that I rewrite the book as more of a "dark comedy," along the lines of Dogma. Apparently, if I make fun of religion, the book is more likely to be published.

The problem is two-fold: The book is probably too mainstream to be Christian and possibly too Christian to be mainstream.


I set out to write a book about what might happen if the Christian Bible turns out to be true, and how that would play out in the secular, profane world we live in today. It's kind of like how Stephen King took Dracula and dropped him into Maine for Salem's Lot.

It's a what-if book. Nothing more, nothing less. It reads more like a modern-day horror story than anything religious. I mean, think about it. If all that stuff is true, we're in for some scary times.

So, I'm not sure how to proceed. She did say that if I don't want to rework it to be more "irreverent," then I should at least figure out a way to sell it so as to not turn off the mostly atheist publishing world.

So, I could be back to square one. In fact, the new book, which has no religion in it but lots of sex and violence, is looking better by the minute.


  1. Now I know what to post on Friday! ;o) Thanks.

    As far as your epiphany, I can see what she means about it potentially being a hard sell. You do have a great writing style, but I can see where people might shy away from a story if they hear it's about God. Not because people are afraid to think he's real, but they might be worried it's another "bible thumper" shoving "the word" at us and calling it fiction.

    Obviously, that isn't at all what you're doing with the story. So I think it's just a matter of finding the best way to market it as it is so as not to let people get the wrong impression before reading.

    Member when we could just. . .WRITE?!?

  2. The presence of religion, and not humorously presented didn't hurt the DaVinci Code (yes, I know, that's a cardinal rule - Thou Shalt Not compare books to ... but who cares? It's still trued.)

    It didn't hurt The Shack.

    It didn't hurt The Golden Compass (Though, that's the antithesis of what you're doing.)

    It didn't hurt The Stand.

    It sure didn't hurt Left Behind.

    Good grief, even the Omen had religious themes to it.

    Do some reading about Ben-hur. It started out as someone who wanted to disprove the Bible, but ended up deciding there was stronger case for it than against it. Yes, it's a really old story, but the point is - there are exceptions to every market - and while you shouldn't bank on being that exception, you shouldn't assume you aren't it, either.

    You may have to start in a smaller market, but there's no reason that the subject matter will deter readers on the basis of subject alone, and any pro editor should have known better than to make such a statement. If anything, it sounds like she's projecting her own assumptions and beliefs and mistaking them for the mainstream.

    Remember, when considering the world, spend more time looking out windows than gazing in mirrors or you may begin to confuse the two.

    (and thank you for the pretty rainbow award)


  3. Congrats on your award, loved your answers. And, Im glad your stubbornness makes you refuse to give up.

    "Apparently, if I make fun of religion, the book is more likely to be published." Sadly, that IS true.

  4. Hey, thanks for the lovely comments. I'm glad you found me too. As far as your story goes that's just pretty awful. Is this really where we are? Are they just trying to make God a four letter word or what? This just gets in my crawl. Josin had some great examples. I don't know every aspect of your story but would it sell in the Christian market? I'm surprised at how diverse the market has become. I'd research agents who work with this. Land the right one and they will know what to do for sure. Take a look at Rachelle Gardner's blog http://awriterofwrongs.blogspot.com she reps mainstream and Christian markets. She's tough but brilliant. She has a list of what she's looking for on her blog. Just an idea:)