Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Tilting House or, in German, Das Haus, in dem es schräge Böden, sprechende Tiere und Wachstumspulver gibt

My first book, The Tilting House, has now been published in Germany. Actually, it appears it came out a while ago. This spring some time. But I just received my hard copies yesterday. The German version has a new title:

Das Haus, in dem es schräge Böden, sprechende Tiere und Wachstumspulver gibt

 I believe this means, "The house where the slanting floors, talking animals and growth powders are."

Weird. But whatever. The cover, by Maximilian Meinzold, is lovely. The translation is by Petra Sparrer. Sorry, Petra, but I have no idea if the translation is any good, as I can't read much German.

Because I have a pathetically fragile ego, I've been Googling the German title and finding a variety of reviews, blog posts, and random mentions, which I have to run through Google Translate to make sense of. Most of the reviews are quite good. A few aren't.

Fair enough.

The one mention that really struck me was about a kid at a school talent show reading a story from the book and making the crowd laugh.

That freaked me out. Some kid in Germany is reading my translated words.

Here's a word you can translate: Dankbarkeit.

German for gratitude.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Contract negotiations are underway

We are now in the Jerry Maguire stage of my teen murder mystery. I'll share the publisher once ink is on the paper. Publisher X emailed the contract, but the esteemed Abigail Samoun thinks we should push back on a few issues.

That said, most of it looks pretty good to me. I would like to have approval on the cover. And I'd like to get international rights, because that worked out quite well for me on The Tilting House. But mostly, I'm excited and grateful. I know how hard and how rare it is to get to this stage, mostly because I know how hard it's been for me.

Gratitude. That's the word for the day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seriously good news from a mystery publisher

Ok. So I've still come the realization that nothing is certain until it is past tense. But I've also learned to have gratitude for every bit of encouragement. 

So I am very grateful for an email that reads: "I’ve finished reading Life and Seth and you will not be surprised to hear that we would like to acquire the title."

Hopefully this story ends with a new classic hardboiled paperback. And hopefully it's cover is as cool as this:

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A figurative tornado of encouraging news.

Eat your heart out, Dorothy Gale. I got my own tornado. And mine doesn't kill ladies in red shoes.

I've had a whirlwind of activity lately around a kooky variety of books.

Run, Dorothy! And your little dog, too!
First of all, a Dutch publisher called Van Holkema & Warendorf contacted me directly to discuss publishing my first novel, The Tilting House, in The Netherlands. So as it slides into out-of-print status here in the U.S., it moves into print status in both Germany and The Netherlands. Go figure. My friend Lance said that maybe it's because they have more tilting houses over there.

Then, as I dip my toe into the water of picture books, I've already had some good response. One of the big New York publishers (who, of course, is owned by an even bigger foreign publisher), is interested in my irreverent alphabet book, The Unless Alphabet. No contracts yet, but I've made some edits at their request and am now sitting around checking my email.

Another publisher passed on that one, but asked me to take a crack at a related assignment.

And two other picture book manuscripts I passed on to Abigail are now having samples made by two very talented illustrators.

(I'll share names soon, assuming any of this becomes more, ahem, substantial).

Then, just a couple of days ago, a mystery publisher contacted my agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun, regarding my young adult murder mystery. In fact, they asked me to quickly stop all self-publishing activities surrounding that book, so that they could consider it. So...I've yanked it from Kindle and CreateSpace and even from the home page of this Blog.

So then, temporarily say goodbye to my beloved Seth and his various murders. Say hello to Amsterdam. And say maybe to a handful of potential picture books.