Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some things I've learned


The publishing process is a puzzle to me. But I'm learning.

Did you know that when a book is to be published, the publishing house first publishes a bound copy of the manuscript? That copy has a plain white cover with little more than the title on it. That copy still has some uncaught typos in it. It is not the final book.

They send those bound copies to reviewers so reviewers have the book ahead of time. That's how the book can be reviewed before it is even published.

Sometimes I think Ruth
Cavin (my editor) and her folks in New York are ten thousand miles away from me, symbolically, I mean. We live in different cultures. Their ways of doing things are Greek to me (and mine to them, I'm sure), but I am learning.

I thank God they are willing to work with novices like me. I have to believe some of my favorite mystery writers came from cultures just as different from Ruth's as mine is. I thank God for a book company that tries to encourage new writers (through the contests they help sponsor) while at the same time it fosters many of those I've been reading much of my life.

St. Martin's/Minotaur has shown interest in publishing the second Roy Rogers book, but even if they hadn't, I'd keep on writing. I love writing. I struggle with it. I still have a lot to learn. But I plan to go on learning.

I've just finished a new book with two different central characters, Rev. John Cosby and his girlfriend, a deputy sheriff named Marianne Gonzalez. Both characters are in their twenties. The book hinges around a religious group which teaches a "literal" interpretation of The Book of Revelation.

Also, I'm reworking the second Roy Rogers novel, THE BODY ON THE HOSPITAL LANDING. I am having fun with that.

So the adventure continues. And I keep on learning. --Joe.


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