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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Missing the Target

You may have noticed, yesterday's post stirred some reaction in at least one reader. I was aiming for amused epiphany. Apparently I hit whiny butt.

I've said before, I wrote Star of Justice without a specific audience in mind. It honestly never occurred to me it might not be interesting to actual Christian fantasy nerds. This is where that research I mentioned in my rejection post comes into play.

I submitted to Marcher Lord because of what I saw after one month of reading about Jeff the Publisher. I believe Jeff would have no problem with my writing skill level or story content. Often, the editor is the first hurdle to pass. I submitted with a clear understanding that I was worthy of publication by his company (we're not worthy! we're not worthy!)

I did not get onto the boards and learn about the readers until the contest. One month into it, I am realizing these people are looking for something startlingly new and ground-breaking (the ones who are talking on the boards, anyway). Apparently, that's what speculative Christian fiction is about.

That's not Star of Justice. Those who've heard me talk about it for any length of time, and you know who you are, know that I have no fantastic new ideas there. Certainly not Harry Potter new. I have old ideas rearranged with interesting characters and unexpected twists.

So, even though Jeff the Publisher might have no problem with my book, he has to consider what will sell to his audience. If none of his fans will buy it, it makes no sense to publish it, no matter how well I write.

I am not automatically rejected if I lose. I will not throw Star of Justice back into the proverbial drawer. I will see the book published, one way or another. If not by Marcher Lord Press, then somewhere else. Maybe my own company, Ranunculus Turtle Publishing.

But the first tale of Caissa Ocren is not my only book. Elementals is finished. Past Ties is begun, as is The First Man, Dangling Participles, Justice for All, and The Royal Pain. Provided the world doesn't end tomorrow, I have plenty to keep me busy. For now, I will continue with the contest and with seeking a venue for Elementals, and researching Past Ties. That is more than enough to keep one turtle busy.

Which reminds me, the premise contest vote this time is minimum 3 - maximum 12. I have 13 on my list, and I don't know what to cut.

I know which one I won't! :)


  1. I like what you said about old ideas with new twists -- that's also true for me. I have to confess, I haven't been paying attention to the premise contest because the amount of reading already seemed so much ... but I'll go have a look, now. Good luck and God bless!

  2. Dear Ranunculous,

    I'm glad you aren't daunted by not making it to the second phase. My goodness, there were 40 some manuscripts in that bundle! I have a strong feeling you've analyzed the situation right in this post. You've not hit quite the right market for your fantasy. I'm sure there's a market there. Your premise and blurb were well written and clearly present the story idea, like you said. Good for you for not giving up. Just from reading some of your posts I can tell you're a lot like Star's main character. Would she give up? No way. Go for it. (I did a typo here the first time and said "God for it." That might have been a meaningful mistake.


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