I don’t typically front-load these blog posts with the most important news. I want you to stick around to the end, after all. But tonight, I think it makes sense to break with tradition. So here we go….
I have signed a contract with Snow Leopard Publishing to put my book, A Year Since the Rain, out in Spring 2016.
Shhhhhhhh….just bask with me in the air of that news for a few moments more.
Now there is a ton of stuff to talk about, and all of that will come in time. You can look forward to a detailed account of the publication process in the future. I want this to be a learning experience for me and you (whoever you are).
What I want to get to now, though, is what I’ve been thinking all of this time I haven’t been able to share this news with you. Mostly, I’ve been thinking of this saying that I inherited from my father. It has been echoing in my brain for the past year–which is about how long I’ve been pitching this book. In fact, the first query I sent out was on November 30 of last year. (I’ll get in to all of that later on, for sure.)
Some of my fondest memories of childhood include the time that I spent with my father playing sports outside around our little house in Georgia. We lived in one of those neighborhoods that had been carved out of a thick patch of forest–trees still thrusting high into the air around the houses. We had neighbors, though, which meant that baseball was played with tennis balls. This, my father’s executive decision, insured I never had the childhood memory of knocking someone’s window out with an errant swing. Of course, that assumes that I had the ability to put a baseball on a line long enough to get to one of those houses. I didn’t.
I was not one of those kids with raw physical talent. I could swing a bat hard because I was a big kid and could put a good bit of weight behind it, but I lacked the basic motor skills necessary to actually be good at sports. I do not lack the basic motor skills necessary to be good at video games…or eating.
On the basketball court–which was our sloped, cement driveway–I was clumsy. My feet were heavy and my movement was slow. I loved taking shots from deep, though. I would hang out in the perimeter–the back corner of the driveway near our red Windstar minivan–and toss up three-point shots. We definitely never measured this, and I definitely don’t know if it was a regulation three-pointer. Without fail, though, when I got the ball, I would head to one of the corners and pop up a long ball.
Every now and then, I even got lucky. Once or twice every game, one of those wildly thrown balls would find its way off the backboard and through the net. Almost every time this happened, my father would throw some country boy wisdom/ smack talk in my general direction.
“Even a blind hog will find an acorn if he roots long enough.”
Three years ago, when I started writing this book–mostly by accident–I had no idea how to navigate this process. So much has to happen before a writer is even ready to have an agent look at a manuscript, or a publisher, in my case. I was very much a blind hog looking for an acorn. I had a story, a dream, and a working knowledge of the English language. Three years ago, I had never heard of a query letter. I had never heard of a literary agent, and I had no idea there were indie publishers, much less what the differences were between them and traditional publishers.
And when I hit “send” on that first query one year ago, I thought “well, let’s see if this blind hog can find his acorn.”
The other part of that saying is the really important part–if he roots long enough. I didn’t realize it when I was a kid, but as an adult I recognize that the rooting is the learning process. The hog roots over here for a while, and if he doesn’t find an acorn, he knows to move elsewhere and not to go back to that first spot. I did a lot of rooting and learning in the past three years, and if you’ve been following along, I hope you’ve learned some things, too.
We have so much more to learn.
We’ll talk soon,