Oh, man- two months since the last blog. I can't make any excuses for that. All I can say is that I was busy with a couple of different things, one of which I'm happy to be able to finally announce:
As of today, I've officially signed to a literary agent.
I've been mulling and fretting about this decision for some time because the Needle Awards magically put me in this dream position where I had multiple agents eager to see my work- I know, it's the best kind of problem. I'm not complaining. But it can be stressful. I don't want to cross over the NY threshold meekly, and I have to be sure that I find the right agent who will place my books with the right publisher and help me reach decent enough sales that I'm viewed as viable for later publication. Slow sales tied to the ISBN of your first novel can have a nasty quicksand effect on a writer's career (or so I've heard).
So after many emails and phone calls I've decided that the agent for me is Mollie Glick with The Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc. (JVNLA for short- they represent some NY Times Bestsellers like Phil Margolin and Jean M. Auel who both also happen to be PDX'ers.). I've now signed on with her to represent my new novel TUNING FORK, and my amended collection. Mollie's previously worked in foreign rights consulting and did an editorial stint at Crown before joining on with the JVNLA team. She's got a great breadth of industry knowledge, is very well vetted industry-wide (and is an AAR member), and happens to really dig my work (I'm pretty sure that's one of the most crucial elements- to have an agent who's a real advocate for the story you're telling).
Now it's "put up or shut up" time. Somehow, in the next six or seven months I'll need to navigate my way through the following tasks-
1. Take TUNING FORK from its preliminary stages to full blown super-novel.
2. Complete 3-4 stories for anthologies I've committed to.
3. Stay on top of Swallowdown Press marketing/promotion for existing titles while trying to develop new books for the press by a few writers I've expressed interest in.
4. Relaunch JRJ.com.
5. Complete SKULLCRACK CITY (which has temporarily taken a back seat to TUNING FORK).
6. Not let all this monitor radiation melt off my face.
7. Spend less time wondering how much bone density I've lost to my soda pop addiction.
So, that's a decent list going forward. I'm excited and nervous, and can only guess that this workload will only increase my consumption of the toxic phosphoric-fructose soup that is Pepsi. Hopefully by the time my brittle bones shatter they'll have that whole "adamantium skeleton" thing figured out.
Get to it M/I Complex.
Also of interest (to me, and apparently, some very nice British people):
Somehow both Angel Dust Apocalypse and Siren Promised managed to make the final lists (in collection and novel) for this year's British Fantasy Awards (established by Ramsey Campbell). Very nice to be on there with guys like Gaiman, Wolfe, Braunbeck, Joe Hill, etc.
I'm not likely to be a front-runner for either award, but if by some miracle I won something I'd be on the next plane out. I've always wanted to eat the sort of fish and chips that actually cause small heart attacks. My friend Ben from London said I could acquire that there. And I'd like to see Bristol because I'm attracted to wet, grey cities.
I just kicked out some free signed books (ADA/SP/EJ) in a pack for the "Hurricane Katrina Victims Fashion Charity Event" (my brain keeps transposing it as Hurricane Katrina Fashion Victims which strikes me as a particularly cruel phrase). I'm not sure when this thing hits (the MySpace page is a wee rough on the eyes) but the organizers seem to have their heads on straight (okay, aside from the layout of that MySpace page) and will also be auctioning off some signed stuff from guys like Harry Shannon and Will Clarke. So, when this thing drops it's a good chance for somebody in Alabama to score some cool books, kick out cash for a still needy cause, and add another tax write off item into their filing forms next April.
To those who've noticed my sloth- yes, this post is pretty much a copy of my recent post over at the ChuckPalahniuk.net Cult Discussion for ADA. Like I said, I'm keeping busy. Work smarter, not harder- all that.
In that same vein, here's something excellent that I'm jacking from RN Lee's ever-entertaining blog:
Chris Cunningham's New "Parasite" Video
He retains his god-like status with just under two minutes of full-fledged freakout. This guy, methinks, is special.
Waiting for summer to die,