In those days, you could send a manuscript to an editor at most publishing houses, so I chose one and submitted. I got a very kind non-form letter with an actual name and signature, but it was a rejection. Even then I knew that the news that their “lists were full” was a gentle let-down.
I didn’t have it in me to try again.
The manuscript spent the next 15 years in the closet. At that point I brought it out, decided I still liked it, and had some ideas for how I might like it more if I worked on it again. This time I let a writer friend read it, and she enjoyed it. But I had become more savvy about the ever-shifting publishing industry and knew that my book a) was an odd length and b) did not fit into the genres in the market.
Back into the closet. And I moved on. I started writing other novels, landed an agent and signed two contracts for the Avenue of Dreams series and the Valley of Choice series.
In The Pursuit of Lucy Banning I tried my hand with an historical setting. But I first attempted something historical 20 years ago. In Accidentally Amish, I introduced my readers to a family name from my own ancestry, Byler. But I first began writing about Bylers 20 years ago, in that story that has been in the closet all this time.
Deep breath. I’m bringing it out. Perhaps because I recently watched the BBC’s dramatization of a Dickens novel, Bleak House, I started thinking about serializing that story I still like but that still wouldn’t suit the traditional publisher market. After all, Dickens serialized his books. (I promise you, that is as far as any comparison between me and Dickens will go.)
Here’s the plan.
1. Starting in early December, I will send out two chapters of The Corner Trumpet each week in an e-newsletter format.
2. If you want to be sure you get each installment, simply sign up for my newsletter list in the sidebar on my blog.
3. If you have friends who want to join the book after it starts, or you get behind in your own reading, the installments will be available here on the blog with a delay.
I admit that this book has never had a good title. I call it The Corner Trumpet more out of habit than conviction. So if one occurs to you along the way, feel free to suggest! Think of yourselves as members of a titling committee!