1. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Past Grief

    Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by EdFromNY, Dec 29, 2020.

    My debut novel, Past Grief, is scheduled for publication on 3/18/21.

    upload_2020-12-29_9-46-53.png

    Preorders are available at https://www.blackrosewriting.com/mysterysuspense/pastgrief. Order before March 18 and get a 15% discount with the promo code PREORDER2020.
     
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Awesome news! Keep us up to date, when it's released.
     
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  3. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Congratulations!!!!
     
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  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks. Will do.
     
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  5. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    Congrats!!!! That is great news!
     
  6. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Release day! I was a guest on MWA-NY's Reading Series Tuesday evening and read the first chapter. In these locked-down times, that served as my launch. My publisher, Black Rose Writing, is currently considering my second Kim Brady book for publication later this year, so good sales of Past Grief will help. To that end, I'm getting support from both the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers (who have a section devoted to debut writers).

    It's been a bumpy road. I decided to write Kim Brady's story in 2016, while at the Writers Digest Conference in New York on a last ditch effort to pitch my Cuba novel at their Pitch Slam. I knew then that if I didn't hook on with someone soon, it would be church for my project. So, while at the conference, I attended a couple of sessions on writing mysteries. By late 2016, I officially put the Cuba novel in a drawer (no, @jannert, I haven't given up on it, but I realize it will need significant revision. Someday) and started on what would become Past Grief. I read every mystery and thriller I could get my hands on, as well as police memoirs. I also read a great deal on transgender women, particularly Janet Mock's Redefining Realness. I found four intrepid beta readers, all of whom gave me great feedback (and all focusing on different aspects of the work). In spring of 2018, I felt my ms was ready and I signed up for the Algonkian Pitch Conference in New York (where I had launched my querying for the Cuba book) and wound up in a group of eighteen writers, all of whom had great stories to tell. Moreover, our group leader was Paula Munier, an agent I already knew who also writes in the genre. The Pitch Conference is four days, designing and practicing a ten minute pitch as well as reviewing the novel itself, and then pitching four editors or agents. I knew I had a challenge in my work (I don't believe in doing things the easy way), when an editor from Crooked Lane books balked at my having a transgender character. I assured her that this was not a "trans manifesto", but simply placing a character with a particular personal fear (being outed) at the center of a case in which my hero detective (Kim Brady) could not force her into the open. The editor replied that Crooked Lane's readership was largely based in the midwest and would shy away from anything so "controversial" (I later discovered that the head of Crooked Lane's acquisition department was LGBT; go figure). I also entered the first 25 pages in the MWA Florida chapter's Freddie Awards for unpublished authors and was a finalist. Didn't win it, though.

    At the end of the conference, Paula invited all of us to submit our full ms, which I did. I also went home and started firing out query letters. I got several requests for fulls, but none of them led to anything. At one point, I queried the agent for Carrie Smith, since her Silent City was one of my comparables. She also asked for a full, but after a few months, wrote back that it was a good story but she felt it fell off in the middle. I immediately stopped querying. MWA-NY had a mentor program, so I applied, and David Rich was assigned as my mentor. He pointed out several scenes in which the story lost tension (much of it background on my trans character). Noting Kim's love of basketball, he said, "You're a basketball guy. Think Russell Westbrook, always pushing, pushing, pushing. Forget walking the ball up court and passing off." Might the best piece of writing advice I ever got. I submitted the reworked ms to Paula Munier. She wrote back saying that I really shouldn't be writing a trans character since I wasn't trans, that I should only write characters I could write with "authenticity". She referenced the kerfuffle over American Dirt, which it seems was poorly researched. I'd had a similar response from another agent.

    By now, I was looking for non-traditional means of breaking into traditional publishing. I found it in February of last year, with the Savvyauthor.com Sweetheart Pitchfest, a virtual pitch session in which one chooses from a list of agents and a list of editors and then submits a brief pitch for the book. I chose three of each, and got a request for a full from one agent and one editor. The agent passed on it, but the editor was Reagan Rothe of Black Rose Writing, and he offered a contract. BRW is a small, indie publisher. I did all the editing myself, assisted by a program called ProWritingAid. I was able to secure cover blurbs from a fellow BRW writer, A. J. McCarthy, and from a writer of a series I like, C. Hope Clark. While I wait for approval of the second Kim Brady novel, Deceived By Ornament, I am working on a third, Proving a Villain as well as planning a spinoff, a historical about Kim's grandfather, Dan Brady, who died in the line of duty. I still don't have an agent, although with Past Grief now officially published, it will likely be much easier to get one if I need to. And, if BRW doesn't take Book II, I may have to. My contract with them is for 2 years, after which the rights to Past Grief revert back to me. That will allow me to take it with me and keep the series together if I have to switch. But I hope I don't. The staff at BRW is small but very helpful. And no matter where I go, I know that the onus for marketing will always be on me.
     
  7. john williams

    john williams New Member

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    Congratulations!!!!
     
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  8. Viridian

    Viridian Member Supporter

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    Congratulations - and thanks for the post describing your journey. Best of luck with Past Grief and here's hoping Deceived by Ornament is given the go ahead.
     
  9. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    Congratulations! Just picked up a copy :)
     
  10. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks very much.
     
  11. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks. If you like it, I'd appreciate a favorable review on Amazon or Goodreads.
     
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  12. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    It's in my TBR list...mostly that I get to over the summer, unfortunately. Will post a review when finished. :)
     
  13. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Appreciate it. Thanks.
     

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