A friend asked me, basically, why I'm even messing with the mainstream publishers, telling me that the path I've been on has been fruitful, and that I need to watch out.
I'm aware of the dangers. I have the same concerns.
Thing is, they came to me. Out of the blue. I'm being given the opportunity to skip all the preliminaries and going straight to the top, to the people who actually make the final decisions. (Someday, when all this has played out, I'll tell the whole story -- the bright opening, the slow responses, the opened door, and ... well, we'll see...)
So a door opened, and I just figured I'd be foolish to not at least poke my head in the door.
Truth is, though, that I'm almost too quirky for even the small publishers. I decided when I started writing that I would write what I want to write without regard to what others are looking for. Which means I have several books that seem not to fit anyone's categories.
This thriller I'm writing is right up my alley though. I mostly read thrillers and suspense these days. So the idea isn't foreign to me. But it is a challenge, and I'm not sure I'm up to it. That's not putting myself down. I think I'm a decent writer for what I do. This is just a harder hill to climb.
The biggest danger, as I've mentioned before, is being jerked around. (Again, easy for them to suggest constant changes with the attitude that maybe I'll produce something magical). My past experience has made me leery of that. Someone pointed out to me, once they've rejected you -- it becomes almost impossible for them to accept you, no matter how encouraging they sound.
So really, I want an acceptance or nothing at all.
I will have to have the courage to walk away.
But I think, because it isn't something I sought but something that came to me, because it is a bonus, and extra, that I might be able to say, "Thanks but no thanks."
Even if my proposal is accepted as is, and I'm totally aware the odds are low, (it doesn't cost them anything to dangle the possibilities in front of me), I'm going to tell them that it will be the first of the year before I can really get going, because I want to finish The Darkness You Fear and Snaked first.
Bottom line, I've got to do this on my own terms. I'm too old the play the game.
P.S. I do have the store as an example. About midway through my career I realized that I was neither making money nor having fun. Since I couldn't do much about the money part, I chose to make the store more pleasant.
I took a hit on earnings for a few years, but when the store built back up again, it was on my terms. And that has made all the difference.
3 days ago