After sending queries about my manuscript to publishers, only a couple of them had asked to read it. This had happened in 1986 and was my first attempt at writing a fiction novel. Rejection is a bitch. Knocked on my butt, I surrendered and put the manuscript in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet… and moved on.
Then last July during a phone conversation with my sister-in-law she asked about the manuscript. “You should try to publish your book. The time’s right.” She lives in California and her area has been plagued with instances similar to those I’d written into the plot. “Do it!”, she said.
My fiction novel had been written for the mature reader who like me, is drawn to occult novels. Speaking for myself, I’d become weary from so many novels on the shelves of book stores with negative themes. A few days after that phone call I pulled the manuscript from the cabinet. I opened the brown accordion folder and the title page, Call me Alice stared up at me. Looking down at the Artisan font, I could hear the metal ball on my old IBM Selectric bounce and agitate across the blank pages. The “thanks but no thanks” letters crossed my mind, reminding me again that my dream to become a published author had slipped away.
From page one and each page thereafter it was obvious that a LOT of editing was in front of me. Geez. Every chapter needed rewrites. A couple chapters were tossed and replaced with entirely new treatments. The characters—protagonists and antagonists—were as thin as a strand of yarn begging me to crochet them into granny squares. My ending sucked. It was NOT yet the ending. Four more chapters and an epilogue were added.
Throughout those years while the manuscript slept in the file cabinet I pursued other forms of writing, always filling my creative bank with places and people. It surprised me when bits and pieces from those life experiences drifted out and found their way on pages throughout the manuscript.
It’s better than before. I feel confident that it might get published. But before that might happen, four people are reading the manuscript: three women who embrace different essences of metaphysics and/or parapsychology; and a fourth my sister. Two others—a man and women–have also agreed to read it. When everyone’s suggestions and opinions are returned—it’s back to the computer. I’ve a longtime friend who has offered to critique it. She with her doctorate in education will wag her finger at me for bad grammar, sentence structure and all those other things good teachers do for their students.
Wish me luck.