Last year at this time, the school year was over, I was negotiating on a lease for Cakes a Go-Go’s location and I finally released Flour City Blues.
I had a soft release, mainly because I was eventually flung head-first into revamping the shop space. I intend to have something soon, especially since my long labor of love spent years in the making. Why send it out to the world and let it…exist?
Flour City Blues. I wanted to write a book for the longest time, and the scribbles that filled notebooks were horrible and cringe-worthy. Back in 2007, the plot came one summer evening while smacking mosquitoes out on the deck of my recently moved-in home. The first few pages of a Hello Kitty notebook filled itself almost immediately with the introduction.
By that fall, I was offered a job. I spent my free time trying to get the scenes right, working through index cards of ideas and the first seventeen typed pages that I carried around like it was my infant child. Eventually, burn out and writer’s block came by to visit for an extended amount of time. Let’s just say, I ended up typing the last word of the book in a college library about two years later.
Revisions came next. I left the manuscript alone for a while so I could go back later with fresh eyes. Revisions are the worst, most daunting and never-ending task. You hope for the light at the end of the tunnel, but work so meticulously to make sure the book has continuity.
There were times when complete chapters or scenes were ripped out. We’re talking a few thousand words or so, completely deleted and refreshed with something new.
During the time of revisions, I started querying agents. I understand this process can go on for an infinite amount of time, so can the process of convincing a publisher to go ahead with the project. I was getting discouraged with the replies from agents. The replies were the basic refusal, “This project does not sound right for us,” or the flattering-yet-discouraging “We’re happy you contacted us, but we are a small house and feel your talents would be limited through our capabilities. We see your work being represented by someone bigger. Best of luck.”
So of course, anger and frustration are my motivators. Some authors still promote their books even though they are published through a traditional publisher. Really? I could so do that, without the middlemen of agents and publishers. I also like having the creative control of designing my own cover. Presenting a package to the world of my own years, blood, sweat and tears of my own creation is pretty damn worth it.
Get your copy of FLOUR CITY BLUES