Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Pendelton Wallace's Thoughts on the Rocky Road of Getting Published #AmWriting #SelfPub #PubTip

This is a heart-breaking tale. I finished my masterpiece and was sure that the world was clamoring to read it. I had a moment of humility and hired an editor to take a quick look at it. After all, it was my first work and it might need a tiny bit of polishing.
Well, she cut it to pieces. After I recovered from the shock that someone might not immediately fall in love with every word I wrote, I went back to work.
I cut over a hundred pages from the original manuscript, then started writing again. My editor was much kinder to my second draft. By the way, the first draft took me about three months to write. The second draft took two years.
Now that I had my masterpiece ready to unleash on the world, I needed an agent.
Being the organized person that I am, I got a copy of 2003 Guide to Literary Agents. I searched though this book for every agent that accepted memoirs. If they also represented mysteries and thrillers, they got bonus points.
I then researched the agents on the Internet and ranked each one as an A, B, or C. The A’s I needed to query today. The B’s I would query if none of the A’s came through. I never expected to query the C’s. By the way, I saved all of this information in an Excel spread sheet so I could organize it anyway it needed.
In those days, most agents were still requiring a paper query letter, so I wrote my first ten and shipped them off. There was one agent who accepted electronic submissions, so I shot off an email to him.
To my amazement, I received a return email from him the next day asking to see the first fifty pages of my manuscript.
A couple of weeks later, I got another email from him. He wanted to see the whole manuscript. I hadn’t even heard back from the other agents I’d queried yet.
A week or so later, I was at work when my cell phone rang. It was my agent.
“I can sell this book,” he told me. I jumped for joy.
We worked together for a year trying to sell the manuscript. He pitched it to all of the publishing houses in New York. The general response was, “This is a really nice little book, but I don’t see how it fits in our lineup this year.”
Finally, an editor at one of the major publishing houses fell in love with my book. (I think it was Random House, but my memory may be faulty here.) She pitched the book to the editorial committee and they signed off on it.
She prepared a pro forma and took it to the publisher. He looked it over and said “Present it to Barnes and Noble.”
In those days, Barnes and Noble was king. Twice a year this publisher took a list of books they were considering to Barnes and Noble buyers. The B&N buyers gave a thumbs up or thumbs down. If it got the thumbs up, it was published, otherwise, no.
My editor had thirty seconds to convince the B&N buyers that Blue Water & Me should be published. She gave it her best shot.
The buyer said “This sounds like an interesting book. I like it, but I don’t see how we’ll market it. I don’t know what shelf we will put it on.”
That was it. Blue Water & Me was dead. My agent pitched it to several Hollywood studios, but they don’t want to touch a book until it’s a best seller.
Finally, he told me that I would just have to set it aside and write something else. It was not going to be published.
Flash forward six years. I have written three other books and have had no luck in getting them published.
I was at the Write on the Sound writers conference in Edmonds, Washington. I went to a presentation by an author who had written a memoir. It was similar to my book. He talked glowingly about his publisher, Aberdeen Bay Press. I decided to query Aberdeen Bay about Blue Water &Me.
I sent in the query and never heard anything back. Then, over a year later, I got an apologetic email from an editor at Aberdeen Bay Press. She had just found my query letter under a pile of paper on her desk and she liked what she saw. Would I like to send her the whole manuscript?
It was off that day. A week or so later, she contacted me again and said she loved the book and wanted to publish it. We wrote back and forth a few times, then she dropped off the face of the earth.
I didn’t hear from her again. I emailed her every few weeks to see what progress she was making.
More than a year passed and I got an email from her. Once again, she was very apologetic. Her brother had died and she had to go to New Mexico to take care of his estate. She was no longer working for Aberdeen Bay Press. I should contact the publisher and see if he was still interested.
But she gave me no contact information for the publisher.
I went to their web site and sent a query to their “contact us” address. A couple of weeks went by and I heard back from their chief editor. She had assigned my book to another editor and he would be back with me shortly.
At this point we got back on track. It took about a year from the time the third editor got in contact with me to the time the book was published, but I finally had a book in my hand that I had written.

If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
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Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
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