Red Ned Tudor Mysteries

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Publishing Gregory House

Fiction, Oh to be Published!!

Good day my well regarded viewers, I hope this missive finds you all in excellent health, no need for the application of the, ahem… long syringe? Just remember as I prescribed to my good friend Lord Black Adder (who it appears actually existed and was a noted Tudor period pirate) take two leeches and pop them under the tongue until they dissolve. Since this is the happy joyous Yule tide season, you’ve no doubt noticed the excessive amounts of advertising that has been hitting the airwaves or clogging up the letter boxes. I though in keeping with the jolly theme we’d take a slight excursion from the series of book reviews and look at another aspect somewhat similar.
What do you have to do to get published?

The Novel... the Myths

Okay I suppose it is assumed that you have written a wonderful novel, the best ever, a piece to rival Clive Cussler or JK Rowling. Its going to be acclaimed through out the known world and beyond, earning you the author the laurel wreath of victory and enough zeros in your bank account to give any bank manager happily skipping heart palpitations.
Then of course to acquire this status you have to have slogged your way through years of creative writing courses, then a Master of Literature followed by a host of expression or character workshops, theme sessions and endless critiques groups. You slave away poring over hundreds of books dissecting, probing exploring and subjecting each paragraph to minute post modern interpretation. What did the author mean by ‘so I looked at life like a bucket of rotting fish’ on page fifty five paragraph three? Was it some kind of post Hegelian metaphor about the fragility of human existence? Or was it a parable of the recycling of the greater Jungian soul? Oh god I didn’t get it! No, no, no! I’ll have to read it again for the seventy fifth time now from a Freudian viewpoint!

Then after all that dissection, analysing, post modern deconstruction, re-scaffolding and re-interpretation you’re now ready to start your very own literati achievement! You’ve gone the plot outline, the character interaction maps, selected the points of view, the moral positions of the major narrators and their flaws, decided on the protagonist and obstacles, assembled the groundlings, reviewed the narrative flow (the story line for those lucky enough to forgo university).

Ta Da! So we’re all ready to undergo the self doubt and flagellation during months of writing, more months of correction and editing until…

At the end you have a highly polished articulate piece of work that positively gleams in the morning light. A true piece of writing craftsmanship, nay artistry! A vertiable Michaelangelo of fiction! Glowing in all its fine purity and excellence, a literary masterpiece surpassing Nabokov, there on its pedestal for all to behold!

Or you could bonk a publisher and get a contract.

Oh dear, slap me! I didn’t just advocate sleeping your way into publishing? How could I? That’s…that’s, well that’s just hopelessly immoral, impossible! No I could never do that! I have standards to maintain! Oh you depraved individual, how could you suggest such a vile, abhorrent and cheap road to success!
I mean, its like totally disgusting, Barfville even!!!
Well, arrghh, Puke!
Aaaah…oh, I see… well in that case…sorry to bother you but, you wouldn’t have their phone number would you?

Oh dear my fiction gear slipped a cog, sorry about that, I got carried away. That couldn’t be the way some authors got published, well could it? I mean its so fantasy, so unreal I mean after all you’ve never actually seen anyone get what they want by, I mean bending over or perhaps wearing a really really short skirt, have you?

Sorry drive shaft on the friction gear had a serious conniption, scratch all the above I never meant to say that. After those generous and forthright souls in the publishing industry are all every man Jack (or Jill) decent, hardworking, moral, thorough, honest, perceptive and highly experienced individuals. Over all they’ve hardly made a single error of judgement like knocking back JK Rowling several times or the grievous errors committed by their close kin in the music business. For instance that record label executive saying to the early Beatles ‘sorry lads groups with guitars are on the way out, not interested’.
Such dramatic mistakes could never happen in these modern professionally managed enlightened times could they?

As proof I just give you a quick example from the Amazon list.


It is a time for warriors, a time for heroes. Kell's axe howls out for blood. The land of Falanor has been invaded by an albino army, the Army of Iron. A small group set off to warn the king: Kell, a magnificent and brutal hero; his granddaughter, Nienna and her friend, Katrina; and Saark, the ex-Sword Champion of King Leanoric, disgraced after his affair with the Queen.

Fighting their way south, betrayal follows battle, battle follows deviation, and they are attacked from all quarters by deadly warriors, monstrous harvesters who drain blood from their victims to feed their masters. As Falanor comes under heavy attack and invasion, only then does Nienna begin to learn the truth about grandfather Kell -- that he is anything but a hero. Ferocious fantasy from a real-life hardman come to claim the post-Gemmell world

Yep that’s right, that stunningly magnificent piece of literary work got both an agent and a publisher. Who says talent doesn’t shine through!

Getting published??

This is the quest of every aspiring writer to gain the universal
validation of being officially published. It is what drives us on through penury, mounting frustration and of course bouts of published envy regarding those obviously less talented who’ve snagged a contract. It is the Holy Grail of your long hours of creative slogging! You ask how can I a humble scribbler gain that pinnacle of success? In the previous section we’ve scotched that vile and scurrilous rumour of bonking your way to literati-dom. So now we’ll examine the officially sanctified route to publishing.
According to the established practice an aspiring writer sends off a flurry of query letters to agents and publishers plus the first two or three chapters as well as possibly a synopsis or chapter outline. All right, fair enough on the face of it. That gives them a reasonable chance to view your great work and in theory discuss whether or not to accept you as a client ie do you fit into their business profile or does your work present an opportunity. Now I have noticed that a lot is made of the literati aspect ie the struggling artist routine, encouraging new talent and so forth. In fact what you are doing is presenting a business proposal.

That is the unvarnished truth of the matter. Your work is worthwhile because it will sell and fits a market niche. I suppose that why a recent book search on Vampires on Amazon brought up hundreds of pages of results. Since the success of Twilight and Buffy/Angel vampires sell.
Thus I just had an excellent idea, I can marry my knowledge of History with Vampires and swords!

Vampire Vikings!!!!

Hrolf and his war band have a deep and abiding hunger that drives them to the green shores of England, and its not a lust for Saxon dangeld or church treasure. No instead they crave the sweet blood of virgin nuns! How can thane Edwin and his men withstand the fearsome assault of the berserker undead! Can holy water, crosses and good Saxon steel stop the vampire worshipers of Odin?

See that’s perfect now, all I have to do is write the first three chapters and send it off!
Fame and wealth here I come!

Oh by the way I decided to short cut the agent-publisher route and harness the power of the Internet, I will be releasing my novel ‘Red Ned and the Cardinals Angels’ as an e-book on Smashwords before Christmas. Right now we’re pushing through with the last major edit (Jocelyn, Uber Editor) and the cover design (Alexander, graphics artist extraordinaire). Over the next couple of days I will be putting up a blog of how we worked through the many needs of a book’s cover art. In the mean time I will let everyone know when the book comes out and my growing horde of devotees can spread the word!
Oh by the way I can absolutely guarantee this novel does not contain any vampires or bloodsuckers at all! Just a damned good Tudor period mystery/adventure, involving murder, cryptic letters, hidden gold, deadly political factions and good old fashioned treason. Not forgetting of course Red Ned Bedwell, a young lad who only wanted enough golden angels to escape his uncle and party in the taverns of Southwark for a month.

Who know by Christmas I could afford to buy a bottle of champagne? It’s amazing what you can get for seven dollars!

As the good doctor says ‘Keep taking the Pills!’


  1. Excellent post good Doctor, I take it the ahem… long syringe is for the application of the venemous bead?

  2. But of course and for the curing of the affliction spread by the cursed Spaniards and their questionable habits.