Thursday, March 8, 2012

Raystatus: editing while I'm querying

As of today, I am officially half-way through the absolute last draft of Elfhame.  Why the “last draft”?  Because, if you recall from the last time I blogged about it, Elfhame is my ‘soon-to-be-self-published’ project. (click here to see said post concerning sample covers),

It seems like every time I mention this, people want to know if I’ve given up on traditional publishing, and the answer to that, my friends, is a resounding “No!”  I have a number of very compelling reasons for self-publishing this project (and only this project), which I will share with you now:

  1. It’s a book about faeries, and the world where people buy books about faeries ceased to exist five years ago.
  2. Out of all the stories I’ve ever written – novel, short-story or otherwise – Elfhame is easily my personal favorite.  For whatever reason, it occupies a large, fuzzy, most-likely BeDazzled corner of my heart.  And so it follows that… 
  3. I want it to exist in some form.  Any form.  And by self-publishing it, I’ll have something I can direct people to when they meet me and find out that I’m a writer and then get that doubtful look on their face like I’m too much of a doofus to be a writer (In your face, people who think I’m a doofus!)
  4. I’ll have a nifty Christmas gift this year to give to my nieces and nephews and kids.  And my kid’s friends.  And my friend’s kids.  (I know a lot of kids)
  5. Despite that fact that I’ve written a few middle-grade fantasies, I don’t want to be typified as a writer of middle-grade fantasy, and I don’t want my first real publication to be a middle-grade fantasy.*  Even if it is special to me in an almost spiritual way.
  6. And this one is a particularly compelling reason – the great and talented Nancy Zack has created more than forty illustrations to go along with Elfhame.  All wild and dark and creepy, just like I always imagined.  And its dang good fun seeing your writing illustrated.
So to reiterate: I am self-publishing this one book, but only this one book, because I love it so very much, and because it will never see the light of day otherwise.  Besides putting a link on my blog and maybe my Facebook profile, I don’t intend to invest any effort in marketing it.  I have no delusions of becoming one of those ‘exceptions to the rule’ that achieves both literary acclaim and commercial success from a self-published book (I’m too lazy to make that happen)*.  I just want to see my favorite story in printed form.  And maybe make a special, personalized copy for my mom, who has supported me in so many ways, and was the person who first taught me to love to read.

Strangely, my original reason for blogging was to talk about the fact that I’m editing Elfhame while I wait for responses to my queries.  Somehow I turned into F. Lee Bailey defending my decision to self-publish, which is weird, considering nobody accused me of capital murder.  Sorry about that.  If it makes a difference, I was also going to whine about how I can’t decide which of my other two projects to work on next, so, you kind of got spared there.

*Dislaimer:  At this point in my writing life, my plan is to stick to the traditional route and try to break in with one of my young adult projects.  Probably more science fiction or contemporary fantasy.  I have absolutely nothing against middle-grade fantasy, or self-publishing in general, so no offense to my awesome writer friends who are working in those particular areas.  


Kelly Polark said...

Kudos to you, sir! How wonderful you will see your favorite story in print!

Anonymous said...

This is your awesome Mom who taught you to go to school so you could learn to read...and write! Ray, I would absolutely cherish and treasure this book that you wrote and Nancy Zack illustrated. It is a lovely, dark, dreamy, fantasy, a sort of Alice adventure and then some! I can't wait! I am very excited!

Vikki said...

I think you doing this is awesome, Ray. It's obviously very close to your heart and I'm so excited to read it. So many times we have to let our beloved stories go. It's heartbreaking sometimes!!