13 Days, but Who's Counting?
Cam, not Kam
So part of the premise behind Choose Death* is that while tracking Harley's heady publishing triumphs** in the RPG industry, I also need to track my failures. In the first instance, this is in order to demonstrate to other youngbloods that this paid publishing thing can be done, but in the second instance, to serve as a reminder that even I don’t have a silver bullet. Persistence alone.

My latest attempt at selling a novel led me to the fine folks at White Wolf. As reported at GenCon by my fiercest advocate, the Saurus, White Wolf plans to announce the winner of their novel contest at the International Camarilla Conclave. Essentially a GenCon for the living dead, the convention is dedicated to the Live-Action World of Darkness. It runs from Oct 26th through the 29th, and at some point during the proceedings, they’ll announce the winning novelist.

Assuming that my book is rejected, this will be my most spectacular failure to date. There were some near misses with Wizards, but nothing quite this public. As a personal favor to me, I ask that you hold any condolences for when you see me in person. The book was finished over half a year ago, and I’d like to think that my writing has improved since then. A rejection of the novel isn’t a rejection of my writing, today, but of Harley’s writing 7 months ago.

And if you knew that guy like I did, you know that he was in need of some serious improvement.

It’s a mental shell game, something to preserve that fragile ego of mine, but there you go. And interestingly, win or lose, nothing really changes for me. I'm still contracted to finish 89k before January, I still don’t know what the next book is going to be about, and I still have to hustle if I hope to sell it.

Win or lose, I’m still nobody, but I’m still in the game. Both of those truths are comforting in their own way.

But, if by some editing mistake of the cosmos they select my book, I expect all of you to set fire to dumpsters and discharge firearms into the night sky.

Or maybe that’s just the Saurus.

As mentioned in the contest announcements, the “losing” novels have a chance at publication as well, so all is not lost if Harley gets the big bounce. Still, this late in the game, it’s not looking particularly likely that I’ll make the cut. Not out of the question, but let’s just say the situation looks…


Heh. I’m okay with that.

Love from the Rockies,

*I am such a dork.

**If you’re new here, I’m joking. Harley’s publishing credits are little better than dirt. Well, maybe not that fancy store bought kind. Can’t compete with all those nutrients and stuff.


At 4:13 PM, Blogger Marcy said...

Ain't no fat lady singing yet, Grimmy. Socks up! ;)

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous erik said...

Hey, if it happens, it happens. Whatever occurs, you're still you, and "you" is still awesome.

I still hold out confidence. I have never wavered in my belief that you WILL get this book.

As a corollary: does White Wolf own the rights to your manuscript? 'Cuz if they don't, you can always retool it, change some of the names, and sell it elsewhere. I mean, a 89k novel is a terrible thing to waste.


At 5:55 PM, Anonymous erik said...

Whoop -- it occurs to me, that, re: my last post, you weren't necessarily talking about the same book when you spoke of the 89k novel.

Eep! :)


At 10:33 PM, Blogger saurus said...

10 gauge locked and loaded.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...


The Vampire novel, published or not, is owned by White Wolf. There are certainly themes and settings that can be revisited at some date, but the novel was sold the moment I accepted the check for round 2. It might never be published, but it is certainly sold

My current 89k project is more d20. Contracted and all, due out 2007, probably sometime around GenCon. :)


You’re always rootin’ for me. Thanks.


You’re always shootin’ for me. Thanks.


At 11:39 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Good stuff. Never knew that was the "mission statement" for your blog, but that's a good one.

I'm perpetually amazed by the yet-to-be published writers that I talk to ... namely, that they're surprised by how many rejections I've gotten over the years. There's a misconception out there that published authors have "figured it out" and know how not to get rejected. Well, in a way, we do - send out a dozen proposals and hope that one gets accepted. And then send out a dozen more.

My basic formula for publishing "success" is this: talent + tenacity = success. And you need a hell of a lot more of the latter than the former.

P.S. If your credits are little better than dirt ... well, I don't want to know what mine are. ;)

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...


A whole bunch of folks (nearly all of the Choose Death readers) met during the Maiden of Pain open call held a few years back. (Even more cool, most of them have books out, or contracts for the same.)

We all started blogs around the same time, documenting and sharing or highs and lows.

And as for the "dirt," mostly that was just an excuse to use a Simpsons quote. But it is also part of Choose Death's mission to remind Harley not to get too upity or arrogant. Got to keep a lid on that. :)

Maybe the last part of the mission statement is to punch holes in the myth of the Writer. They (we) are just like anyone else. Anyone can do what we do, if they just hang in there long enough. But that's also where I get to live up to Choose Death's mission:

I still haven't published a book yet, so I get to try to be my own living proof. Hopefully. >:)


At 2:59 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Aha! So that's your secret origin ... ;)

I was in a serious writing funk when the Maiden of Pain open call first went out, so I just skipped it entirely. In retrospect, dumb idea - if nothing else, maybe I would've met up with the whole Deathy crew a whole lot sooner. :)

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Nods. It was a crazy nexus of writers, and we all met on the forums, waiting for WotC to announce the winner. There was:

Kam - Won the MoP.
Eric - Multiple books.
Ed - Just got a book.
Marce - Just got a book.
Jaliegh - Multiple books.
Lara - Now edits for WotC.
Jeff - Writes for Goodman.
Mike W. - Wrote/sold own setting.
Talley family - Selling stuff all over.

...and there are even a couple sleepers that haven't announced their books yet. Amazingly, going into it, nearly everyone was unpublished.

I'm delighted for my friends, but I'm envious, too. Desperate to get that "novel" part in motion. :)



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