My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I thought I might entertain you with a little story about the publishing business.
My first book was a 125,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean . . . those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.
“So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!
I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months. I had them as adults in the Old West. (Find it on Amazon) Then I sent out query letters to literary agents.
Less than a month later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in New York City emailed me telling me that he loved the story and suggested a few changes. They were good suggestions, and I incorporated about 80% of them into the book. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914.
My new book is entitled MOLLY LEE and it’s averaging 4.9 stars on Amazon. For the next few days it will be priced at 0.99 cents. It is also available in paperback. Please check it out. (Amazon)
Thank you for the post, Andrew!