Friday, July 25, 2014

Getting to Know the Author of The Infinity Program

If you have not had a chance yet be sure to check out the review for The Infinity Program that is on the blog today!   I thought it would be great to learn a bit more about the author himself, Richard H. Hardy.  Check out his guest post today about selling his first novel!

Selling a First Novel

My first published novel was not really my first novel. Over the years I had made about a dozen
attempts but something always seemed to go wrong. I would write a hundred pages or so and
then just run out of steam. I would lose enthusiasm or would find that I had painted myself into
a corner. Or I would get near that perilous mid-point and be stymied when I saw the possible
directions of the story branch out into infinity.

Finally, back in the 1990s, I completed a novel. Since I was working full time in the IT field,
I used vacation time and holidays as I struggled to produce a masterpiece. I was determined to
create that mythical beast, “The Great American Novel”.

When I finished it, I soon realized that I had not written a great novel. In fact, it wasn’t even a
good novel. While the prose was adequate, the characters were not. The main POV character
was a passive victim of a storyline that was nothing more than a collection of incidents. I had
pursued the great white whale but had ended up with a white elephant.

But the failed novel helped me move forward. I had finally written an entire novel, all 300
pages. I had learned the hard way that the principle POV character must drive the story and that
a collection of incidents is not the same thing as a story. But most important of all I learned that
an unrealistic goal—writing “The Great American Novel”—was nothing but a millstone.

Despite all I learned with my first full novel, I still hit a couple of speed bumps on my second.
Once again I experienced a crisis at the middle of it. I was overwhelmed by the possibilities
in front of me, all the different paths that could be followed. But then I had an epiphany— the
middle of a novel is not so much about new plot twists; it’s about the development of what has
already been set in motion. Once I had that realization, I began to make progress again.

After finishing The Infinity Program, I thought the hard work was done. But I quickly learned
that writing a book was the easy part. Finding a publisher was what was really difficult. I wrote
countless query letters to mainstream publishers and agents in the U.S. and Canada. Much to my
dismay, I could not find anyone who would even look at it. After six months of this, I became
completely discouraged. I’m ashamed to say that I let the manuscript languish for nearly a year.

When I finally decided to market the book again, I concentrated on small, independent
publishers. I started off with queries to three different independents. I struck out with two of
them, but Camel Press, in Seattle Washington, expressed interest and asked to see my book in its
entirety. On 09/11/12 the book was accepted for publication by them. It was my own personal
9/11, but a joyous one.

My advice to anyone trying to publish a book is simple: Never give up!
Find out more about the author or buy your own copy here!


Teddy Rose said...

Thanks again for taking part in the tour and hosting Richard!

Margie said...

The author's path to finding a publisher was interesting. Thanks for the interview.
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