I am now, officially hybrid… I think.

That’s right I run on oil AND gas. Sorry, no. What I mean is that the good folks at a small publisher have accepted a short story from me for an anthology. In the process of this they have sent me a publishing contract to sign and there is talk of a small remuneration, depending on sales volume. I think that does officially make me, in the proper sense of the word; with publication pending.

Which brings me neatly onto the other thing. I was looking at Chuck Wendig’s excellent blog today and he was talking about keeping your writing true. Writing who you are rather than what you think people will want. It’s a fantastic post, link to come. The gist is that you can only write for yourself, from your heart because if you write to please anyone else or to follow a trend your writing can lose its conviction. I particularly liked his take on that. Writing a book about something because everyone else has achieved success with it is like being a dog chasing a car.

‘Don’t be the dog, be the car.’

But that made me think because the biggest reason I’m self published is because I write stuff that isn’t really mainstream. I believe it has mainstream appeal but only on an incremental basis with lots of time for people to get used to the idea. And I don’t believe any publisher will take a punt on it until it’s already successful.

That’s not to say I don’t experiment with writing different stuff. My accepted story at Awesome Indies Publishing is one such. And this writing what you, yourself, would like thing, I really have no choice.

Any M T attempt at erotica would be the literary equivalent of this. Thank you http://2makeyoulaugh.blogspot.co.uk

Can I just go off on a tangent here for a minute? Do you ever wonder what writing is like for authors in other genres? I mean, say you write erotica. If you write decent erotica, presumably it turns you on – I mean, that’s what erotica is supposed to do, right? So what do you do about being in a permanent state of arousal, I mean, does it cloud your judgement? Do you end up needing a cold shower to view your work objectively. Or, when you’ve finished a scene do you just have a quick wank, while the cat looks on disapprovingly, and then move onto the next one? It’s not a question that’ll be troubling me. I quite like reading good erotica from time to time, so I did try writing it once. It was one of the funniest things I have ever written but, unfortunately, in absolutely the wrong way.

So for the moment, I’ll carry on writing Bond meets Adams (but without the spies) and see what happens.

Right now, I see what I’m doing as positioning12052012068.

It’s as if I’m leaving my stuff, with artful, care on the bank of the mainstream. To start with there’s just one corner in the water. I imagine the paper waving about in the passing current but each papery wave represents a minuscule tug towards the water. Slowly but surely (I hope) the current pulls it down the bank, tiny, tiny nth of an inch at a time. There’ll be more of it floating in the water now, semi submerged, gently slipping further out into the stream as the current draws it in. Then, it’ll be hanging there for a few seconds, with nothing more than a fraction of the corner stuck to the side until… oops yes it’s floating away and everyone’s a bit surprised because although it’s waterlogged and moving a bit slowly, and shouldn’t really be there, it hasn’t sunk.

Er yeh… That’s the way I see my books inveigling themselves into popular culture. But no-one is going to risk picking up my work and chucking it in until at least some of it has been proved to float on its own. So getting the mini-est publishing deal feels as if well… it’s probably not sliding down the bank yet but maybe a couple more pages have gone in.

Sure, one answer to this question might be to write something that has broader appeal. Perhaps one day I’ll manage it. But if I want to write with conviction I have to write what I write. I know there are many multi-genre authors who would regard that as unprofessional of me, so it is a huge relief to find the particular approach I use endorsed by Mr Wendig. You can find his post, which really puts it very well, here.

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26 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

26 responses to “I am now, officially hybrid… I think.

  1. Good for you, MT! Any publishing deal is a leg up. Hope you make a little money from it.

  2. I think people who try to fit into popular boxes never quite ring true, gotta write what you enjoy reading too though πŸ™‚

  3. Congratulations!
    I can’t see why your books aren’t mainstream, but then I guess my reading tastes aren’t always mainstream. Fingers crossed they launch and float to the horizon soon πŸ™‚

    • That’s my thing too. A friend of a friend thinks she might be able to get a publisher friend to advise me on commercialising my stuff a bit. I’m to meet up with her. When I do, I suspect she will flag up all the things I’m aware of but can’t easily fix (like that Lightning Source don’t do hardback) and may also flag up the things I did because they are lacking in mainstream writing and I wanted them there (as a reader). I’ll be interested to see.

      Cheers

      MTM

      • Just don’t change your fantastic books to please anyone, they’re great as they are!

      • Oh no worries on that score. I’d be thinking more about putting it into action with my next book. I wrote these for me. They are my own piece of self indulgence while I learn to write. I think I’ve come a good way on that score now so I’m trying to start taming the beast so to speak… If I can. But the K’Barthan Trilogy will stand alone, the way it is.

        Cheers

        MTM

      • I hear you about the learning to write. My next WIP is to finish the novel I was working on four years ago when I went into labour 5 weeks early. But I started rereading it today and holy crap I’d be better off just binning it and starting again!

      • I’m doing the same thing with something about 15 years old that I wish someone else had written. I like the idea and the characters but the rest of it’s all over the place and I probably will end up binning it and starting again.

        Cheers

        MTM

      • The funny thing is I always thought it was my best work because I’d just finished my Creative Writing course. But at least I’ve grown as a writer! πŸ™‚

      • It’s amazing how you do, I find. It’s an ever growing changing thing. I suppose that’s one of the things I like so much.

  4. Congratulations! Great post, it’s hard to resist the pull of writing something mainstream, but it’s so much fun to write something you actually want to write.

  5. Congratulations! Keep writing what you like. Other people (including me) appreciate what you’re writing. Be the car!

  6. Wow that’s great news! Published is published I think and a mark of your wonderful writing (which I think is really great by the way!). Well done x

  7. Carol

    Congratulations! I have no doubt that once you get more exposure, your books will be flying off the shelves! Can I say that Lord Vernon is one of my favourite characters or would that be terribly wrong?

  8. Congratulations MT on publication pending for your short story! A toe in the door is really good news! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’m hoping so, myself. At least having signed a publishing contract gives me a bit more cred!

      Cheers

      MTM

      On 4 September 2014 13:51, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

      >

  9. Congrats on the short story. and on all your writing, MT.
    To respond to your excellent points:
    Yes, but.
    Writers grow.
    They write what they write at various stages of their lives.
    Many successful ones write in various genre.
    You have such a different perspective, and a delightful sense of humour, that no matter what genre you write in, it will be well worth reading.

  10. Jemima Pett

    Yeah, be the car – a hybrid Yaris, for example. Who cares if it’s not mainstream… people change πŸ™‚ I loved that Chuck post too.
    Congrats on the published work – Woot!!!

    • Thanks me dear it was a great article, wasn’t it? Thank you, also, for the support on Saturday! I really appreciated it.

      Cheers

      MTM

      On 4 September 2014 17:12, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

      >

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