It’s been a long time since I’ve sold a book. More than a year, which for me really is a long time, as for a while there I was selling a new book at least every couple/few months. Then the littlest child was born, the day job became more tedious, and writing life ceased to exist. As long as it’s been since I sold a new book, it’s been longer since I’ve truly written. Well, it had been. I am thrilled to bits to say as of early July, I am finally back at it and hope to send off a (dare I say?) rocking new paranormal suspense proposal to my agent on Monday. Whether that proposal will make it past her desk is anyone’s guess, though I have all the proper digits in alignment that it will render a sale sooner or later. In the interim I am constantly aware that my publishing calendar remains sadly empty. I love fan mail, but these mails that come in eager to know about my next release have a way of bringing me down. I feel awful having to say, “I’d like to know that as well but the muse isn’t finding much play time these days.”
So lately I am thinking about those books that were written several years back, that never did sell, that are collecting dust and yet that I still love to this day. Two in particular come to mind. These stories made it to editors who did pass them on to others in the hopes of a sale. It never came to light, but that they made it that far suggests they have potential. Enough potential to pull them out of that dust pile and resurrect that old material? Try to send it off again? Or is the process of freshening up old material more tedious than that of writing new material? Has my voice changed too much to even try? One thing I won’t to do is put out old material simply to say I have something “new” on the shelves, but I do love these old manuscripts and I do feel they are worth sharing. As strong as newer stuff, that I don’t know.
It’s a fact that writing style and voice changes over time, hopefully becoming stronger. If you picked up a book by your favorite author and the writing wasn’t as strong as some material but the story still a solid one, would you feel disappointed? Would you rather wait a couple years for something new to release? And if you’re an author, have you done this or considered doing so? What was the response? Or what kept you from giving it a try? Dare I attempt to resurrect those tomes, or will it be a waste of time better spent working on new material?