Thursday, August 5, 2010

Resurrecting the Tomb

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?

~ jodi

11 comments:

Clarissa Southwick said...

Jodi, I don't think we can ever be objective about our own work. It's possible that the writing is as strong as ever, but your perspective has changed. That's why I think it's important to keep sending things out. You may have your doubts, but your readers may love it.

morgan wyatt said...

Jodi,
I actually like reading the earlier work of my fav authors. It is great to see how they changed in their writing style. Sometimes it is fun to imagine them as fledging authors. As for the old stuff, maybe its time has come. Before the work was good, but maybe the theme wasn't pertinent.Go ahead and dust them off. As for authors putting out old stuff as new---well, it is new to the reader.

Lexi said...

Yay on writing again! Good luck!

Joan Leacott said...

Hey Jodi, Like Morgan said, the definition of 'new' is a matter of opinion. I love find unread works by my fave authors--it's new to me. If those old and treasured tales haven't been published, they're new to all your readers. I say--give those old MS a quick read then ask yourself if you still like them. If yes, go for it. If no, back under the bed. Enjoy your discovery either way!

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

Good point, Clarissa! I am finding right now I have moments where I don't love a certain scene and then I go back a few days or weeks later and really love it. Mood on any given day can play such a huge factor too.

Lee Lopez said...

I think what just keeps me writing is the love of the written word, creating stories, and just letting my imagination run wild. I want to be published, and have had many disappointments. But I might consider giving up on the industry, but never writing.

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

Great points, Morgan and Joan. I do think they have a great potential, each in their own way. It may be the house wasn't right at the time too, as back then I wasn't so knowledgeable on the market and there wasn't so many epublishers out there producing good quality work.

Thanks for the well wishes, Lexi! I didn't quite manage to wrap the new proposal last night--got bogged down in painting the setting just right--but I am super close to the end! Yeah indeed. :)

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

That is so true, Lee. That year I didn't write much was refreshing in a lot of ways. I tinkered here and there with short stories or even scenes, and it was great since I didn't have the deadlines and expectations on my shoulders. It's great seeing your work published, but it's almost better when you don't have those deadlines and expectations, and just get to write however and whatever you want. I know I was far more prolific back when. or maybe it's just little kids and a big (time consuming) day job to blame for my slower speed these days...

Jill James said...

Actually, my Tempting Adam, was mothballed on my hard drive because no one wanted it. I had to dig it out, change dates and stuff, and sent it to The Wild Rose Press, who bought it. I had always liked that story and I just they did too.

Jodi Lynn Copeland said...

Oh, I like that idea, Jill! The owner of Wild Rose used to be a CP of mine. I never even thought of them for some reason, but I am almost certain they would buy the one story, simply becuase the owner read it before and love it then. I think you have a wonderful idea here, and congrats on your own sale to them! :)

Joanne said...

Jodi,
I read somewhere that you should write a manuscript, and then put it away for a year before you read it again. I don't have the self-discipline for that. Either way, congrats on your success in selling so many books.