This weekend my writing block broke in a BIG WAY. I knew it was coming, I’ve been having the shakes/needing to write again. So, I worked on my Kafkaesque baroque space opera set in an entirely different SF space opera milieu with yet-to-be-published stories. I hope some of them will get picked up because I’m really excited to introduce this Gothic SF world to you. I have a few stories set in this universe and it’s got a very different flavour from my Bunian Empire and Sesen stories. I suppose in a way it’s more of what people think SF in space should be, and in another way, it’s completely different. It also has a complex mythology, given the impetus for this world comes from a painting I did in my twenties that had me telling myself a story. It was baroque from the get-go.
Anyway, after that, I took a shower and very often, during my drafting of Watermyth, it was in the shower that I’d get so many thoughts and ideas about how to progress my Watermyth plot. And this time, it was back. All of the characters. Clamouring at me to finish their story arc. I know this sounds bizarre but if you’re an author you know what it’s like when your characters bug you. Their story arcs, their desires, their hopes and how they want to progress in the tale. I hadn’t heard them in so long but they bugged me all weekend and I know I have to finish this novel. It WAS finished in 2017, but I’ve done so many rounds of revisions since then, disembowelled the plot and it’s a much stronger novel for it but we’ve got a way to go yet.
But what about the Sesen novel I’m writing right now? I’m still going to work on it, but I really don’t have that much further to go to finish up Watermyth. I’m just adding on 3 more chapters and then will revise again and do a thorough line edit before sending it to an editor (I’ll need to budget for this, so likely in 2022 and I will choose very carefully. Also need to get a cover designer and cover art as well! I want it to be a beautiful book that you can sink into).
What does this mean? I’m turning hybrid. I want to self-publish the Cantata of the Fourfold Realms while I’m querying my Sesen novel. I want traditional publishing for my other works but the Cantata is an odd thing and I want to reclaim my voice here. I know what I want from it — and while the current form is a bit more traditional, based on excellent agent feedback, I also know it’s lost something — I want to bring that something back while still retaining what was valuable about the agent feedback. It’s not either or, it’s — these two things would work together.
Of course, I think really wistfully of the two agents who gave me such wonderful feedback for this book, but I suspect if either of them ever take me on, it would be for another one. So I feel no qualms about self-publishing this. In 2022.
(Yes, I submitted to about twenty-something agents, but these two are the ones I liked the most and thought I’d be able to have a good working relationship with them but sometimes these things are not enough, you need to have a book/proposal/synopsis that hooks them also.)
I’m planning to register my press locally so I can get an ISBN and be all legit-like, then I’ll use one of the online POD services. It’s a good idea to register it anyway because once I have a small group of compositions ready, I’ll use the press to publish them. A vanity press! Yes. The Mythogenetic Grove Press will be unabashedly a vanity press. Hey, if it was good enough for TS Eliot….