Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

Starting cold.

In late January I received a shared link from a friend of mine on Facebook about an upcoming novel competition being hosted by Amazon. I had somehow never heard of it before. Scanning the link I realized that the day it started was THAT day.

My manuscript at that point had been edited and read over by others twice, but the compilation of the final edit and formatting had not yet been done. I had been slowly navigating the path of preparation for self-publishing for my first true, full length novel, Houses of the Broken, but I had been taking my time.

The story had sat and brewed in my head for a couple of years before finally deciding to pour itself out on to the page during NaNoWriMo 2011. It wasn’t my first successful NaNo but it was the first one I’d like to actually admit to in the light of day.

There I sat, well over a year later, with a 3/4 edited manuscript in my hands, wondering if I could beat the submission deadline.

I went for it.

One very intense weekend later, I submitted it, pitch and all. I’d never done a pitch before and I agonized over it. “But the suggestions in the instructions aren’t even anything close to the examples of the previous winners…” I lamented over and over to my friends kind enough to listen. My network of very tolerant and supportive friends/critics indulged my madness and offered suggestions as I wrote, and revised, and revised some more, a pitch that would get me through the door. (Not meant to rhyme, I swear… but it may be a good incantation to recite for future pitch-writing sessions…)

I’m proud to say that I am currently a Quarter Finalist in the Mystery/Thriller segment of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 2013.

My submission excerpt for Houses of the Broken can be found on Amazon.

I’m thrilled to have made it as far as I have so far, but even if I don’t advance another round, I’m still planning on pursuing the self-publishing route for this piece, and I plan to document some of the highlights (and lowlights) along the way.

In the mean time, check out the Gallery for Houses of the Broken. My very talented friend, Shane Montross, worked along with me as I wrote the novel, shooting an image every day for the content I had written the day before. You can find Shane Montross Photography here.

Until the next deadline I wait, and I write.

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3 responses

  1. Congrats!

    March 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

  2. I just entered an emerging writer’s competition myself. I was nervous about the formatting and jargon. Your post gave me hope that, maybe, my work will prevail. Thanks.

    March 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

  3. Thanks! I don’t know how many times I looked over my entry, hoping I got every identifying mark off of the manuscript, hoping the format didn’t go batty in the submission. No matter how many times I look at it I still feel like I’m missing something. It’s always worth trying. You never know what might happen.

    March 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

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