Email arrived last week:
I've just joined Curiosity Quills and it was my great pleasure to read SPILL. I found it to be a fascinating and entertaining read. I am pleased to inform you Curiosity Quills would like to offer you a contract for SPILL. To capitalize on the marketing potential, we'll be looking to publish closer to the end of next summer, when the primary season is in full swing for the elections.
SPILL is a political comedy, only comedy I've attempted. I wrote it out of deep frustration. Over many decades of writing fiction, with little publishing success to show for it, I thought: "Look, if you can write something that makes people laugh, you can't deny the writing is successful." SPILL—about a fired English teacher who scams the political system and gets the girl, the money, and a killer skateboard computer game—poured out of me in three months. Never written any novel that quickly. I laughed as I wrote it; many readers have laughed as they read it.
It got me an agent. We came close with traditional publishers. Here's the final rejection from an editor at Ecco, a highly respected imprint with Harper Collins. You make sense of it for me. I can't.
Thanks so much for thinking of me and of Ecco for Randy Attwood’s political satire, SPILL, which I enjoyed digging my teeth into. Fred and Zoe share a kind of chemistry on the page that goads the imagination and leads the reader to be genuinely interested in the outcome of their electoral shenanigans, and Attwood very capably lampoons contemporary aspects of America’s current political situation, like the oil industry, gun regulation, and unemployment. Unfortunately, as compelling as I found this read, in the end it just didn't capture my heart and attention to the degree where I would feel confident taking it on. Attwood has a sure command over language—my overarching issue, though, is that that language seems to be employed towards the end of being current; my instinct tells me SPILL exists less in and of itself and more for the audience it is fashioned to attract, and so I am sadly going to have to pass on this one. Attwood clearly has an accomplishment on his hands, and I wish you and him the best of luck finding a home for this debut elsewhere.
I self-published it in 2011 because editors at other traditional publishers advised my agent to encourage me to do so. It got me into this whole new business of epublishing and saved my creative life. I was really ready to just give up writing. Now I'm back at it. I haven't had huge self-publishing success, but I've got some wonderful reviews from people I don't know for my short stories, novellas and novels that are all over the genre map.
The small press Curiosity Quills picked up the dark suspense work Blow up the Roses." Then they accepted two works I have not self-published: Tortured Truths, released just this week, and Heart Chants, scheduled for Dec. 20. Both are part of a Phillip McGuire mystery/suspense series. And I was proud to be the only author to have two stories published in their recent anthology, PrimeTime.
Now they've acquired SPILL.
I have the contract on my desk to sign. When I do so, it means I have to un-publish SPILL from my self-publishing platforms.
So, if you want an early copy, here's the Amazon Kindle and paperback site.
And a favor. Although we are at least eight months away from SPILL being published by Curiosity Quills, it not too early for me to network and find nationally known political type folks who would read this comedy and, if enjoying it, provide a blurb endorsement. If you have a connection (or if you are such a person!), do please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org