As I stated in my last post, I submitted a copy of I Do Solemnly Swear, my latest novel, to my editor at Amazon. Not to sound cocky or over confident, based on the success of my prior two novels, I expected a warm reception and a publishing contract. Well, I got neither—which knocked me for a loop.
My editor liked the book and thought it was a good solid story, but he expressed concern that I had “made a left-hand turn” from serial killer novels to a political thriller and was worried I might lose my audience. This was a valid observation. But I pleaded my case.
I pointed out that many successful thriller authors change from one sub-genre to another. This is common practice. Now there are hardcore readers who won’t read anything but serial killer books. But most thriller readers don’t care whether the book is a murder mystery, police procedural, espionage, political, or psychological thriller. As long as the book has a smart cop, a believable villain, plenty of suspense and drama, and a game of cat and mouse, most readers are okay with any sub-genre.
Shortly after my appeal, my editor sent me an e-mail and agreed that my points were valid. He still expressed some concern, but felt if we marketed the book properly it would do well. He went on to say, as long as he, my agent, and I could come to terms, Amazon would agree to publish my novel. Music to my ears!
It took several days of back and forth “horse trading”, but we finally made a deal. I haven’t yet officially signed a contract, but we’ve agreed in principle and that’s the most important thing. We’re shooting for October publication. Considering that this is a presidential election year, and many people are intrigued with the antics of Washington, I think the timing is perfect for a political thriller.
So, now it’s time to think about book #4. The last thing a writer wants to do is lose his or her momentum. Novelists need to keep the flow of books moving, lest their readers might forget who they are. I’m meeting my agent for coffee tomorrow morning to discuss several ideas floating around in my head. Will the next book be a return to serial killers? Will Detective Sami Rizzo come back to catch the bad guy? Or will I jump ship to a different genre. Stay tuned for updates.