I received word this week that my third novel, “Father of the Bride of Frankenstein,” has been accepted by Fantastic Books. As I just received the manuscript back for revisions I don’t have a publication date yet, but it’s likely to be either late this year or early next year.
I finished my draft a year ago and then shared it with a few friends to get their comments and reactions before submitting it to my publisher. (I should note that publisher Ian Randal Strock is also my editor and my friend, and his first name is pronounced EYE-an, and not EEE-an.) So, it had been quite a while since I went over it with an eye towards making changes.
Since then I’ve written a number of short stories, with several to be published in the coming months and others where I’m awaiting word. I’ll probably be starting something new shortly. However, in spending the last couple of days reading and tweaking my novel, I couldn’t help but be surprised at the mysteries of inspiration. There are parts that I know exactly what the source was. In a courtroom scene one of the parties is surprised that Judge Chiang’s name is pronounced “Chung.” This came from work I’ve done for a political website where there is a California official with that name and pronunciation.
On the other hand, there were moments that made me laugh not out of pride in my cleverness but in surprise that I had been the source of it, as in the introduction of a character who provides a scotch tasting for a bachelor party who ended up staying with the story and providing a number of comic moments. It was not something I had planned in advance. He just didn’t want to leave.
This will be my third novel (not counting an early unpublished work) and I couldn’t tell you what the future has in store. I’m hoping a collection of my short stories will emerge down the road, but as to what will suggest to me the basis of a fourth novel remains a mystery. I recently did a short story for an anthology where I was invited to do something instead of simply offer a story for consideration, and – again, to my surprise – I wrote something set in the same universe as my first novel, “Shh! It’s a Secret.” You don’t have to have read the novel to appreciate the short story, but it was the first time I had done something like that.
As a writer I am also the first reader of what I produce. So long as I can continue to surprise myself, I hope to keep on going.