Thursday, March 3, 2011

CKR: Nov - Dec 2008

(continued from October 2008...)

"CKR" Diary Post No. 35, or Can I get a hallelujah?
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
As you can probably imagine, a writer's life is full of emotion. In my opinion, however, there is no time more satisfying, more fulfilling, and more emotional than the quiet, introspective moment when a writer types the words "The End."

That the moment occurred only an hour before the historic announcement that we had elected our first black president made it that much more monumental for me. I'll certainly never forget the day. Nor will I forget what we ALL had to endure to get here. I don't think I'm alone in saying I'm very glad it's over. So, I hope you'll join me in my elation as I shout from the rooftops:

CKR is fuckin' done!

The Pens have yet to review the manuscript in its entirety. And I will no doubt make a half million small changes before it even reaches the hands of a publisher. But, for all intents and purposes, the story is complete. What that means is I can finally take a bit of a breather from the heavy lifting and switch gears to things not nearly as time-consuming or thought-intensive—like writing a cover letter, summary, and film treatment.

Which reminds me: I got an email from my buddy, Tom, yesterday. He's the entertainment attorney you might remember from way back who (a) took a copy of IMMORTAL BONDS with him on a pilgrimage from Italy to France with the Knights of Malta and (b) agreed to represent me as my literary agent for CKR. Since we haven't spoken in over a year, I found it interesting (and coincidental) that he contacted me the day before the book was finished. But I was damn glad to hear from him. And his timing was impeccable. We have a tentative lunch date next week, and (if he'll still represent me) I'm hoping we can finally start getting this story out there.

How long it takes before CKR is in print will depend on how long it takes to find a publisher. Of course, I could easily ship it off to the company who published IB. But, since I'd rather be tarred and feathered, shopping CKR around to more prominent organizations is more appealing; no matter how long it takes.

Still, I owe my publisher my "next book," according to my contract (which, by the way, they've consistently disregarded since practically Day 1). What I've decided to offer them, instead of CKR, is a compilation of several blog pieces I've posted here. I took the file to Office Depot the other day to have them print it out, and it's 466 single-spaced pages. Given that a novel is an average of 300-ish double-spaced pages, I'm thinking I can find enough material there to satisfy them. If they turn it down, fine. If they cancel my contract for IB and give me my rights back, all the better. At least that way I'll have the ability to shop paperback rights around without having to share nearly half the proceeds. Had the agent they assigned me done it when I asked her to, I wouldn't have cared.

So…this ride is far from over. But having a completed manuscript in my possession is HUGE. And I'm psyched to find out what happens next. I'm also encouraged by the fact that the cosmos seem to be on my side, evidenced by the fortune cookie I got last week that said:

Your enthusiasm towards work will soon pay off.

I'm thinkin' some cool shit will be hitting the fan soon. Stay tuned. And hang on tight.

"CKR" Diary Post No. 36

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My meeting with Tom yesterday went very well. He has a producer and screenwriter in mind to get the movie rolling. I haven't asked who they are, because I don't care; I trust him. He also wants to meet with Kid Rock as soon as possible to get him on board somehow – even if it's simply granting permission to use his name and lyrics.

My concern is that pursuing the movie FIRST, before the book, might hurt my chances and/or limit my options to sell the manuscript for publication. Unless I'm wrong and it helps, which I would, of course, be fine with. Either way, I'll learn something. It's the only way I'm going to get better at this shit.

Tom asked me to consider re-writing the story to sell to a European market. He says the concept (aka the theme) would be well received there. I don't doubt him, but I'd lose something not setting it in South Florida. This book is a "gift," after all, so I need Orlando and Daytona and Lake Worth and Juno Beach and all that. What I counter-offered with was the idea of writing the next book specifically with the European market in mind. Since it's set in Malta—out in the Mediterranean—that shouldn't be hard.

So things are moving along. Beginning next week, I'm taking a couple weeks off to read (and I'm getting through AT LEAST David McCullough's 1776, Stephen King's last two books in the Dark Tower series, and the 7th Harry Potter book; if I can squeeze in more, I'll go for another McCullough). I've mentioned before that I don't generally read while I'm writing. But, now that the manuscript's done, I can let it simmer a while before I pick it up for a full read-through. That gives me time to look at something other than my own damn book! Can you tell I'm excited?  :)

I'd like to post a few blogs, too, while I'm on "hiatus" from CKR. You know how that goes, though. I might very well get caught up in life outside the computer and run out of time. Stranger things have happened. Best advice I can give you is to be on the lookout…but don't hold your breath.


"CKR" Diary Post No. 37
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm on pins and needles right now, waiting for Scott to finish the book. He had a trip to North Dakota this week (shock!), so he took a hard copy of the manuscript with him. With the first novel, I didn't mind that he waited 'til it was in print to read it, but this one is different. This one I wrote for him. (Well, him and that other guy – the one with his name on the cover.) I want him to take the ride before I invite the rest of the world to climb on.

Flying up this past Tuesday, he sent me text messages at every airport stop, keeping me informed of his progress. In Atlanta, he'd reached Chapter 6. By Minneapolis, he'd gotten to Chapter 10. When he landed in Fargo, he'd reached the part where Ted was staring down the very tangible possibility of having sex with someone other than his wife. Scott's text read, "Does he fuck her?" My reply was, "Should he fuck her?" And so it went.

It wasn't 'til long after dinner that he was able to get back to the book, so I had to go to sleep Tuesday night knowing what happens next and wishing like hell that I could see his face when he got to the end of the scene. George Washington kept me company (I'm reading David McCullough's 1776), but even the story of how the guns got from Ticonderoga to Boston couldn't ease my over-stimulated sense of anticipation. When I woke up yesterday morning, the first thing I did was reach for my cell phone. Scott's 1 a.m. text began with, "Disturbing…"

He meant it in a very, very good way.

He's enjoying the book, and should finish it on either the leg from Minneapolis to Atlanta or from Atlanta to home. Right now, he's probably flying over northern Georgia, on or near his descent. I'm ready to crawl out of my skin. I wanna know how many mistakes he caught. I wanna hear his suggestions on improving the dialogue, sets, and pacing. I wanna hear that he picked up on the theme. And I wanna know if he thinks it's what I think it is and that he loves it as much as I do. Waiting for him to send his next text is excruciating.

Waiting for him to get home is worse.

(to be continued...)

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