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Saturday, 26 March 2011


For a little over a year now I've been working on a novel titled, Forever - it's outside of my usual genre and I suppose would be categorised as horror, dark fantasy or even (the new buzz phrase) YA Fiction. It's nearing completion now and the dilemma I have is should I tout it around to publishers and agents, or go it alone and self publish to eBook? Self publishing has its enticement but I know there would be a lot of extra work needed to create a professional product. I'd have to employ a cover artist and a bloody good editor. On the other hand if I managed to place the book with a traditional publisher I'd be able to leave all that to them, but on the downside I'd lose some control over the work.

Ahhh - what to do?

A Dark Romance by Gary Dobbs

Amy was dreaming and she knew what would happen next.
The same thing that always happened; it wasn’t going to be any different, not this time, not any time.
It never changed and never would.
How could it?
What was done was done and the best will in the world couldn’t do anything about it. This was all going to end the same way it always ended, and there was nothing whatsoever Amy could do.
            It was a summer day – strange how in the dream the weather was fine, the sun bright and the wind non-existent. It hadn’t been like that in reality, least the way Amy remembered it. Her memories of the day were vague, splintered, and yet she recalled it had been overcast, evil looking grey clouds in the sky. And it had been raining heavily, which was what had made the road so slippery, but here in her dreams there was not a cloud in an overly saturated sky.
Strange how her dreams altered the weather but did nothing to remedy the tragedy that followed.
            Dear God no! It’s going to happen again. Make it stop…please make it stop.
            Amy knew she was dreamed and willed herself to wake, but it was no good and the dream, nightmare, was steadfast and refused to let go until it had fully played out.
Once again it was taking her all the way.          
Johnny shouldn’t have been driving, not really. For one thing it wasn’t his car and for another he was only seventeen and had no licence. But he’d never let a little thing like that stop him and when he’d found the spare keys to his mother’s car, what with her being away for the weekend with the latest in a long line of uncles, the temptation was too great for him to even put up a token resistance. Amy had been reluctant and tried to talk him out of it, but when Johnny had an idea there was no reasoning with him.
 Johnny was a force of nature.
‘Come on,’ Johnny had coaxed, grabbing Amy’s hands in his own and smiling. ‘Don’t be so sad. It’ll be fun.’
‘Not if we get caught.’
‘How will we get caught?’
‘We could get caught.’
‘No we won’t,’ Johnny kissed her gently. ‘My mother won’t be back till Sunday evening. No one will ever know.’
‘But you can’t drive.’
‘Sure I can.  I’ve driven plenty of times.’
‘You have?’
‘Sure. Now come on. Let’s go for a drive.’
‘I don’t know, Johnny.’
‘Come on.’
It had gone on like that for some time. A verbal ping-pong game in which he coaxed and she refused, but with each refusal her resolve had weakened. And eventually she had found herself seated beside Johnny while they tore around the village in the vintage Mini.
‘You know,’ Johnny had said and took a sharp right, which put them onto the B-road that went across country towards the old Cardiff road. ‘One day I’ll get myself my own car and by then I’ll have some money in my pocket. We can just drive and stay at different hotels every night, even sleep in the car if we wish. Just us. Do what we want with nobody to tell us what to do.’
Amy liked the idea of that and she felt herself relaxing. The tension deep it the pit of her stomach had ebbed slightly, replaced with the great love she felt for this boy. ‘Just the two of us.’ She had said, dreamily.
‘Yeah. Just the two of us.’
‘Forever.’ Johnny echoed.
And he kept his promise but forever was not the impossibly distant entity it seemed to be, something so intangible that it was almost an abstract thought.
In fact forever lurked just around the next blind bend.
‘Look out.’ Amy screamed.


Nik said...

Gary, if you place it with a publisher, you can concentrate on your next book. If you go it alone, you'll need to spend about 4-5 hours per day promoting the book though you might end up being an e-book millionaire.

Chap O'Keefe said...

It's every writer's current dilemma I think, Gary. At least it hasn't induced paralysis for you -- you are still writing.

On Friday, Candy Proctor had a pertinent post at her csharris.blogspot. It told how one author, Will Eisner, was walking away from a half-million dollar publishing deal to self-publish in ebook format. It also told how Amanda Hocking, one of the millionaire stars of self-publishing with her YA ebook vampire series, was signing a contract with the same publisher Eisner was shunning! At her own blog, Hocking put an argument similar to Nik's.

As was said in the intro to the current online Black Horse Extra, the industry is in turmoil. Those who can keep their eye on the ball and continue to write compelling fiction (and make even just realistic money) have my envy.

Chap O'Keefe said...

Sorry -- a slip there: Barry Eisler not Will Eisner!