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Friday, November 25, 2011

How Serendipitous

Sometimes things just fall into your lap from the sky. If it is blue ice or bird crap, not so nice. If it's a book deal - hot damn! Two serendipitous occasions lately have given me pause for thought in my writing career.

First, at a seemingly innocuous signing at a local Tucson book store, I met a woman wearing a Tucson Festival of Books t-shirt. For those that don't know the TFB is held each year at the U of A campus and draws thousands of writers of all genres for lectures, signings, book stalls, etc. We talked about the TFB for a while and she left. Later, I was at another signing with several authors and she was the moderator. A few weeks later, she e-mailed me and asked me if I wanted to join some other local authors in sharing a table at TFB. Very cool!

Second, I sold a vampire horror novel, Blood Lust, to Severed Press. That in itself is good, but later they asked me if I would be interested in working on a three-book zombie series. I informed them I had a stand alone zombie novel, Ice Station Zombies, set in Antarctica and Australia, where Severed Press is headquartered. They bought it sight unseen and still sent a contract for the 3-book Judgment Day series. Five books for one. Who'da thunk?

Luck only comes to the well prepared. I had the books and the ideas at hand to pitch. Preparation is okay but means nothing if the opportunity does not come along. I could have waited and tried to sell the other books somewhere else, maybe a larger publisher, but having the novels out there in the public eye not only helps with sales, it primes the pump for future novel, future publishers. Publishers like a writer who has a proven track record, even with small press and there is only one way to get one.

Unlike lightning, serendipity can strike twice in the same spot. I'm hoping the old 'good things happen in threes' adage is true. I'm watching out for that phone call or letter from ACE or TOR.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!