Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Quiet Here... Too Quiet...

So the Duck Town editor tally has remained the same for over a week:

The graphic novel was sent to 14 editors.

Four editors have passed on the project. Ten editors have yet to respond.

I am not sure what to make of the quiet. In the past, when my agent submitted my picture book manuscripts, most of the responses arrived within two to three weeks. Perhaps in this case the slow responses are due to the length of Duck Town? It might be as simple as that. Longer works have a longer response time.

There could also be a more negative reason: the editors do not respond well to the art and/or story, and so they don't even want to bother with a rejection letter.  Or, there could be a more positive reason: The graphic novel has won the editor's heart, and now she's showing it to her marketing team, and art directors, and publishers -- and they are trying to decide how many zeroes to put on my first advance.

I can dream, can't I?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Around the World in 80 Days - Opening Weekend

Our premier of Around the World in 80 Days was a success. It wasn't perfect (what community theater production is, right?) but it was an absolute pleasure to hear the audience respond positively to the hard work of the cast and crew.

Here's a promotional photo featuring our Philea Fogg (AKA Samual Novak). It definitely captures the spirit of our production:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Waddling through Rejection

As you can see -- the blog posts have slowed down to a crawl since the summer ended.

I've been back to work, teaching up a storm, not to mention attending meetings, and sifting through papers with my purple pen.

We are in the home stretch of rehearsals for AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Our first show is this Saturday!

And rehearsals for the Radio Play (which is now called CHANGE THE STATION) are just in their infancy stages.

But the thing I've been most focused upon is MY GRAPHIC NOVEL... I have been (im)patiently waiting for responses from editors. My awesome agent sent Ducktown into the world on August 31st. It went out to 14 places. So far, we have received four rejections. They are all friendly rejections -- one in particular said a lot of very nice things about the plot of my graphic novel. However, the rejections share a common theme: They are not in love with the illustrations. It might turn out that my little drawings are too amateurish to make it past the gate-keepers.

My wife recently said, "You deal with rejection letters all the time. Why are these ones different?" And I guess the answer is, I'm really in love with these characters I have created... and I'm going to be sad if my fledgling skills as an illustrator prevent the story from being shared with others.

So, there's a very strong possibility that the 10 remaining editors will pass on this project, and Rainbow's story will go into the drawer with some of my other beloved novels that haven't found an audience yet. I've made peace with that possibility. There's a chance that, if this round of editors don't connect strongly enough with the story to overlook the visual flaws, maybe in the future, when my picture books become a big hit, I'll have stronger connections with publishers...

But perhaps I should be thinking more positively about Plan A instead of already emotionally resorting to Plan B. Ducktown still has a chance. Keep your feathers cross.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day Weekend in a Nut Shell

We built sets and props for "Around the World in 80 Days."

Cheri and I watched four episodes of "Game of Thrones" season two.

I graded a stack of in-class essays.

Mackenzie traveled with friends to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.

Emily is hard at work at algebra, and takes SNL breaks between problems.

"Duck Town" Update: Haven't heard anything from my agent. No news is good news, at this point. If an editor replied on Thursday or Friday, it probably would have been another rejection, similar to the one I received last week.

I am feeling positive and curious about what will happen next. "Duck Town" has twelve chances to connect with publishers. It might not pass the gatekeepers and waddle into bookstores, but right now, at this moment, the future is wonderfully unknown.