Good News for My Friend Alex
On Aug. 2, after the novel-focused spinoff of my Kennesaw writing group reviewed the current draft of Amanda Williamson's novel Legacy of the Werewolf, Matt Schafer and I walked Alex Hughes back to her car. On the way there, we learned the good news that Alex had sold her novel Clean to the publisher Penguin, more specifically its Roc imprint.
Here's the page on Alex's site where she makes the announcement:
A Dream Realized: A Two-Book Deal
Based on this blog post, it seems the pivotal decision that led to the book deal was submitting Clean to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Apparently a lot of agents and publishers are interested in stories that do well in the contest and given how the publisher contacted Alex rather than the other way around, I think the publisher found the novel.
Those of you who've got a completed book, it might be a good idea to send it to Amazon. Of course, you should be absolutely, positively sure it's ready to go when you do that. After all, Alex went through multiple drafts of Clean before it hit ABNA. She brought it before the novel group fairly late in the cycle, since she mentioned having gone through several drafts at the meeting. I recommend joining writing groups, either in-person groups like can be found through meetup.com or all-online groups like Critters. They've been a big help to me and I credit one of my groups with helping me sell "Coil Gun."
About what's in her novel, I'm not going to go much beyond the blurb on the blog-post to avoid spoiling it nearly a year in advance. It's not really my cup of tea--my tastes in science-fiction tend to be more technological and more violent--but it's a well-done story. Alex is a better writer than I am, especially in the field of character development.
(For the record, she's the one who called Battle for the Wastelands a "boy book" and suggested I send it to Baen. However, she said if I elaborated on the characterization more, I could send it to a wider variety of markets. I'll have to work on that, once I actually finish. 70,000 words done, probably 20,000 to 30,000 to go.)
Plus, by setting it in Atlanta, she's writing about a familiar environment and is less likely to make mistakes about street names and the like.