12 Winters Blog

Men of Winter paperback proofs, and ‘Melvill’ available again

Posted in November 2010 by Ted Morrissey on November 28, 2010

I received the proof of the paperback edition of Men of Winter, and it looks good. The back cover and spine are a bit out of whack and the printer will have to correct them before the presses roll — but it’s very close to being done. The ebook and paperback are available on the Punkin House Press website, specifically punkinbooks.com, listed in the fiction section. Now I’ll have to focus on finding places to read and otherwise promote the novel. I’d like to enter it in some contests for first novels, etc., but, looking online, several require copies of the book by early or mid December, which seems odd to me — why not mid January so that all 2010 novels could be submitted? Some accept bound galleys in lieu of the book itself, but I’m not really in a position to get something like that together either. These are small matters, however, and overall it’ll be good to get it out in the world.

Speaking of being out in the world, the excerpt from my novella Weeping with an Ancient God, titled “Melvill in the Marquesas,” is available again online. It was published in the journal The Final Draft, but was taken down after a few weeks. It now has permanent link (thank you, again, to editor Bob Rothberg). I hope to publish the novella along with a collection of previously published stories in the coming year. I was gratified that I received three offers of publication after The Final Draft had taken it (even though I’d immediately withdrawn it), and at least two other editors who took the time to say how much they liked it even though they weren’t offering to publish it. Perhaps, then, there will be some interest in the novella when it becomes available in full. For years novellas were very difficult to place with a publisher, but given our culture’s shrinking attention span, perhaps the twenty-first century will see a revival in the novella form.

Contributing to this revival may be the ereader. I’m reading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and last week I stumbled upon another blogger, Diane Farr, reading the novel, but doing so via a kindle. In her blog, The Best by Farr, she talks about liking her new kindle, but, reading something like Anna Karenina, it’s difficult to get a sense of where she is in the book. I haven’t tried using an ereader, but I think I would miss the concrete sense of knowing I’m a  third through the book, or half, or nearly finished, etc. Perhaps, then, the boom in ereadership will make shorter works like novellas especially attractive. Diane makes some interesting observations about Anna Karenina and the experience of reading it, so check out her blog post (linked above).

I’ve also returned to some degree to the Quiddity fold. I had been an editor for the journal for its first four issues, but I resigned to focus on finishing my Ph.D. and devoting more energy to my own writing and publishing. I was especially involved in producing the journal. They’d encouraged me to come back to that post, of producing the journal, but I didn’t want to invest that much time (and brain power); however, I have started reading for the journal again. I have a batch of newly arrived poems, for example, that I’ll take a look at this afternoon. Luckily, one of my former students, Laurel Williams, was able to take the production job; I know she’ll be a tremendous addition to the Q crew.

On the creative writing front, it took about six weeks but I finished a draft of chapter 19 of my novel in progress, the Authoress. Part of that time was spent reading and researching Romeo and Juliet, so it wasn’t, strictly speaking, all writing time — but the reading and researching were necessary parts of the composing process. With all the hubbub  associated with bringing out Men of Winter, I’ve nearly forgotten about my story “The Composure of Death” that will be appearing in Pisgah Review — but I’m very pleased to be a part of Pisgah‘s pages, edited by Jubal Tiner. I suspect the issue with “Composure” will be out in the spring. I’m also proud and honored to have a how-to piece coming out some time in the next few months in Writers Ask, a publication of Glimmer Train Press.

tedmorrissey.com

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