Way back in October of 2005 I began writing the series of articles for Blogcritics.org called NaNoWriMo Notes. The NaNoWriMo of the title refers to something called the National Novel Writing Month competition in which participants attempt to write 50,000 words towards a novel in the space of thirty days, or the month of November. NaNoWriMo Notes started off as a record of my efforts to make the deadline in 2005, and then evolved into a record of taking what I started that November to completion and my continued efforts to find a publisher for the final manuscript.
It's been getting more and more difficult for unpublished authors to find a publisher, and I was no exception. So I put the manuscript aside for a bit and focused on writing as much as I possibly could, because it's what I liked doing. Then the strangest thing started to happen: people began approaching me to buy my work. It started off with the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine asking me for permission to reprint an interview I had done with American singer/songwriter Willy DeVille (I ended up providing most of the copy for a special feature they did on him for their February 2008 issue) and continued that fall when the web magazine Qantara.de approached me to contribute articles on a freelance basis.
Finding my work in demand, I decided to re-visit my manuscript and began the process of going through it again with an eye for making edits and re-writes to prepare it for publication. I had come across a new publishing house whose website said they were actively seeking new authors, so I figured it was worth the effort to polish it up and send off the standard query letter. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if I wanted people to read it that I was probably going to have to go the self-publishing route, but it couldn't hurt to make one last effort at having somebody else publish it for me.
Much to my surprise, and delight, not only did they respond positively to my query letter, after reading a 50 page excerpt they requested the full manuscript. That was at the end of January 2009 and although they said they would get back to me in a week or so, I'm still waiting to hear from them as to their final decision. I'm not sure whether that's a good or a bad sign that they're taking longer then they said they would, but for the time being I'm not all that disturbed by their slowness, for as it turns out I'm going to be a published author anyway.