After Michael Jordan retired in the mid-1990s, he announced his return 18 months later via fax using only 2 words.
I had sent 40 query letters out peddling 11:34 during the spring of last year. In the days and weeks that followed, I remained busy. I worked on the sequel and the trailer for the second novel. I received 11 rejections and 29 no-responses in the weeks that followed. It’s a little disheartening to write a 330-page novel, undergo two major revisions, minor edits here and there, and then not even get so much as a nibble. It did not deter me because I had a plan and was following my playbook to the tee.
In mid-July, I contacted a company in New York and paid them to professionally critique my novel. It would take 4 to 6 weeks before I received the critiqued copy. Meantime, I kept busy. My wife and I were active – walking, hiking, and cycling ten to fifteen miles per week. I could not sit still. Physically, I was feeling great.
Things were pretty good up until July 26, 2019, a date that will live in infamy. It was a Friday, and I felt the first symptoms that something was wrong. Three days later, I had pneumonia. I fell off the face of the planet. It would be the first of two consecutive bouts of the illness that would inflict me over seven months and require an additional six weeks to regain my stamina. I was diagnosed in December with a rare lung disease and began treatment for it. I went through hell and back, losing eight months of my life before returning to some level of normalcy.
For the first time since having my novel critiqued, I started the third major edit in March. It was slow-going as I was still feeling off my game. The critique I received in August 2019 was fantastic. It included a ton of helpful feedback: all of it was constructive; a great deal was favorable.
As of this blog, I have less than 100 pages to edit. When I am done editing, I will contact the same company in New York that assisted with the critique to request their help to rewrite my query letter and to assist in locating an agent or publisher.
I had hoped to be published by now, but life intervened. Life has a way of doing the unexpected. It took me to a very dark place, but I soldiered on. I worked my job through 2 bouts of pneumonia, living at my desk and in bed, powering through each moment of each hour of each day for eight months.
Maybe there is a lesson in there somewhere, but I’m not searching for lessons, answers, or whatever might be fished out of that ordeal. Life hit the pause button on me, and I am too busy trying to catch up.
I only have this to say: I'm back!
11:34 is coming, folks. I am working my butt off to get this thing wrapped up and readied for publication. Keep an eye out for updates over the coming weeks.