After five months of intense back-and-forth editing between me and the publisher, I sent the final draft of Accursed Son to Shadow Spark Publishing on Thursday.
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
Accursed Son‘s ugly birth came in 2018 during a graduate class called “Writing the Novel.” We each had to plot and write a novel, or part of a novel. Accursed Son became my Writing Arts project, the mega-huge capstone endeavor we submitted at the end of our studies. When 2020 rolled around, I had completed the shittiest first draft imaginable, a sprawling epic of over 109,000 words. There were gunfights, disgusting deaths, and a Blessing of the Grapes ceremony that brought Armenian culture into this grandiose mess. I delivered my presentation to the students and faculty, read an excerpt from the draft (which, thankfully, no longer exists) and graduated.
That’s not the end of this story, Goldilocks. Not by a long shot.
Months passed, and I continued tweaking the book. Minor changes yielded to massive ones, as chapters were overhauled or deleted, a few characters were erased, and the plot changed. Most of these changes came at a developmental editor’s request, who simplified the story’s structure. I shrunk the book down to 77,000 words, then I discovered and plugged a major plot hole. The final version sits at a comfortable 87,000 words.
I’ve carried these characters with me for years: Armand, with his otherworldly gift and yearning to escape his current situation; Vonnie, with her down-to-earth practicality and survival skills; Berj, a mystery man sporting rune-covered gold teeth; and Roupen, the loving brother and king of snarky comments. It’s now time to release them upon an unsuspecting world.
The Accursed Son due for publication this December is nothing like the three dozen or so drafts I worked on during the years. It’s a sharp, poignant, and heartfelt novel with a sprinkle of magic, myth, and mayhem that entices readers onward. At least, that’s what I hope.
But for now, it’s finished and submitted, thank the gods. Next up, Shadow Spark Publishing will produce the digital Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). The ARCs are unpublished versions of the book that are distributed to reviewers, book bloggers, and readers to generate buzz and publicity before publication. With Accursed Son set to release Dec. 12, there’s plenty of time to get an ARC for reviewing.
Preorders for Accursed Son go live Nov. 12.
Watch this space for more info!
Looming on the Horizon…
With Accursed Son complete, I’m busy writing another super secret thing. It’s unlike anything I’ve written before, so it’s more involved and a little too persnickety for its own good, but it’s coming along, albeit slowly.
I can’t say anything about this project yet, but when I’m cleared, you’ll be the first to know.
Accursed Son T-shirts Are Here! Sorta…
I have a handful of Accursed Son T-shirts, and I’m selling them at Philcon. What is Philcon? It’s a literary science fiction/fantasy convention in Cherry Hill, N.J. held Nov. 18 to 20 this year. If you’re interested in wearing one of these beauties, then find me at Philcon. Be the envy of your office/classroom/funeral home with these stylish garments. Decorate your torso in a manner befitting your status. Delight in a book cover on your chest.