So This Is What It’s Like To Get Published (Part 1)

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(Updated August 23, 2015)

As many of you already know, Down & Out Books will be publishing my novella, CROSSWISE, in March of next year. I am beyond thrilled to work with D&OB and their fearless leader Eric Campbell (read my interview with him HERE). This is one publisher I have had my sights on since I decided to start writing mystery/crime fiction a few years ago. I can’t wait to see my name on the incredible author roster alongside Eric Beetner, Les Edgerton, Anonymous-9, Jack Getze, Anthony Neil Smith, Gary Phillips, Terrence McCauley and many, many others.

And just last week I announced that my novel BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION—the book that started all of this for me, and the first in a planned series—has been picked up by Rare Bird Books. It should be available (GULP) in October of THIS year. Guess I’ll be seeing you at Bouchercon in Raleigh.

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Read my interview with Rare Bird founder Tyson Cornell HERE.

Given the sudden increase in publishing activity around here, I thought I would start a semi-regular blog series about my beginner’s path to publishing. I am no expert, not by a long shot, and I don’t pretend to be. But as a rookie myself, I appreciate any insight I can get into this mysterious and often frustrating world. I hope you will enjoy what I have to share—whether you say “That sounds like a good idea. I think I’ll do that too,” “Why would anybody publish this idiot?!?” or something in between.

Florida 1
I thought I’d start by giving a little background on the books that I will be publishing.

BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION: As far as I can tell, I did this backwards. Many writers I have met started dipping their toes in these murky waters by publishing lots of short stories. I did that too, but not until I spent a couple of years finishing the first draft of my novel. It’s set in Southern California and concerns a punk rock beach rat who ends up an ex-cop in his early 40s. There is surfing, there is volleyball, there are lots of references to legendary punk bands, and there is murder. It was at 78,000 words two weeks ago. That’s when my awesome editor Elaine Ash (is she officially “my editor” now that she has done some editing on both the novel and novella???) gave me some very detailed notes and feedback. As of this morning, the most recent manuscript is hovering around 70,000. I will be happy with where it stands for approximately the next two minutes.

Florida 3CROSSWISE: This one started out as a short story. I wrote it in the early morning hours over several days while on vacation in Florida.

I took all these pictures, but the way. The place just screams murder, right? Well, for those who disagree, maybe this will help:

CROSSWISE is about an ex-NYPD officer who chases his cocaine-addict girlfriend to (Yep!) Florida. The panhandle, to be specific. This one is also very beachy (Sunshine Noir? Sandy Noir? Hardbody Noir? A Murder of Bros?), but in a very different way than BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION—except for all the murder. CROSSWISE is lighter in many ways, but there is enough blood to fill the Gulf of Mexico. Go figure. This one is currently hovering around 27,000 words.

Okay. That’s enough for now. I’ll check in again as soon as I have something interesting to share.

S.W. Lauden is a writer and drummer living in Los Angeles. His short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Akashic Books, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey, Dead Guns Magazine and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

13 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Writing Fiction Now.com and commented:
    Mr. Lauden is kind enough to share his exciting journey to getting published with the rest of us novices who are still as he puts it, “dipping our toes in these murky waters”, just feeling out the landscape and trying to get in. Stay tuned for more of his sage advice as his career takes off like a rocket!

    “Given the sudden increase in publishing activity around here, I thought I would start a semi-regular blog series about my beginner’s path to publishing. I am no expert, not by a long shot, and I don’t pretend to be. But as a rookie myself, I appreciate any insight I can get into this mysterious and often frustrating world. I hope you will enjoy what I have to share—whether you say “That sounds like a good idea. I think I’ll do that too,” “Why would anybody publish this idiot?!?” or something in between.”

  2. Welcome aboard the Down & Out label, S.W. See you at the Bouchercon book table. CROSSWISE sounds like a great read.

    • Thanks, Jack. Total honor to be working with the Down & Out team. So many great authors. Bouchercon’s gonna be a blast!

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