Friday, August 3, 2012

Entering the DEAD SPOTS

Now that PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS is with the editor who works on my self-published novels, I can concentrate on my new project for Tor.  Like most of my novels, DEAD SPOTS was born in a very, very vivid dream that scared me so badly I forced myself to wake up. The idea for the story intrigued me, but I was swamped with other obligations and couldn't fully develop it.

The publishing world continually fascinates and surprises me on a regular basis. The business can be very rough, but also very rewarding and full-filling. Rejection is a big part of being a writer when you're dealing with the big publishing houses. I was blessed to have my zombie trilogy picked up after I originally self-published it, but I had no idea what my next project with Tor would be. I knew my editor enjoyed working with me and believed in my writing abilities, but we had never discussed anything beyond AS THE WORLD DIES.

For a while I toyed with the idea of selling PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES or THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE to Tor, but shelved that idea after experiencing the burnout that comes with revising a work you've worked on for years. I didn't want to go back and revise yet another self-published work. I wanted to move forward and write something new.

I nervously told my agent of my decision and to my surprise she wholeheartedly agreed.  She was going to have lunch with my editor soon and told me she'd let me know what my editor thought of my idea. To be great relief, my Tor editor was in agreement.

So toward the end of last year, after SIEGE had finally been put to bed, I spoke with my agent and editor about several ideas I had bouncing around in my head. The concept that my agent and I love was tabled pretty quickly (I'll still write it day!), and another idea intrigued my editor, but she wasn't too sure. She wanted something very different from AS THE WORLD DIES. Something much more challenging that would show the world that I wasn't a one trick pony.  Panicking, I rummaged through my half-formed ideas  and started blathering about DEAD SPOTS.

"That's it," she said.

"Oh!" I was stunned. The story that was least-developed and that I hadn't really planned to pitch was the one she loved.

I immediately had to flesh out this wisp of an idea into a full-length synopsis and a first chapter.  Burned out after the final revision of SIEGE, I struggled.  Our first submission was returned for revision. My editor provided some great feedback that helped me gain the clarity I was struggling to obtain. I reworked the synopsis, rewrote the first chapter, and sent it back to my agent.  My agent made some additional suggestions based off the editorial letter from Tor. I thought her idea was great and suddenly I felt I had something really solid.

Flash forward a few months and I have a brand new deal with Tor for DEAD SPOTS.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. It's a challenge to write. Not only is the main character a complicated person to portray sympathetically, but the visuals in this story are going to be epic. I know this story is going to push me in a way I find exhilarating.

As of tonight, I'm over 10,000 words into the story. The world is growing richer and more exciting as I write. I can't wait to share this novel with all of you when it hits bookshelves in 2013.

For a peek into my inspirations for DEAD SPOTS, check out my pinterest board.


  1. This is really cool, thanks for sharing, Rhiannon! It's awesome to see the inner workings of the publishing industry. One day, I'll get there!

    Congrats on the new deal, too. I know you'll rock it!

    1. Keep trying, Mary! It sometimes takes a very long time, but it's worth it.


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