Two days ago I put the final edits to the final draft of a novel I have been working on for the last three years. The novel is called The Bleeding Room and is without a doubt the most lofty writing goal I have ever set for myself. In its first incarnation, it was a tiny 240 page novel that was a simple ghost story. But in editing that version of it, I found that I liked the characters too much to have their story end so abruptly. So I started re-writing and making additions and before I knew it, my simple little book had become this 460 page novel. But before the edits, something horrible happened…
The jump drive to which I had been saving the progress was destroyed. Surviving a panic attack and with the help of my wife’s patience (I had to use hers because my own patience is this tiny, useless creature), I was able to retrieve the story from the wreckage of the disk. Then, about 6 months later, as I was about to begin the final edits, we got a new computer. In swapping all of our files over, guess what ended up missing? Yes. The only thing that successfully made the data-jump was the original, shorter version. The Bleeding Room was lost…I spent the last half of 2007 with a sick feeling in my stomach, sure that all of that work had gone down the drain.
But then my wife came to my rescue again. I have to hand it to her; while she won’t read anything I write (she’s a bit of a wuss, mind you), she has been incredibly supportive. One night, while I was away on business, she calls to tell me that she found The Bleeding Room; I was so happy that you’d think she’d told me that not only had she found it, but had already found representation for it and all I had to do was sign the contract. So I have saved The Bleeding Room in its final state in four different locations.
Long story short, I began sending out queries today. It’s quite a humbling experience to have three years worth of your life boiled down to a three paragraph synopsis, Yahoo mail and a reader/editor whom you have never met. (Even worse is sending it snail mail…a bulky little package that looks not only puny, but awkward, too; dropping it in the mail slot is somehow not as gratifying as some may think. It’s actually sort of frightening).
A moral to this story, you ask? You bet. ALWAYS HAVE A BACK-UP COPY. Or an awesome wife. One or the other. Hopefully one day soon there will be a post on here with good news regarding The Bleeding Room. Until then, keep checking back for possible updates on the handful of short stories I have floating around out there.
Fading back into the shadows,