Friday, August 8, 2008

My Writing (bringing you up to date)

When I first started the Last Rites series, I had no idea it was going to be a series. I just decided that a life of writing short stories and poetry should finally evolve into the big thing that is the novel. It's been a dream of mine since I was quite young to see my book of the shelves of some book store. To have just one stranger walk up to me and say they enjoyed, or even just read, my book I would be enthralled with joy.

The writing process is a long and torturous journey. There's many decisions to be made and many forks in the road along the way. Self-publish or send it out to a publisher with big hopes, or even seek out an agent and before you do all that you need a manuscript, and a good one at that because the competition is fierce.

I completed the rough draft of the first book in the series on December 29, 2005 at 11:09 PM. The revision process began and I finally had something I was satisfied with when I finished my final edit on January 12, 2006 at 11:30 PM. About a year passed by of trying to decide the next step and the world of dealing with an agent (more of that in upcoming entries, probably - lol). It was decided another edit was necessary and I found a great friend with lots of talent and on March 6, 2007, the final edit of the book was completed when Debra Brothers finished her edit.

The ride has been a long learning process and it is anything but done. Keep in touch and wish me luck.


Over the last little while I've taken a time-out from looking at those big name publishers and I have decided to devote some time to the upcoming world of self-publishing. What really catches my eye is the do-it-yourself freedom and the print-on-demand technology. All of this stuff has made big changes to the writer's world and has made publishing available to everyone.

Does it mean I'm giving up on my the big leagues and settling with sharing my work beside Grandma's Favorites Recipes and Little Lucy's First Book of Poetry? The right answer is the world of self-publishing means a lot more than those silly examples (and I will never give up on signing with a big name publisher).

What I've decided to go with now is a company that allows on-line distribution so I can accomplish the first step of publishing and getting it available and then the next step will be self marketing. This should be an entertaining venture and that's partially why I came back to this blog, to keep you informed on this journey.

I invite friends, family, fantasy readers and fans and anybody who has ever dreamed of seeing their work in print, to come along for the ride. It should at the least, be entertaining.


I printed off the 100,000 words I spent so long on previously and watched it bleed an ink cartridge almost completely dry before spitting out the last page. Holding a completed manuscript with a headful of dreams and asking myself, "What the fuck comes next?"

I was happy and confused and wondering what came next. I HAVE A MANUSCRIPT. Does that mean some guy from some publishing house was going to contact me and offer a contract? Of course not. What did it mean? I really didn't know. In my confusion what do you think I did? I sat back down at the computer and wrote the introduction to the next book in the series. What the hell was I thinking? What kind of crazy person decides it's a good idea to make their first novel the start of a trilogy?

I took some copies of the book and gave it to a few select friends and began digesting opinions. I'll be honest here when I say I was hoping for some negative feedback. There was some talk of grammar and such but as far as content and storyline and all that stuff, no negative feedback. I was looking for something to improve on, since I still didn't know what to do next. Last Rites: Divine Intervention, the premier novel by Corey J. McKenzie, was taking up hard drive space and it was a thick chunk of papers stacked on the side of a desk completing dust. Last Rites: Out From The Inside, the great and exciting follow-up was in the works, but I was pretty dead in the water for ideas. It had to be better than "Divine" but with no negative feedback, I had no idea where to go, except for that lingering talk of grammar and stuff.

Editing. Where in the hell would that come from? I started to look into prices and thought about getting it professionally edited and was blown away by the prices. Seriously, no offence to the editing world, but what the hell? ... ... ... But then you start thinking about the amount of work that goes into editing and it starts to make sense. I still wasn't willing to pay. It wasn't going to happen.

There was a little thing called the "Teletech Printings" about now, but that will be it's own publishing entry later probably. So...

THE BIG NAME PUBLISHING HOUSE! That's my answer. I'll hook up with them and then they will have their fancy-smancy editors go over my book and send me big fat checks in the mail. The search for a publisher began. (Just to stay with this, I'd say this is about 1 and a half ago now, maybe a little more).

As I was publisher surfing on the net I came across the New York Literary Agency. The next year and a half or so would revolve around these guys (at least my writing career did). I sent manuscript, they accepted, I got happy that the first place I sent it accepted it, I waited, they did their thing, I waited, they did their thing, they tell me I need a "critique".

Crtique - $100 or so to have some guy in California read my book and tell me what it thinks so a publisher will know if it is marketable or not.

I didn't mind this idea because I thought, here comes that negative feedback I wanted. Well, the critique comes back saying it has a catchy start, the book is marketable and it needs some editing for grammar. $100 well spent? My fucking ass.

More time passes. More steps. Sign again for another year. More time. The letter. They decide to cutback on their fiction section to focus more on their non-fiction work. Makes sense to me.

I was bummed at first, but then I figured it put the power back into my own hands. With a newfound freedom I felt really inspired and got into work on Out From The Inside (OFTI). I was poking away and ideas were forming, but the whole trilogy idea became a solid idea in my mind right around the droppage from NYLA.

Time was spent on writing OFTI with little or no focus on Divine and then there was the big timeout. I'm not getting into my personal life but when my family and social did a fucking backflip and was piledrived into the cement I stopped writing.

Blah blah blah blah, yackety smackety (does anyone else remember the Tasmanian Devil's dad on Tazmania? - that's some good OJ - lol),

Sitting on Facebook and I see an advertisement for WORDCLAY. The self-publishing ideas come real and I figure maybe once I get some sales up I got a better chance of presenting a trilogy to a big name publisher successfully.

That gets me pretty close to where we are now, with some missing gaps (some I will fill, some I won't). Til next time.


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