Keeping On Keeping On


This past week I got a call from John Koehler, the head of Koehler Books where I sent the manuscript to On the Wings of Morning and had a good half-hour conversation with him. He was very encouraging about the book and said they could offer me a co-publishing contract. He hoped I would hold out for a full contract and wished me well. I’m going to continue to send the ms out to some other possibilities. I always have John’s offer to fall back on. It would involve some cash outlay on my part, but we’ll see.

I then emailed a New York literary agent who is married to one of the vets who tends our cats. He answered in a few days, indicating that he didn’t know enough about the genre of my book to represent me. He was also kind and encouraging. I knew he was a long shot since he has represented some books and authors who are top-drawer. I didn’t expect he would take me on, but I was impressed by his taking me seriously.

I have another couple of publishers I’m going to try. I’ll probably get the queries to them later today and then sit back and wait for the answers. I can take rejection. In the 90’s I think I sent out about 200 poems to various publications. They were all rejected. Oh, well, you can’t make a living on poetry anyhow. I got over the rejection and realized that my strength is the short informal essay. This gave me a few years writing newspaper columns and blogs. I didn’t make a living on them, either, but I didn’t have to.

Actually, I hope I have a strength writing novels as well.

I’ll report next week on any success or failure I experience. I’m here to say that my contacts in the publishing business are personable people who are willing to help out a first time novelist. And I appreciate it.


About huckfinn47

I taught high school English for 32 years, all at Robinson High School in Fairfax, VA. My students called me "Mr. V," and I was fortunate to have some terrific young people in my classes. I have made contact with some of them, particularly on Facebook, and enjoy seeing what they're up to. My other nickname, given to me by our then assistant pastor Jim Vaught, is Lieutenant Dan, after the Gary Sinise character in Forrest Gump, one of my favorite movies. I never got anywhere near military service, so the name is somewhat ironic. I greatly admire our troops and respect their sacrifices. On the Wings of Morning is my first novel worth talking about.
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