Tag Archives: Publishing

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…


Or at least the moment I’ve been waiting for.

Disclaimer: These are the scrambled thoughts of a man who is simultaneously exhilarated and exhausted, triumphant and tired, dauntless and overwhelmed.

My writer’s group gathered last night around the incomparable Gail Martin for our monthly meeting to discuss publishing, marketing and other facets of this writing business. The talk surrounded such things as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Shelfari, Reddit, and others, but as always we started our gathering with announcements, and this month, boy did I have an announcement to make.

On 28 Feb 2014, Lisa Gus at Curiosity Quills Press contacted my agent, Stacey Donaghy, with an offer to publish The Mussorgsky Riddle. On 13 Mar 2014, we accepted her kind offer. It’s been a long haul, this hike from novice writer to not so novice writer, unagented to agented, unpublished to contracted with a publisher, and at every step, I’ve always repeated the same mantra.

Patience, Darin. Patience.

Don’t get me wrong. I am beyond thrilled and can’t wait to hold this book that took me over two years to complete in my hand, but having had a week for all of the excitement to sink in, I’ve thought a lot about the experience. I fully expected to sit down tonight and turn out a full-on Kool and the Gang, Celebrate Good Times blog post, but as I sit here and listen to the 80’s shuffle echoing from my AppleTV, I became a little nostalgic–I know… that never happens to me ;-)–and this is what came out.

I’ve read stories of all the “overnight” successes who have been working at their craft for years, and though I have done anything but “arrive,” I get it. I’ve been writing for almost exactly ten years now, having written the first word of Pawn’s Gambit as I sat in a MIG hangar in northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, back when I stared up at Mars and it’s baleful red eye every night and wondered about having the god of war look down on me as I stood on a battlefield. Since that time I’ve written two complete novels, am currently on the last chapter of a third, have written half of a fourth (the sequel to PG), written and published 19 short stories among six small publishers as well as a rare piece of fiction in Chess Life magazine, attended half a dozen writer’s conference, met countless authors through local, regional, and national writers groups, participated in (and ran for two years) a writers group with 500 members that critiques writers’ works twice per month, and led a successful small critique group out of my home for years. And all this with a full time job and still needing to sleep and eat occasionally. Oh, and watch The Walking Dead, of course.

The constant along the entire way and at every step: waiting.

Not all waiting is the same.

There is counterproductive waiting. Waiting till I had time to write. (honestly, med school and residency had a lot to do with that) Waiting till I felt like writing before sitting down at the computer. Waiting till I had everything all worked out in a story to actually put down words. Lots of stuff like that. As a dyed in the wool procrastinator, I know all about that kind of waiting.

Then there is productive waiting. Keeping your eye on the ball. Being in it to win it. Being patient. Waiting for the right story idea. The right word. The right ending. The right agent. The right publisher. Have I been impatient at times? Of course. But sometimes, good things actually do come to those who wait. Just the right kind of waiting, I believe.

There’s a lot to be said for patience, and I will need plenty more as I have no doubt that the waiting has just begun. I have just started the editing process to get my manuscript up to speed for CQ standards and I see more waiting on the horizon. Waiting for first edits. For second edits. For the cover. ARCs. First reviews. First sales. First royalties.

And starting the whole process over for the next book.

These are all good things to wait for, but as I sit here and take a deep breath, I realized one important thing.

You can’t just mope while you are waiting for the next step. You have to enjoy it.

Mountain top experiences are just that. Brief views of breathtaking beauty punctuating miles of often brutal hiking. But despite the blisters and leg cramps,  there is joy not only in the vistas from the mountaintops, but from the water of a valley stream, the green of the forest, the camaraderie of your fellow hikers. You have to enjoy the process, not just the highs, and when I look back, I can say that my hike has been a good one.

A few quick thank yous to my fellow hikers, because you can never say thank you enough.

To Lisa Gus at CQ for giving me a chance.

To my Captain, Stacey Donaghy, for being the absolute best advocate for my work I could have imagined. Oh Captain, my Captain, thank you.

To my friends among Charlotte Writers, for being my Charlotte family. You all are the best. Don’t ever forget it.

To other friends, both near and far, for a million things, many of which neither of us may even remember anymore.

To my family, for their LITERALLY never ending support. You are on every page.

To God, for giving me at least my fair share of patience.

And lastly, to one of my favorite movies, for teaching me five simple words: Never give up. Never surrender.

On another night, I will type my “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” post, but for tonight, thoughtful introspection is the order of the evening.


Good night! And remember, if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough. Now get out there and WRITE!

The First of December

Status of current project:


Word Count thus far: 40,060

Page Count thus far: 127 pages

Goal for this week: Technically, 165 pages

(I started November 40 pages behind, and am now only 38 pages behind so actually I’m quite pleased!)

First off, to all of you who cranked out 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo, congrats and wow. I churned out 6500 words, and even those aren’t perfect. Got to keep at it for December. Hope to blog a bit more frequently in December, but was purposely waiting to see how much I could get done in November.

Still working on making connections in the writing world and going for the ever elusive representation. Not much news on that front, but Book 2 is shaping up regardless. The first “act” is basically done with two or three more to go. Depending on how many pages the next two acts take will determine whether the fourth act remains the fourth act of Book 2 or the first of Book 3. Still a bit up in the air. And with that, it’s one till midnight and I promised I would submit this blog before 2 December. Hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. Going for 50,000 words by New Years. We’ll see.

Lastly, I have recently made the acquaintance of Carrie Ryan, young adult author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a post-apocalyptic tale of zombies, isolation, religious fanatacism, and love. I am in the last chapter and hope to finish it tomorrow night. Check it out if you haven’t already. It is well worth the read!


(Imported from original website)

Happy Halloween!!!

Status of current project:


Word Count thus far: 33481

Page Count thus far: 106 pages

Goal for this week: So far behind it doesn’t matter… (technically, 145 pages)

Wow. What a week. Worked all week buffing my manuscript and synopsis to submit to an agent that I met at the Writer’s Conference in Cape Cod. Just e-mailed it two hours ago and so now, the waiting begins. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!

As a result of all my travels in October and trying to get everything ready for this latest submission, my time on Four Corners has been limited at best, but along with the rest of the NaNoWriMo writers, I plan to start cranking out some serious pages in November. I may blog again in November, but I hope to blog again on December 1st and have at least fifty more pages under my belt. That is my goal, and I’m sticking to it. (The poor NaNoWriMo people are trying to churn out around 170 pages in comparison. Wow…)

And with that, back to the fray. Page 107, here I come!


(Imported from original website)