Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

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The Wild

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

The name of this website comes from a place name in the fantasy novel that I finished last fall, and which went to market in January. Long after I had started writing this novel, but long before it was done, my agent called to say he was concerned – the market for heroic fantasy had collapsed, and almost nothing was selling anymore. I wasn’t too bothered. This was typical of my career – the collapse of science fiction arguably began around the time I started breaking into the market – and anyway, I was writing the book I wanted to write. I hoped to have it published – I thought it would be published – but if not, at least I would have written it.

So I kept at it, through some very stressful years.

When my agent read it last fall, he was… shall we say ‘concerned’ again? ‘Finely crafted, but doesn’t draw the reader in until well-along in the story.’ I was surprised, and none too pleased, but after some discussion it went off to market anyway. His premonitions proved accurate, for the novel did not find a home among the last of the major fantasy publishers. The general reaction was very similar to my agent’s, “Doesn’t grab me enough; Doesn’t draw me in.” Well, okay.

Strangely enough, I am not depressed. I still think there is a market for this book, but now I will have to find it without the involvement of New York publishers. This is not a horrible fate. Truthfully, I have had such awful experiences with the publication of the last two books that it’s not hard to look at this positively.

So unless I am struck by a bolt of good sense and persuaded otherwise, it’s my plan to self-publish the novel. Not as it is, of course. The book did not garner the reaction I expected, and I want to try to understand why, and re-write it, if I can see a better way to do things. So now the book – and all the risk of publishing it – belongs to me alone, which is frightening and pleasant all at once. Since no one else can tell me what to title it, or what cover image to use, I would like to finally introduce it to you, at least by name. It’s called The Wild. I look forward to working on it again, and I will do my best to make it a better book by the time it sees print.

On to the Next One

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007


After three years (three years! I thought it was only two!) of intermittent writing, The Fantasy Novel — title to be determined – went off to my agent Howard Morhaim in November. I enjoyed the writing of this novel more than any other I have done – especially the last half of it, most of which was written in the past six months. Whether this pleasure in the creative process reflects on the quality of the book I won’t venture to say, but writing has rarely been a pleasant process for me, so it’s worth a mention.

I felt I came to a new understanding of the book during the final weeks of writing it. By the time I sent it off, I was immensely pleased with it, and already flirting with ideas for a sequel.

Many weeks have passed since then, and now the whole experience has become distant. All the many intervening events – both fun and tedious – have driven away the sweet intensity – the delicious obsession. I want to start writing again – either a sequel or something new – but it’s going to take time to find a new direction.