The phone call from my editor: “Hey Jules, how are you doing?”
“Good . . . I am good, aren’t I?”
“Well that depends on if you’re okay with an early 2011 release of The Hazzardous Universe . . . we were thinking February.”
This is where I rupture my editor’s eardrums with my girl screams and do a happy dance that makes me look maniacal on the front porch of my country store.
This moment has been a long time in the making. In 2007, I went to LTUE (Life, The Universe, and everything). I spoke on several panels, sold a bunch of books, and made some new friends. One of those friends was an artist. His name was Kevin Wasden. He drew me a little dragon, and a little ogre, and bought one of my books.
Several days later, he wrote me an email, asking me to lunch. Turns out he had been sketching a particular character for years and he wanted to see this character in a book. But he was an artist, not a writer. He needed a writer. And since he’d bought my book, went home, and read it, he decided I was the writer he needed.
We met for lunch and he showed me all his ideas for this character. The sketches were amazing and I had to say yes to the project because only an idiot would turn down a character with a wicked awesome name like Hap Hazzard.
The book has been through several revisions and morphing as the story grew beyond just a single book. We’d have to do a series. I finished book one and outlined the series–deciding we’d write the next book when the first book sold.
We’ve had a LOT of interest over the last couple of years, but it seemed an author/artist combo was an impossible sale to publishing houses who already had their stable of artists. No one was willing to take us as a team.
My editor (Kirk Shaw–the brilliant) asked me to send it to him–even though my publishing house didn’t do science fiction. He sent it off to readers, got amazing reviews back and prepared a kick butt presentation to a marketing board who felt wary of embarking into a genre they’d never done before.
And bless them all, they were interested. Interested enough to want to meet with Kevin and I and hear more. The meeting was awesome, Kevin shone like a rock star, and they told us they’d discuss it again in their committee meeting.
The next 24 hours were nerve-wracking, and ended with the above phone call conversation. Kevin and I have been officially accepted as a team and will be able to do the book as we envisioned in the beginning. The first book of the Hazzardous Universe will release in February of 2011 and it is going to be awesome!
I am humbled and thrilled that my publishing house believes in me and is taking this chance to sail into new waters with me. They are awesome!
Seven months until blast off! I’d better get writing book 2!