Saturday, December 17, 2011

Two Exciting New/Old Projects

I am currently writing multiple books – that’s the nature of being an author.  I’m going to go to Washington and Lee University this week to do some research on my Bert Hall biography.  I’m also doing some research on my next true crime book project on the murder of Daisy Zick.  I find the diversity of projects and their various stages in the lifecycle of a book being written gives me the flexibility I love about being a writer. 

Two of my projects are coming to the surface in the next month or so and both are incredibly neat.  That’s the focus of this week’s blog. 

First is Virginia Creeper.  This project was started by me years ago.  It is a horror/paranormal story – a new genre’ for me.  The story is set in Fauquier and Culpeper Virginia where I live and is written, for the most part, first person.   There’s a reason I chose to write the book this way…one that becomes clear as you read it. 

I’m publishing Virginia Creeper with Hydra Publishing.  My agent shopped this book around about 10 years ago.  We got some serious nibbles from some major publishers, so I kept working on it.  Usually I don’t keep working on a book until I have a contract in-hand but the nibbles we got were very promising.  They all fizzled though and with time and eventually my agent gave up.  Every year or two I would dust off the manuscript, revisit the story, write a little more, and see if there was any interest out there.  I discovered Hydra Publishing through a friend and they were excited about the prospects of doing Creeper.  From what I saw of their offerings and plans, the more I was looking forward to working with them.  They are the kind of start-up publisher that I think is going to go places in the next few years.  (I will write at some time about how the publishing industry is in complete upheaval.)   

For me this project was strange because I already had 78,000 words done by the time I had a publisher lined up.  So over this Christmas holiday I will be wrapping up the conclusion to the book and putting some polish on the older chapters.  It is a little strange to leap back into this book so close to the end.  I am also a little surprised at how my writing style has evolved over time.  I have worked on a lot of novels and books over the years and this project is very different.  A friend of mine read the first three chapters and told me he was nervous taking his trash out in the dark.   I think I hit the mark on this one.  Creeper is scary, frightening, and will be available this summer from Hydra Publishing. 

The second project that I am working on is Business Rules:  The Cynics Guidebook to the Corporate Overlords.  Yes, I am returning to business book writing and in a big way. 

Back in 1998 I wrote Cubicle Warfare and the book was a big hit.  I was on national TV and radio (Bill O’Reilly, Good Day New York, NPR, MSNBC, etc..) quite a bit talking about corporate culture and office politics.  I was even interviewed and featured in Fast Company magazine.   I always wanted to write a business book that would follow-up on Cubicle Warfare, but I never found the right venue. 

Business Rules is a book that will redefine business books.  It has taken me years to compile this work.  It is written to do something that most dry business books don’t do – entertain.  Oh, I know the trend in the last few years for academics to tell little stories in their leadership and management books to make the information palatable.  I sometimes find these insulting.  Business Rules is going to be written in a different format and approach.   It is written as a book that you can pick up and open to any page and start reading – or you can read it from beginning to end. 

The best part about Business Rules is that it is done.  I still need to do some editing on it, but the heavy-lifting in terms of the writing is complete.  I will put more in my blog on this book as it comes closer to a publishing date.   This book is going to generate a lot of buzz, so stay tuned! 

Horror – business – wow, this is going to be a Christmas to remember!

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