Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why You Should Never Totally Scrap a Novel

A few years ago, I tried my hand at writing a crime/mystery novel. I was trying - then - to break out of horror. I had sold three novels to Kensington and was hoping for something bigger. I sent the novel - called Taken - to my agent.  He hated it, but he made suggestions. I rewrote it and sent it to him again. He still didn't feel it would sell. I had my wife read it. I knew she would give me an honest opinion.

The verdict? She didn't care for it, either. The parts that appealed to her were the horrific sections. The cop stuff I wrote about just wasn't me.  The gruesome parts kept her interest.  "You're a horror writer, honey," she'd said. That I am.  After I sulked for a little bit, I wrote the next book, which turned out to be No Escape. But I wanted the follow-up to No Escape to be both horrific and appeal to thriller fans.

Thus, The Hollow was born. I took a few characters from the now-abandoned Taken. Also grabbed some of the more horrific scenes that had captivated my wife's attention.  The rest I threw in the dumpster.  As a result, The Hollow turned out to be something completely new.

If you have an old manuscript or stack of short stories lying around, hang on to them. They might have a second life.

As far as The Hollow, I'm making a last pass on edits. It's formatted and the cover is ready. Look for it soon on Amazon Kindle. Here's the description of  The Hollow:

Twenty years ago a pair of killers went on a brutal crime spree.

Their final target was The Hollow Campgrounds. An entire family was slaughtered. Dragged from their cabins in the middle of the night. Then the killers vanished for twenty years. 

Now they're back.

Liz Mallory and her teenage daughter are taking a weekend camping trip to The Hollow with Liz's old college friends.

They're being watched. And the killers have come home.

The weekend plans are about to take a turn for the worse. 

The Hollow. How long could you survive?

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