I Guess Every Form Of Refuge Has Its Price

I queried another publisher today.  Before I did I specifically asked if they accepted submissions which have been previously self-published and they said yes. I feel pretty good about this one, I addressed my query to an editor who mentioned some of my influences as being among her favorites.  So, we’ll see.

So far that makes three publishers (one of whom has so far replied in the negative) and one agent.  I have tomorrow off work (it’s the Feast Of St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of the university) and I will do more research and send out more queries if I find suitable targets.

I’ve been fighting off the crazy with a big stick lately.  It’s hard work.  I ran across a review of Cannibal Hearts in a publication for a group that I used to be a member of, and while it was gratifying to see (it was a positive review) I found myself brooding on the circumstances of leaving that group.  Not good.

One of the things about dissociation is that it’s like leprosy of the heart.  The major danger of leprosy is that it destroys the nerves that register pain, and so the sufferer can be injured and not know it.  It’s not the disease that causes the damage directly, it’s the untreated wounds.

Dissociation is like that.  Because I have a mechanism that prevents me from feeling emotional pain, I often don’t realize how badly something bothers me until much later.  It still hurts me, but I’m not aware that I am hurt until secondary symptoms begin to surface, and by then a sort of emotional gangrene has set in.

I find myself dealing with feelings of anger at a betrayal that is several years in the past, and I’m feeling a lot of it for the first time.  It isn’t a good time for this, but there really isn’t ever a good time for processing emotional baggage.  Or for a schizoid break, for that matter.

In any event, I have received a lot of positive feedback on this blog, and I think that keeping it going is the best course for my career as a writer.  So no matter what the eventual status of my books, I think I’ll probably be here on WordPress (and Twitter) for the long haul.

Thanks to everyone who said that they like reading my thoughts.

One question that I would like to address to my readers–do you think that my work qualifies as GLBT fiction?  I don’t really think of my work that way, but I do have an intersex romantic lead for my protagonist, and of my supporting characters who are in relationships I have more homosexual relationships than heterosexual ones. (Actually, I only have one relationship that is between one human male and one human female, pretty much every other one is in some way “different”.)

This isn’t something that I set out to do, it just kind of happened that way.  I guess I tend to think of GLBT fiction as being polemic in some way, and I just write stories that happen to feature characters who are, uh, sexually adventurous.  Which may just be my own prejudice.

So, opinions?  If a publisher of agent specifies an interest in GLBT fiction, do you think I can pitch my work that way?

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in On Promotion, On Publishing, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to I Guess Every Form Of Refuge Has Its Price

  1. I have the exact same disposition in that often I don’t process things, or emotional events, until a good while after they have been completeted. I’m glad you have had some hopeful moments lately.

  2. Sue says:

    I understand your emotional issues and as far as GLBT I found this definition which mentions “community” In that case yours does not qualify I don’t think

    It may qualify under the heading of “diversity”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_literature

  3. kingmidget says:

    I don’t think of your stories as LGBT.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      I don’t either, but I’m wondering if I have a too narrow idea of what LGBT fiction is.

      • kingmidget says:

        Here’s the way I look at it … I’m Swiss. Let’s say there’s a genre out there for Swiss literature and a book labeled itself as being Swiss literature. So, I think, “Yes, I’m going to read that.” And, then it turns out that one character is Swiss, but the story doesn’t really have anything to do with Swiss culture or history or Switzerland. I’d feel misled by the author’s listing the book as Swiss literature. I think labeling your book as LGBT fiction would lead to the same results.

      • MishaBurnett says:

        That’s a good analogy, actually. Thank you.

  4. Well, I for one am glad you’re planning to stay on WordPress 🙂 As for your question … yes, I’d say your works qualify as LGBT. I mean, it’s not as overt as, say, a lesbian erotica. But the themes are very much present, even if they’re not the focal point of the story. In fact, I really liked how Godiva’s big reveal happened in the first book — it was impactful, but also subtle –you know, you didn’t hit readers over the head with it. So I’d say that, if you’re looking into an agent or publisher who are interested in LGBT, why not mention it? The worst that will happen is they read the book and decide it’s not … I don’t know, not LGBT enough for them … but in that case, you got them to read the book, so victory!!!

    • MishaBurnett says:

      I’m glad you like Godiva’s reveal–that was a difficult scene to write, precisely because I wanted it to be subtle. Working out James’ reactions was tough.

  5. sknicholls says:

    I agree with Michelle about both. Glad to know that you are sticking around, and also I think that the sexuality in the book is worth a mention. It is not mainstream, and there are certainly LGBT readers who would/could relate in this sci-fi/urban fantasy. Not everyone who is LGBT is looking for a LGBT romance novel…of course it doesn’t fit that genre…but it does fit the theme.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      I have found that there is a lot of overlap between alternative sexuality and Science Fiction/Fantasy. I think that themes of being an alien speak strongly to that demographic.

  6. Dave Higgins says:

    I suspect whether someone sees your work as LGBT fiction depends on where they draw the line between plot and character: your characters have varied sexualities, but the challenges of the books are not focused on those sexualities.

    So for someone looking for positive representations of LGBT, the books are LGBT fiction. For someone looking for representations that speak to their experience of being LGBT they might not be.

    Even with extensive research, you won’t know what a publisher’s definition is until you pitch, so I suggest trying it: a rejection doesn’t make the book less published than not submitting at all.

  7. Jade Reyner says:

    I am so pleased that you are sticking around to keep us posted on your journey and it sounds like you have wasted no time in moving forwards. Sometimes we all find that we don’t completely process things until much later but it sounds like you are in a fairly positive mind set right now so good luck with it all! And do keep us up to date. 🙂

  8. Miss Alexandrina says:

    Good luck! Querying is an insane business (I know – I’m in the midst of it, too), but, though I can’t say I know exactly how you feel, we have to ‘fight off the crazy’ as it comes. Think of the victory in every loss.

    This may sound counter-intuitive, perhaps, but you probably have an advantage for having already got the books out there – after all, with the good reviews, that shows editors that you’ve already spent the time getting the book(s) up to publishable quality and have a successful online following because of it.

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