A few years ago, I read an article about Teller, the silent and enigmatic half of magic duo Penn & Teller. It covered his efforts to patent/copyright the illusions he created, to prevent other performers from essentially stealing the tricks and performing them elsewhere (especially over in Europe). Or worse, deconstructing Teller’s illusions and posting online videos of how to perform them.
Technological advances have been a double-edged sword for professional illusionists. On one hand, high-definition video and the internet make it easier than ever for someone to rip off a magician’s tricks. On the other, new technologies also fuel innovation in performing magic tricks, opening up new possibilities for creating illusions.
The magic-with-technology question got me thinking about Clarke’s third law:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
I wondered how modern technology — especially in the hands of a professional stage magician — would look to someone from the Middle Ages. Without time travel, such an encounter would require another world. A world like Earth, but at a medieval state of technology. If a portal to such a world were discovered, it would be front page news.
Unless it was a large corporation that made the discovery, and they had their own plans for it.
That was the basis of THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL, an adult SF novel that landed me my fantastic agent, Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary Agency. She began pitching it to editors last fall, and we had strong interest. Two of them considered it for a long time. Unfortunately, they both passed, saying that there was much to like about the book but it needed some revisions.
The ROGUE Revision
In February, we got to work. I cajoled three of my close writing friends to read ROGUE and give me a brutally honest critique. Jennie and I developed a revision plan, and I got to work. Two months later, in mid-May, Jennie began pitching it to editors once again. The response this time around was strikingly different. We got an R&R two weeks later. I liked the editor’s comments and made some revisions to address them.
Two weeks after that, the Friday after #SFFpit, my phone rang. At least, I think it rang. The thing was on its last legs and I had trouble getting it to work. Even though I could hear the ringer, the damn phone wouldn’t let me see who was calling or answer.
Then I got a status notification: Missed call from Jennie Goloboy.
I had to reboot the phone before it would dial out, and then I got her voicemail. I didn’t leave a message, because I wasn’t certain she’d called. Like I said, my phone had a mind of its own. I was debating how to ask her if she’d called me (without seeming like a crazy person) when she called again. This time, I was able to answer.
It was Jennie.
She had called.
And I could tell, right away, that she was smiling.
So, my friends, it is with great joy that I announce the following: My debut novel The Rogue Retrieval has been acquired by David Pomerico at Harper Voyager! I’m excited at the chance to work with him, and simply delighted to have joined the house that publishes George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, and some of my other favorite authors.
The tentative release date is January 19th, 2016 (for the e-book version), with print to follow about a month later. Things are moving rather quickly. Thanks to the proactive folks at HarperCollins, you can already add The Rogue Retrieval to your wishlist at Amazon, mark it to-read on Goodreads, or pre-order at Barnes & Noble.
Thanks to My Team
Even though writing can be a solitary activity, no author is truly alone. Over the past few years, many people have played a vital role in helping me reach this point. I like to think of them as my team.
- My family, especially my wife Chris, without whose support and patience I’d never have come so far
- My fantastic literary agent Jennie, a calm and collected rock in the storm of my writing ambitions
- The sharp-eyed critique partners (Dannie, Gina, and Eric) who read ROGUE and gave me crucial feedback
- My close writing friends — you know who you are — who endured my long-winded e-mails and chat sessions
- Fellow aspiring authors from #PitchWars and #SFFpit and elsewhere, who motivated me to keep going.
THANK YOU to all of you for helping me get this far. I couldn’t have made it without you.
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