Mark Terry

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Exhibit A

October 28, 2009
On Facebook today, Joe Konrath commented that he'd finished his 18th novel. I realized that my numbers are probably up there, but I didn't know. So I sat down to write the names of all the manuscripts I've actually completed. My number is 22, assuming I haven't forgotten anything. And I suppose I could also mention one really miserable rough draft of a screenplay and God knows how many unfinished novel fragments and short stories, etc. Crazy. (And weirdly crazier when you can't even remember the f-ing names of all of them). It's potentially helpful to remember that I started writing novels when I was 21 or 22 and didn't have a f-ing clue what I was doing (not that I necessarily do now). I find it interesting looking at the list to recognize when my novels started getting good enough to have a reasonable shot at publication--probably #7, Blood Secrets, which did, in fact, get a contract with Write Way Publishing, which went out of business (and then picked up by another company, that went out of business...).

In terms of the gratuitously humiliating, here's a list of titles. I can't guarantee they're all there or they're in the right order. And I think there's some debate as to whether Monster Seeker was actually ever completed.

Ace in the Hole (seems to me I renamed this, but I can't for the life of me remember what I retitled it)

Out On A Limb (a PI novel)

High Roller (in which a person who knows less than nothing about gambling writes a novel about a professional gambler)

Washington Shuffle (same character as High Roller)

Triple Bogie (great missed opportunity; a comic crime novel featuring a private eye)

Chippewa Paybacks (this is a quasi sequel to Out On A Limb, but... hmmm, did I ever complete Went Missing, a sequel to Out On A Limb? Seems to me I did. Okay, that makes 23?)

Blood Secrets (Theo MacGreggor)

Lethal Doses (Theo MacGreggor)

Victim #3 (Theo MacGreggor)

Dark Mistress (Theo MacGreggor; let this be a lesson to you--if you can't get the first novel published successfully featuring a series character, don't write three more featuring him. Dark Mistress was never shown to anyone, although LD and V#3 garnered some interest. They seem like immature work to me now, although there were good things in all of them).

Dirty Deeds--got published by the first publisher to read it

Bad Intentions (a sequel to DD, but through one bit of folly or another, never got published)

The Devil's Pitchfork (Derek Stillwater. And honestly, to my mind, I went to a completely different level with this book)

The Serpent's Kiss (Derek Stillwater)

The Fallen (Derek Stillwater, pub date April 2010)

The Valley of Shadows (Derek Stillwater, pub date September 2011)

Dancing In The Dark (Joanna Dancing; fair amount of interest, but ultimately no bites; I eventually self-published this as a Kindle e-book)

Hot Money (Austin Davis. It's still out there at at least one publisher, and if they turn it down I may very well show it to my current publisher. I love this character and would be absolutely delighted to write more books about him, but I may have learned my lesson from the Theo MacGreggor novels)

Peter Namaka and The Battle for Atlantis (my attempt at middle grade fantasy; my son loved it, my agent loved it, Random almost published it, but we eventually ran out of markets. Maybe someday, who knows?)

Fortress of Diamonds (another middle grade-ish fantasy/adventure, although I feel like it suffered from not being quite appropriate for the age I wrote it for. Some of my beta readers said so and that's sort of my inclination. "Almost, but no cigar," I guess. It might still be out in the marketplace, but I don't think so).

Monster Seeker (yet another middle grade fantasy/adventure. I think I got the age right this time, but my agent didn't like it and I apparently didn't feel so strongly about it to rewrite it).

This may very well be Exhibit A in the diagnosis of my obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Mark Terry


Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

LOL! About two or three years ago, I wrote down every short story and novella I'd ever written on a piece of paper, then went into each document and counted the words for each one. I wanted to know if I'd sold a million words yet.

Come to think of it, I think all that work was inspired by one of your posts about a million words.

(To put that in perspective, I was pushing fifty short stories and somewhere around twenty for novellas.) I still have that piece of paper. It's in pencil, and the whole piece is filled with tiny writing. I'm rather fond of it, for some bizarre reason, but I haven't updated it since.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I don't think I regret writing any of them, ultimately, but I do wish I'd been a little smarter and learned a little quicker.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Man, am I ever unproductive. I have written half of nine novels, eight of which are, or are soon to be, published; half of one unpublished novel; and all of one unpublished novel. Then again, I didn't try to write a novel until I was somewhere past 45.

Of course you now the nine published novels I mentioned. My unpublished solo (practice) book was a humorous murder mystery called The Body in the Re-entrant. (See my humorous orienteering blog entries...) The unpublished co-written novel is called Cellini's Angel -- a Victorian occult mystery.

3:30 PM  

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