I’m published…

In German. Still haven’t gotten a bite from an American publisher. Dirk Van Den Boom, my German translator and a small-press superstar, e-mailed me day before yesterday to say that Zookland is now in print. I’m a published author! Because I had promised myself that I’d thank the men who saved my life a few years ago, I let go of the opportunity to acknowledge the people who made this book possible (as opposed to the guys who made everything I do today possible). First and foremost, of course, is Dirk, who had so much faith in the book that he spent a year translating it, at his own risk., I got an advance (a very small advance), but Dirk doesn’t make a Euro until the publisher does. Now that’s faith.

Guido Latz agreed to publish an unknown American author based on a sample chapter and a bio (and, I suspect, Dirk’s good name). I truly hope that the decision pays off so that he’ll want me back!

Before either of those people got involved, Nicky Browne, Brian Pickrell, Gray Woodland, Julie Pascal, Morgaine Finch, David Mitchell, Mary Ann Stout, Ric Locke, David Freidman, David Goldfarb , Melanie Hosmun, Jeanine Berry, and Rick Roots, Stan Jones and the whole gang at Chugiak Writer’s guild, and two or three others read and commented at length on one or more versions of Seraglio/Zook Country. Some of you have read more than one version, both with and without dragons. I think that for Morgaine, there came a point when she was spending most of her leisure reading hours reading new versions of my book. There was also a large collection of commentators on rec.arts.sf.composition.

I’m going to keep a contributor’s list with the next manuscript, for equity’s sake. In the meantime, I owe all of you a great debt of gratitude. It’s a far, far better book because of you. There will be a next adventure for Jake and Gary — they’re already running down an underground corridor watching somebody else’s plan go to pieces around them.

Coming to you soon, if you’re German

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a long time. Mostly, thinking what a bad Idea it might be. Offending possible future employers, making the mistake of putting my real opinion of the gatekeepers out on the public forum, being hated by left, right, and anarchists, possibly sometimes for the same posts.

You can’t win at this, it isn’t possible.

But what I came to say is, Zookland is about to be published, and I’m going to receive an actual advance.

This is very cool, IMO, even if I don’t fully understand my own book as I’m reading it. You see, the only publisher that has seen fit to commit money to bring my great genius to the masses is the German company, Atlantis Verlag. They have my book listed already, for pre-orders only. You can find Zookland, and its cover art, here. The question that waits to be answered: Did somebody recognize something special about my book, or did the publisher, Herr Latz, inhale the bus diesel fumes drifting in through his window as he read my manuscript, and lose track of what he ought to be doing?

Regardless of my opening remarks, I’m an optimist at heart. I’m betting that Herr Latz recognized a commercial property, and let my very good online friend Dirk Van Den Boom loose to translate it into their mother-tongue. I hope they’re right in their excitement about the project. Smart money might go on Dirk and Herr Latz encountering adverse environmental conditions while making the publishing determination. Only time will tell.

Oh, what is Zookland about? How does one face down a zook, and why would one wish to do so? I’m going to answer that next, if Marvin the Morose robot will let up to blog again…

Bill