I recently received another “thanks but no thanks” rejection letter from a major paperback publisher. They enjoyed reading it, but felt it wasn’t right for their list in this competitive market. However, their closing line said, “Please do feel free to submit to us again with any future projects.” So they liked my writing, just not the idea behind this series. I’ll take that as good news.
The question is: what future projects? I’ve been immersed neck-deep in writing the Penny McKenna series for so long, I don’t have a new character in the wings. Write what you know – so it should be set in the boating world somehow. Maybe on an ocean research vessel? One that’s out in the Arctic taking core samples of the ocean floor? I’m passionate about the ocean’s health and climate science, so that topic wouldn’t scare me. But should it be a murder mystery? Or more of a corporate espionage type of book?
Or now that the U.S. is catching on to the plastics issue, maybe it’s a research boat working on a machine to cost-effectively vacuum up the plastic from the giant Pacific Garbage Patch. It’s a collection of marine debris caught in the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone currents, cargo that ends up falling off ships or litter that finds its way from land. Someone steals their idea and technology…would that be plausible? Is it a valuable enough market that someone would want to steal it? Even if I don’t write it, the research will be fun.
Rest assured, Penny fans, I’m not putting her aside. I’ll keep marketing and plan to find a publishing home for her somewhere, and will be attending Crime Bake in the fall. But perhaps my brain needs something new to write about. Stay tuned!