Friday, March 4, 2016

Anatomy of a Novel: 2

A Conversation:
A Friend: What are you working on?
Me: I’m rewriting Gifted Trust.
Friend: You can’t do that. It’s already published.
Me: It’s fiction and I wrote it. I can do any damn thing I want with it.

And Changes Were Made…
I did not invent the concept of changing a novel after it had already been released. FTR: Stephen King has done it several times. There are reasons and in the case of Gifted Trust – it needed it … all three times. As I progressed so did the story.

2002: 1st Book Library - Most who have read Gifted Trust don’t remember this one. The original version of GT was self-published and done so during a time when “real writers” didn’t do such things. Today doing so is looked upon in a different light, but back then I paid for what was considered a mistake. I would take copies to local bookstores and told that they wouldn’t put it on shelves with “real books”. I was made fun of and called names by “real writers”. My favorite was the label Mud Dweller by someone I won’t name now, because he apologized for it a few years later. Truth is – I deserved much of the negative output. I put out a good story that was terribly edited – some would say not edited at all. As much thought went into the writing as did the original cover (see below), which when one looks at it will get absolutely no clue what the story is about. This is one of the negatives of using a vanity press that offers covers designed by people who didn’t read the book.


2003: Biting Dog Publications – As bad as the above edition was, it drew a lot of attention including the eye of Dave Dinsmore of Biting Dog Press. At the time BDP specialized in beautifully designed handcrafted limited edition books by more popular writers. After he read GT he contacted me about releasing it with the request that I add a new ending. A few months prior to the request I wrote extended chapters, which I printed out and titled The Cat. This I gave away at a book signing at a Barnes and Noble in Pasadena, Texas. I easily adapted this as the new ending to the novel. Also it received some editing and a new cover by Alan M. Clark. Of all the GT covers, this was my favorite.


2014: Gifted Trust-Revised – People have asked if I’m planning on writing a sequel to GT and well… I wrote one. Problem is that it wasn’t very good. OK, it had some good stuff in it, but overall it sucked and Biting Dog didn’t like it. Still I didn’t want to let what they liked to go to waste. Back in 2010 I told Dave Dinsmore that I wanted to edit GT again and improve on it. He agreed, because he knew I would do it anyway. My reason – I was a different (hopefully better) writer. I cut over 10K words and added just as many with an entire new beginning and many changes in already written chapters. It was released as digital book and the tag Revised was added to the title as well as a new cover.


2016: Near the end of 2015 Biting Dog ended its ebook writers from the fold and I was free to release all my work again as an independent writer. Gifted Trust was once again edited and offered as an ebook both as a solo novel with the below cover I threw together in five minutes…

And it is also part of my collection Pretzel Logic: Tales of Love & Horror, which contains all of my work while with BDP.


So far that’s it – all the versions and covers that have bounced around (a couple still bouncing). Is that it? Well… probably not. I’m negotiating with another publisher to release GT and if it happens of course there will be one more cover to share.

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