Earlier this summer, I saw an anthology submission call on Storm Moon Press’s for a Trans* story. The call was due October 30th and I had a very long percolating idea that I believed would fit it fairly perfectly. Feeling excited and inspired,and finding myself with an unexpected free day earlier in the summer, I banged out around 9k of a rough draft, knowing that I’d need to flesh it out, slow scenes down, etc, by about 10k more words to make the story work.
A few weeks ago, SMP announced in a blog post that they were reorganizing anthology submission calls. Their reasons were understandable and sound, so I support their decision. At the same time, I looked at my little story and thought, “Now what do I do with you? It was on my calendar to have you ready to submit by October. Now the due date has been pushed to June 2014. Do I really want to just put you aside for that long?”
I decided that I would do just that, focusing on what I am supposedly committed to finishing this year: ’90s Coming of Age Novel (real title to be revealed when it’s, ya know, done).
But then a week or so ago a friend asked me, “Hey, you know your Trans* story? Do you think it would work to turn it into a Young Adult book? Maybe expand it out to 45k instead of just the 20k originally planned? Because Harmony Ink is looking for YA Trans* novels/novellas, and based on what you’ve told me about this particular story, it seems easy enough to age them down a bit, de-sexify it in terms of how hot the single sex scene is, and expand the scope.”
So, I took a look-see. And, yes, I could do that. It would be a completely different story in some ways. She’s right that I’d have to tone down the sex scene, but there is only one, and that had been something that concerned me about whether or not SMP would accept it, because (I could be wrong!) I think they are usually a little more heavy on the erotic material.
Part of me thinks, “You should do this. What do you have to lose?”
The other part of me answers, “Time on ’90s Coming of Age Novel for one.”
After all, there is a big time commitment difference between a 20k short and a 45k novella. And, well, that sex scene I’d be toning down is kinda hot and I’d hate to kill it. But it might be for the best. Hmm.
But, here’s another thing to consider, if Harmony turned it down, which, you know, let’s keep it real, is likely to totally happen, then SMP does have a YA imprint, right? Oh, except they’ve closed their doors to unsolicited submissions at this point, I think. Does that apply to their YA imprint? I should email them and ask. That might make a difference for me. If I’m going to expand this thing into a YA novel/novella, then I would want to make sure I had multiple options for submissions. I’ve got self-publishing plans for other books but this particular story was never intended for that and so, as much as possible, anyway, I’d like to keep it in the “to be submitted” pile.
Oh, and that brings up the whole pen name thing. Would I need a new one for YA books? Lord knows the sexy fairy tales aren’t targeted to teenagers. So many things to consider! So much priority juggling if I do this!
Thoughts? Opinions? Personal thoughts you’d like to share about your experience with either press? Feel free to email at “leta dot blake dot author at the mail of g” if you want to share anything privately.