My first non-supernatural book.

I read the first two chapters of "Deep Sea Rising" at writer's group. They seemed to like it.

I think it is the best overall thing I've done. At least by my standards, it's got a interesting premise, rounded characters, competent writing, and a plot with momentum.

It's also, by coincidence, the first non-supernatural book I've written. (Not that there is anything wrong with supernatural books.) It is more in Micheal Crichton territory -- a little bit of speculation on things that could really happen. A bit fantastical, perhaps, but well within disaster thriller range. It could also be marketed as a "creature" book. So it has a few more options, that is, if any of those options were actually open to me.

The agent thing is the big roadblock. I tried that first off and got absolutely nowhere. I'm not willing to do it again. Not one agent was even interested in looking at "Led to the Slaughter," which I thought was a pretty good book and had an interesting premise. The shut-out totally shocked me.

I've sent "Deep Sea Rising" to a couple of publishers without editing (hi, Lara...). The reason is -- if this book can't get any notice from publishers the way it is, then probably nothing I'm doing will work. I'd even send this book to the Big 5 if I could, I think it's that good, but I'd need an agent for that, unfortunately. I have a backdoor to one of the big publishers (actually the 6th biggest publisher, heh) but I don't know if the door is open, closed, or locked.

Some, maybe most, of my books I realize are just "quirky." If you're trying to break in, writing "quirky" books isn't probably the way to do it.

But if your goal is to have fun writing books, writing "quirky" books is absolutely the way to do it. My writing career has been a gradual realization that what I'm writing and the way I want to write and how much promoting I want to do is not conducive in many cases to actually selling books.

One thing I learned at the store. Make your success on Your Own Terms. You can build from there. You can continue to enjoy what you're doing. Don't make success on Their Terms. You'll hate what you're doing, no matter how successful you are on the outside.

So I'm approaching my writing from the same perspective. If I'm successful on My Own Terms then great -- but the hell with all that other bullshit. Being miserable for success isn't success at all.