Saturday, September 26, 2009

This Writing Life

A while back, I wrote about waiting for agents to tell me whether they were interested in The House of Eli, my novel about black men, fatherhood, and violence. (That's the shorthand description I came up for author bios.)

The agent who's had the book since March has been impossible to reach. But the second agent called recently to say she liked the book, wanted to work with me to get it published, and thought it would have a better chance if I made some revisions.

We spent nearly an hour on the telephone.

Of course, no writer likes to hear his book's too long, but she made some great suggestions. And I knew she understood what I was trying to do when she started to give an example of a scene that could be cut and I finished the sentence for her and she said, "Yes, that one. It's great, well-written, and everything. But does it really belong in this book?"

So that was about two weeks ago, and after a cold that had me off my feet for several days (when you have an 8-year-old, you catch everything that's going around the classroom), I'm back at work.

With any luck, I'll have the book done by . . .

No, no predictions. like auto and home repair, writing always takes longer than you think.

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