Well, kittens, it’s official, and I can officially talk about it – as of today, I am a free, unsigned, unrepresented author. My agent, Joy Azmatia, is no longer working as an agent. And rather than going through the dance of trying to find another one, I’m going to try it on my own for a bit. Joy has been awesome; the agent I had before her, Timothy Seldes, was legendary for his talent and influence. They were both more than lovely to me – smart, kind, supportive, energetic – I couldn’t have asked for more. They both behaved like my career was just as important to them as it was to me, and I can never thank either of them enough.
But publishing has changed. And I’ve changed, too – I’m not as eager as I used to be, not as willing to compromise. I’ve been writing genre fiction for a long time now, and I’ve had a fair amount of mid-list success. But I’ve never really felt like I fit in. What I do has never really checked off all the boxes of what my genre is supposed to be – supernatural historical romance, with vampires – I can’t even define my genre without a whole sentence. And my box office as a writer has reflected that. The readers who have enjoyed my novels have really enjoyed them, and I love them all – you know who you are. And I hope I’ve done a good job of pushing my own vision of emotions and relationships and the universe at large through the mask of genre expectation – I hope these stories have been me. But I know they haven’t been completely me. I know there are things I’ve wanted desperately to do that I haven’t done because it wasn’t what mainstream publishing wanted – historical periods I’ve wanted to explore, relationships and characters I’ve wanted to talk about, beliefs I’ve wanted to share. The last couple of years, I’ve been working on two different projects, one an urban fantasy romance, one a contemporary pulp saga, and the idea of trying to force either into a mainstream publishing genre box makes me want to cry.
So I’ve decided I’m not going to – or not yet, anyway. I’m sad to lose my agent and scared to death of all the work and commitment publishing on my own is going to require. I’m learning all kinds of new stuff – if I didn’t have so many gifted friends to hold my hand and help me, I wouldn’t dare to even try. But after a couple of decades of being a storyteller for hire, I’m ready to open my own shop. Watch this space for the results – and in the meantime, pray for me, y’all.