When we last spoke on this topic, I was downhearted and glum, having never (and, to this date, ever) heard back from House of Anansi Press as to the debatable merits of my manuscript.
I began to make a list of possible presses that might be interested in my epic. With my Canadian Writer's Guide in one hand and access to the Internet near the other, I began to search for smaller, cooler publishers that might be more willing to gamble on an unknown and hitherto unpublished talent.
Cormorant Press - a great little press in Toronto that has published authors such as Joseph Boyden, Sky Gilbert, Neill Bissoondath, and Ray Robertson.
Great Plains Publications - a Winnipeg press (thought I should still seek to publish locally) who has published Clayton Bailey (finalist for the 2003 Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award), and Byron Rempel.
Goose Lane - a publisher located in Fredericton, N.B., where I earned my LL.B. Authors include Allan Cumyn and Douglas Glover.
Arsenal Pulp Press - an elder statesman of independent publishers, located in Vancouver. Famed Canadian novelists Michael Turner and Karen X. Tulchinsky got their start there.
Anvil Press - another Vancouver independent, this one came to my attention as the former host of the International 3-Day Novel Writing Contest (Arsenal Pulp Press was also involved). I particularly like their author Clint Hutzulak.
ENC Press - an extremely tiny, offbeat American publisher who came to my attention when they published Mark Rayner's novel The Amadeus Net. Mark is a professor/friend who teaches Website Design at the University of Western Ontario, and The Amadeus Net is a weird, funny, and truly original sci-fi novel.
All funky publishers, and all, if it weren't for fate/karma/luck, would have been contacted in turn. But fate/karma/luck stepped in. I was perusing the shelves at the UWO Bookstore, and I happened upon a very jazzy-looking novel titled 3000 Miles, by a gentleman by the name of Jason Schneider. Now, I still have not read 3000 Miles, as neither the UWO nor the London Public Library has seen fit to purchase a copy. Okay, I'm cheap. I'm still basically a student.
But on the book jacket alone, I looked up the particulars on the publisher, a Toronto-based independent named ECW Press. I liked what I saw: they were well-respected, firmly established, located nearby, and their non-fiction release The Molly Fire had just been nominated for a Governor General's Award.
But would they publish me? Short answer: yes. There's more, of course, much, much more. But my fingers are tired.