When last we met, I had hinted at the eventual outcome of this disoriented narrative, namely, that I was to become a published author. The quest for a publisher now takes a new turn: who could publish Corey Redekop? And more importantly, for the love of god, why?
Allow me to set the scene:
I had recently begun a short tenure as an assistant librarian at the John E. Robbins Library in Brandon, Manitoba. I had decided that five+ months without an answer from House of Anansi (the second publisher I contacted) was enough, and after some research, I sent my first twenty pages to ECW Press. Even though this was only my third mailing of Shelf Monkey, I didn't hold out much hope of a positive reply.
Three weeks later (a far shorter period of time than I had ever hoped), I was checking my e-mail at work. The date was october 19, 2005, just 8 days shy of my birthday. Sitting there in my Junk pile was a message from a unknown sender, with the subject, "Shelf Monkey."
This should have been a dead giveaway of interest, but I still opened the message with some trepidation. After all, I receive tons of spam every day, with differing subject lines of bewildering topics. Was it outside the realm of possibility that the words "Shelf" and "Monkey" would be somehow combined in an anonymous e-mail that would turn out to be an advertisement for a sure-fire method to enlarge my manhood? Could "Shelf Monkey" somehow be slang for the sexual act?
But it was not to be, and my manhood would have to stay at its normal size (Dammit!). Yet what I opened gave me a definite woody:
I've just had a chance to take a look at Shelf Monkey, and on first glance I thought it was funny and refreshing to read (I'm plowing through a very, very large pile of manuscripts right now, so I was glad to finally find one I could say that about... about which to say that?... anyway...). Would you mind sending me the complete manuscript?
I don't often like to reveal that when excited I shriek like a little girl getting a pony for her birthday, but that day, everyone in the library heard me. It wasn;t an acceptance, but the mere idea that someone, somewhere, actually liked something I wrote? Well, if that doesn't add a little iron to your pole, nothing will.
So, after telling everyone in hearing distance, I printed off the manuscript in its entirety and proudly sent it off, Xpresspost. Of course, there was a chance that a little Corey goes a long way, and 260 pages of him might be a little too much to bear.
Three weeks later, another note:
I've had a chance to read through Shelf Monkey, and I liked it a lot. I thought the scene of Thomas's first day at the bookstore (with the adult music pumping through the sound system) and his exasperation with people's book choices was hilarious. I thought the mystery of what really happened to Purvis kept me turning the pages -- was he dead? did they beat him up? is he just missing? -- and the scene where we ultimately find out what happens is a good one. I'm very interested in this book, and I think with some minor alterations it would be a great fit to the fiction line at ECW.
Let me know how open you are to making some alterations, and I'll send you along my thoughts on the book.
Thanks again for sending this manuscript to me, and I look forward to your response. :) I hope we'll be able to work together.
Once again - YES! The world was mine! All I had to do was sign the contract, and the money would come rolling in.
Next installment: The Awful Truth