After writing a novel, EYEWALL, about an Air Force Hurricane Hunter that becomes trapped in the eye of a hurricane, I feel as though that I, too, have become trapped in one.

As an unpublished (read unproven) novelist, I need a literary agent to get my manuscript through the front door of a major publishing house. Trouble is, most agents aren’t going to be interested in you unless you’ve been previously published. While I have been, it was as a nonfiction author not a novelist, and that, understandably, doesn’t count. Thus, I find myself ensnared in a classic Catch 22.

But it’s worse than that. Even some critically acclaimed authors find they can no longer land a major publisher because their previous sales weren’t “stellar” (read didn’t make a lot of money).

In Atlanta, there’s an eminently successful novelist, David Fulmer, who’s published six books, won major awards and received glowing reviews. Yet because his novels didn’t sell in droves (and to some extent because the economy did a face plant), he can’t find a publisher for number seven, The Fall.

Solution: create your own publishing company, which David did. It’s called Five Stones Press. Five Stones will be a lifeline for David and other authors who have proven themselves over and over, yet haven’t been able to scale the best-seller mountain.

Five Stones won’t help debut novelists like myself, but I’m glad it’s out there to assist other quality writers. Maybe someday….

In the meantime, I’ll continue to play my role in Groundhog Day, trying to find that one agent who would love to take a wild ride into the heart of a cat 5 hurricane, face an onrushing storm surge on a coastal island, and verbally joust with an acerbic network TV executive.

Yes, there’s a little sex and romance in EYEWALL, too. I know what sells.

Photo: In the eye of Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (Hurricane Hunters Association).
After writing a novel about a Hurricane Hunter that becomes trapped in the eye of a hurricane, I feel as though I’ve become trapped in one, too.

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