I’m pleased to host author Keith Wayne McCoy at An Author’s Desk. Keith’s book, The Travelers, is a new release from BURST, Champagne Book Group’s fantasy/scifi imprint. Check out the blurb and buy links below.
Thank you Rita for inviting me to post on your popular blog. My debut novel “The Travelers”, an urban fantasy, was released Monday, February 3, 2014 with Burst. And on Friday, February 7, 2014, my novella “Castles Burning” was contracted, also with Burst. A very productive, exhilarating week to say the least.
I’d like to discuss my own approach to writing here and take no offense at those authors who are countered to it. I went to college in the early 90s and was taught that the proper steps for writing were creating and revising, re-editing, query letters via the post office with SASE, and, of course, rejection letters. The internet was not prominent at all back then and the idea of submitting query letters electronically was unheard of. I am amused by the contemplation of my mentors today in the world of Kindle, Nook, and iPad. Every single publishing house I queried required electronic interaction. I even signed my contract electronically. But I personally feel that the electronic approach is superior to the chapters or even the full manuscript. One editor who requested a manuscript replied via email that “slush piles” are a thing of the past. The writer still has the harrowing wait but it comes much faster. I am pleased to be part of the ebook phenomenon.
As for “The Travelers”, it was completely hand-written on yellow legal pads and revised and revised again before finally being typed in Word. As Rita Bay can attest, I am emphatically not computer literate. But I am learning. I must. We all must. The “Big Six” in New York are no longer the only means of becoming published and many, if not most of my friends and family, prefer the electronic editions as they can take them on vacation, to lunch time at work, and the air flight.
I scratch notes of lyrical sentences, dialogue, and plot possibilities on any piece of paper available whether it be a grocery bag, a calculator tape, or even the back of junk mail envelopes. When the idea hits, write it down immediately as I promise you will not remember it for a later, more convenient time. I have even woke up in the night with a conversation or scene description in mind and scrambled to the tiny notebook I keep on the nightstand. So, my author’s desk is everywhere a literary thought comes. That’s not to say that sitting at a blank computer screen and contemplating what to type first is not a perfectly valid method for writing. But I want the physical presence of the written word first and foremost.
I have been a collector of furniture and memorabilia from the 1930s luxury liner Queen Mary since the third grade. My love (actually compulsion) of writing took hold at the same time as I ferociously wrote tales involving the great liner. “The Travelers” is a product of that lifetime obsession in the fact that the retired liner permanently docked in Long Beach, California plays a very pivotal role in the plot. Urban Fantasy intertwines with the liner’s history to form an enigmatic portrayal of the ship’s personality. (And, believe me, she still has a soul that no other liner possessed, not even the Titanic. I know because I have vacationed and spent the night aboard her! She has a quality of alertness that refuses to be ignored.)
Although the novel has fantasy elements, it is essentially a character-study of a World War II GI and his British war bride who have an extraterrestrial encounter with an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children. My college professor read the manuscript before I began querying and told me that if it were a movie, it would be a David Lynch version of the film Ordinary People. I took this as a compliment. Thanks again for inviting me, Rita!
In 1947, the Queen Mary transmits a message which is intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.
In the present day, Guy Turner, a melancholy, black filmmaker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California. Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing.
Guy is thrust into an unexpected and unwanted voyage of self-discovery as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time.
Buy The Travellers HERE or click the cover.
Keith Wayne McCoy