I was scanning the web today, looking for things to put in my press kit, when I came across an interview I did ages ago for Literary Potpourri when my Alexander book first came out. The magazine editor, Beverly Jackson, asked me about finding a publisher. This is what I replied.
Jackson: Do you think you’ve created a new genre? This doesn’t really fit sci-fi or magical realism or mainstream novels, does it? Did you have any trouble finding a publisher? Did the publishing world understand what you were up to? I notice the book is published in Australia.
Macaire: I can imagine Homer trying to sell his Iliad to a modern publisher, and it’s more or less what happened with me and the agents and publishers I approached.
Homer: “Describe my book’s genre? Well, it speaks of war, so it could be an adventure, but it has a love story between Hector and his wife…oh yes, and it has paranormal elements, there’s Cassandra, she sees the future. There are religious factors, the gods and goddesses are always appearing and there is a definite historical slant, after all, it’s about the siege of Troy, but there is quite a bit of humor. What do you think?”
Publisher: “I’m sorry, it doesn’t fit our publishing needs right now. It’s well written, but doesn’t match any category. We wish you the best of luck with another publisher.”
Homer: “I have another one too, this one is called ‘The Odyssey’ and I think it could be classified as a travelogue.” He hesitates. “Adventure travel with elements of romance and the paranormal.”
Publisher: “Send in the first three chapters and a synopsis. We’ll get back to you in about a year. But don’t get your hopes up. History books are not selling, series are out of the question for an unknown, cross-genre is not acceptable for traditional publishers and you haven’t been published before.”
Post Scriptum: Accent Press has accepted the series, and I’m waiting for edits. I’m very excited about the publisher.It’s wonderful to have a new home for Alexander.
I waited four years before finding a publisher. Most editors loved the story, but no one wanted to take a chance on something so radically different than what is ‘out there’. I had a problem with the fact that Alexander had more than one wife, that he was bisexual, and that Ashley is not faithful to Alexander. She falls in love with Plexis, and Plexis is in love with Alexander, and the whole story sort of overwhelmed some people. One person sent back my manuscript with ‘I can’t handle this!’ in big red letters. That was a low point, but I never got upset about it. I love this series, and to tell the absolute truth, even if it hadn’t been published, I still would have been content. I truly love to read these books, and that, to me, is why I wrote them. Because they are fun to read and to entertain. Even if it’s only myself.