2012: whether we like it or not (Brian Katcher)

2011 was both an excellent and a terrible year for my writing career. Excellent, in that Almost Perfect won the coveted Stonewall Book Award and Playing With Matches was also honored with the North Carolina Young Adult Book Award.

Unfortunately, there was also a glaring setback. My third book, Mysterious Ways, was set to be published this summer. I'd been paid, we'd discussed cover art and everything. And then, without warning or explanation, my contract was terminated. My wonderful agent tells me not to worry, she'll find it a new home. Except then she gets laid off. And while she's now working in the publishing industry again, I am without representation, and with an unpublished manuscript.

But I am an adult. I simply took a deep breath, counted to twenty, and let loose a stream of profanity that would make a sailor blush. No word yet on how that affected my real job as an elementary school librarian.

Now I could console myself with such lesser things as my good health, my loving wife, and wonderful daughter. But my thoughts kept returning to one theme:


Did I say revenge? Sorry, I meant perseverance. So what if I'd bragged about this third book to all my friends? So what if I'd been telling reporters about it for months? So what if I'd been yakking about it on facebook?

No, I'm not giving up on you, Mysterious Ways. As our webmistress, Holly Schindler told me, now I can make the book my own again. Stop thinking about impressing an editor and go back to the start. Remember why I wanted to tell the story of a lonely girl and her friend who secretly manipulates the news for his own personal gain.

And now I have a chance to rewrite my other unloved child, Everyone Dies at the End: A Romantic Comedy. We all love a good teen romance, and we all love a good Lovecraftian tale of horrors that dare not show their 'faces' to the world. Well now you can have both!

I'm so damn excited. I can't stop smiling.

Look out world! In 2012, I'm going to whip these babies into shape! Maybe even write another one. By 2013 you're going to see another book out there by Edmund Dantes...sorry, Brian Katcher! All I have to do is stagger drunkenly in front of some publisher's car.

'So much pain...but, um, I'm sure you don't want to see the police involved. I just happen to have a--cough, cough--manuscript here...'


  1. Best of luck getting them published! I think I'd pre-order Everyone Dies at the End: A Romantic Comedy on the strength of the title alone.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you're also dusting off EVERYONE DIES IN THE END. I agree--that's just a killer title. I'm so happy you're excited about these projects. 2012, here you come!

  3. 2012 is going to be a great year for you, Brian - I just know it. Killer writing (almost) always wins out in the end! You rock.

  4. It sucks to go through what you had to go through - having a publishing contract and then not having it. But I'm so glad you haven't given up on it (yay for Holly Scindler!).

    Everyone Dies In The End: A Romantic Comedy? How could anyone to take you up on that title alone? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?!

    And Mysterious Ways really has me...mystified.

    G'luck with everything, Brian! :)

  5. I'm glad you're viewing this setback as an opportunity. I love your first books (And love the title Everyone Dies at the End) I had the same problem when my publisher went under in 2011 leaving my second book without a home. But after reading this, I'm dusting that puppy off and forging forward with number three.

    Best of luck to you.

  6. Good lord. I didn't know agents could get laid off. I'm so lucky I never found an agent so that can't happen to me. The sweetest revenge will come when this book wins a million awards and the publishing exec who terminated the original contract will crawl home crying. I really liked Almost Perfect and I can't wait for the next book, whichever it is, to make an appearance.

  7. Hey I just read ALMOST PERFECT and LOVED LOVED IT! I'm with you, a fellow (emerging) YA author. I went and made my own YA lit mag called SUCKER. You should check it out. It was my response to this world of publishing. suckerliterarymagazine.wordpress.com/

    I'm also on my second agent and this time I know it's all gonna work out. Sometimes the changes are required to move forward. Rock on...I mean WRITE ON!

  8. Mega-congrats on the rewards! You'll land on both feet, brandish your sword, and reclaim your rightful place on the throne.

  9. Well.. However long it takes to publish your new works; you are heroically cool to me for writing Almost Perfect and giving young TS/TG people a book that reflects their truth in a realistic way. I admire you greatly for being an Author, Dad and Husband. I am very proud to call you Cousin-In-Law. ~Kelly W


Post a Comment