Back in 1994, I was not doing much comic book writing any more and so I decided to write a novel that had been percolating for a number of years. Weekend hours that had previously been devoted to tales of Superman, Aquaman, Air Wave, and numerous others became the time to write chapters.
The "present-day" of the story is 1992, but much of the action relates to events from 1968 and 1969, which are presented as flashbacks. (While I was certainly not the first to tell a tale this way, it has been interesting to note how this particular method of storytelling has become popular recently with the success of "Lost" on television.) I don't recall how long I worked on it, but eventually all the pieces of "The Junkyards of Memory" were done.
With my 80,000-word opus completed, I got in touch with an agent who was a friend of a friend. She said that she would circulate it to publishers she thought might be interested and I crossed my fingers. Some months later, my fingers long uncrossed, she had received a single response along the lines of, "He's a good writer, but this does not fit our publishing program." So I put the copy of the manuscript in a file drawer and stored the electronic file on a floppy disk and went on to other things.
And that is where it has remained, though two very small portions turn up every year in my CTY writing class. One scene is used as an example of how to utilize the setting to describe a character's personality; another is the basis for a radio play that the students read to learn how to use dialogue to tell a story. From time to time, one of the students would ask where to get a copy of the novel and I would say, "It hasn't been published."
Recently, however, Laurie and I were talking about some of her out-of-print books and the possibility of self-publishing them via lulu.com. Neither of us knew much about it, so I went to the site and checked it out. And, after doing so, I decided, "Why not publish my novel?"
I have to say this, if not for the electronic file, the book would still be a manuscript sitting in a filing cabinet. That I was able to do some light editing and then drop the entire text into one of lulu's templates is the only way this could have worked. Putting together the cover was fairly simple as well. In a couple of hours, I had everything ready to go.
And so, for anyone who is interested, "The Junkyards of Memory" is now available in hard copy (http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-junkyards-of-memory/12790822?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/2) or as a digital download (http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/the-junkyards-of-memory/12790823?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1).