I wrote The Nex in 2008, and it was one of the most pleasant writing experiences of my life. I challenged myself to make sure every chapter included a spectacle or a revelation (or both), and had a great time doing it.
I sent it to some first readers, got some great feedback, revised it, sent it to my agent, made some changes she suggested, and then we sent it out into the world…
And nobody wanted to publish it. The rejections were mostly very nice, but they were still rejections. I could speculate about why it didn’t sell — it’s got a 13-year-old protagonist, which positions it as an upper middle grade book, but there are also lots of adult characters and, uh, situations, which makes it seem more like a young adult book, and the mismatch makes it hard to market; it’s a science fiction novel in an industry where, I’m told, fantasy novels are a much easier sell; and so on.
It’s not the first novel I’ve written and failed to sell… but I think it’s the best novel I’ve written and failed to sell. I considered just trunking it, but the thing is, I love this book. I love the narrator Randy, I love Howlaa and Wisp, I love the whole world of Nexington-on-Axis. I want people to read about them. Since I’ve had such great luck with my previous two online serials, I thought… why not do another one?
So I did.