We've only lived in our new Baton Rouge house since July. There is a workshop sort of building which makes a nice little office, and I immediately claimed it for Spain, declaring the room to be man-space. No wives or children. I'm going to put a little dorm-size refrigerator out there, a radio, etc. Going through the boxes of my former office (back in Oklahoma) I found the spiral-bound galleys of the never-published Three On a Light. I paged through it.
Three On a Light is not the triumph I thought/hoped it was at the time. It is genre-blend Private eye meets vampires and werewolves sort of thing. I thought I was really cool and original at the time, but of course, similar things have been done better before and since. Paging through, I discovered some rough spots. I've definitely matured as a writer since turning Three On a Light into my master's thesis in 1998 at the University of West Florida. The novel was meant to be a very aware-of-itself postmodern genre-ish thing, the tropes of the P.I. genre and the elements of the horror genre dueling it out on the page with a pop-culture flavor. I know now I would approach such a project differently than I did then.
Still, there are some nice moments. Under no circumstances do I consider the novel complete trash, and, indeed, I'm sure some folks would consider it a pleasant read. In fact, the novel was originally accepted for publication ... twice. For a variety of reasons, the book never saw the light of day. I have no hard feelings about this, but I must admit to a bit of disappointment. The book seems like the last orphan for which I could not find a home.
I'm not sure the thing could sell to any press today. I think I could take a month and smooth out some of the rough spots, but that would only be half the battle. The novel suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. I say "novel" but it's really more like a series of short stories that lead into one another. The whole thing is maybe 50,000 words long.
So there it is. This novel-ish/collection, genre-blend thing. Homeless. What does one do with such a creature?
How about you guys? Any strange orphans out there?