Tuesday, April 1, 2014

US Publication coming for My 2nd Novel


 It's happening! US publication for my next book!

Shishmaref, Alaska. Photo by my friend Dennis Davis
 Many of you are already aware of the long struggle to get my novel The Raven’s Gift into print here in the US. At the time, that manuscript, with themes of the world ending, faced the publishing boards in some major houses as the world did seem to be ending. The big houses here in America passed on the book, but other countries snapped it up. Three years later, Penguin Canada brought the title to the US through a cool little boutique of Penguin US called Pintail. The Raven’s Gift went on to become a one of the Washington Post Notable fiction selections for 2013.

Until today, my new novel, Moving Salmon Bay, by all appearances, seemed to be headed down the same strange river. Where The Raven’s Gift was initially published in Canada, this new novel seemed as if it would first be published in France and only in France.

Once again rejected by the US, I thought I would have to wait to see what would happen in France and hope for my own stubborn country to come around some day before it was too late, and this stressed me out to no end. The book simply couldn’t wait. We as a species couldn't wait. The title says it all, the book is about a fictional Alaskan village that is moving. The reason they are moving? It isn't because they want to live somewhere with a IHOP. It's climate change. Global warming. Seas rising. This is a reality that nearly a dozen Alaskan communities face right now. The projections from scientists have revealed our earth's warming rates are increasing. The projections haven’t even been fast enough to keep up with the warming trends.

The peril some Alaskan communities face is the same that so many other communities across the world are or will soon also be facing themselves.

 If Moving Salmon Bay wasn’t going to be published within the next year or so, it might be too late. The story would have been not only passé, but completely irrelevant, as the major publishers themselves will have relocated, leaving editors, publishers, and publicists at the major houses themselves climate refugees.

Great Auk House
While climate change and the threat of rising seas appear to be something that America cannot or isn’t willing to address in any meaningful way, there is suddenly hope for the publication of Moving Salmon Bay! Just as the Canadians knew that the message in The Raven’s Gift would resonate with Americans, when our own American publishers did not, a multi-lateral publishing house, comprised of 188 of the 189 countries attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference will publish the novel in the USA under the Dodo Books banner, an imprint of Great Auk.

While I’ll still have to toss and turn in bed at night, distressed for my Alaskan friends who live in fear of each big coastal storm, I no longer have to shrug my shoulders when fans of The Raven’s Gift ask when my next book will be out. I no longer have to lie about interest from publishers to friends and colleagues who have read the manuscript to Moving Salmon Bay and who say it’s better than The Raven’s Gift.  I can now tell them they can pre-order a copy of the novel on my website. I am relieved and grateful to the rest of the world for their support of my work (and for acknowledging climate change), and while those countries don’t have the military or economic power to make the US do anything related to saving the planet, they can at least bring us good books to read while the fool ship sinks. 

1 comment:

  1. congrats don. way to stick with a good work and not give up - can't wai to read