Abaddon Open Subs Month: my submission, Colin Sinclair
2 years ago
The Open Door route seemed easier in a way. Engaging with an established market, slotting into a particular mind-set, following an already charted course, sort of thing.
I’d found the Abaddon Books line very appealing since the first releases back in 2006. Admired the general pulpy vibe, the passion and energy, the fact that everything was just ever so slightly brighter and more off kilter than you might have been expecting. Abaddon Books made even the rotting corpses of the risen dead seem fresh and new again.
Traditionally you’re writing for yourself and just guessing what might appeal to agents and editors down the line, but in this case there was at least a general direction to head in. A sort of inkling of the kind of thing they want to see within the pre-existing Abaddon series. Or at least there would have been if I’d gone with my first submission-candidate which involved Nazis and Egyptian magic, with a view to adding to the Tomes of the Dead line-up. Think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but with more zombies.
I had second thoughts of course. And you should never be afraid to do that as a writer. Think again.
Sometimes ideas spring forth fully realised, sometimes bits and pieces gather like the accretion disk around a stellar mass and eventually a more solid form emerges. In the case of my eventual pitch to Abaddon, I’d come up with a mostly-joking title years before and somehow, slow and sure, it grew from that seed into an actual plot with a beginning, middle and end.
More than that, it had given me the notion for a whole new Abaddon shared world, on the theme of invasions of all kinds; aliens, demons, monsters, Vikings, whatever, the possibilities were limitless…
As someone famous may have said, few submissions survive first contact with the Editor, and Abaddon didn’t so much rein in my initial concept as give it a sharper focus – alien invasions – with the overall title Invaders from Beyond.
I still have high hopes for that Nazis versus the Pyramids of Death caper, though.
Maybe next time.