In the meantime, and in my impatience, I’ve done what’s generally considered a “no-no,” which is submit excerpts of the novel to small journals and contests. My hope was to achieve some minor success with said excerpts, thereby making it easier to pitch the full manuscript. An online article and an author neighbor of mine recently reminded me why this may be a bad idea.
Still, at the end of 2011 I sent around 17,000 words of the novel, as a stand-alone novella called "Golden Boy," to the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest and just learned that it received an Honorable Mention from K. D. Wentworth, longtime Coordinating Judge who recently passed away (which explains why her signature is missing from the certificate, though I was told mine was one of the last stories she read). In truth, the contest usually chooses somewhere around 100 honorable mentions each quarter—I’d guess maybe 10% of total entrants—and there are several tiers of “honor” above them. I’m aware that some regular contestants have around eight or more such mentions. But I figure it doesn’t hurt to file this away among my most flattering rejections.