Thursday, October 31, 2013

M. Gerrick's New Book The Vanished Knight and Why She Wanted It Published Traditionally

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.


Check out Misha Gericke's Blog

I knew from the beginning that I’d follow a more traditional publishing route with The Vanished Knight. 

While I see self-publishing as a viable option these days, I knew it wouldn’t suit me for various reasons. For one thing, I’m too perfectionistic to release something of a standard lower than traditionally published books. Besides that, my business training told me that moving into a market with so much competition, with a lower quality product, was stupidity. I also knew I had zero experience with pro editing, formatting, graphic design etc. 

Which meant that if I wanted to produce something of a standard acceptable for me, I’d have to pay for everything. Up front. In dollars. Which is ten times my home currency. Yeah… not a pretty calculation to make.

So agents and editor contracts it would be, then. When I finished my novel, and did the edits as far as I could possibly take them alone, I started querying. 

And querying. 

And querying. 

See, writing is in a highly subjective market. I tried to figure out if something was off with my novel and edited it two more times. Still nothing. Agents just weren’t interested in my huge-ass manuscript. In fact, I think there are exactly two out of almost 160 agents who read what I’d sent in.

It really made me jaded with the whole process. But that’s not what I want to go into today. I just want to say that I was almost done with querying. As in, I’d made it official on my blog that if I didn’t get joy within two months for that date, I’d find a way to self-publish after all. 

That day, I impulsively sent a mmm… What shall I call it? I sent an inquiry to a new editor at Etopia Press. Assuming that it’d be another no, I started writing the sequel so that I’d have it ready for self-publishing. Within a few days, the editor came back and asked for my full manuscript. A few weeks after that, I got a yes and a publishing contract. 

Sure, it came with a few hoops for me to jump through (I had to split my manuscript into two), but my editor saw what I was heading for with the story and loved all of it. So I signed. And the book came out within a few days of the anniversary of me starting to query. There’s just something so poetic about that, isn’t there? 

But yeah, if you know that you’ve got something good, don’t give up on it. You only need one person to get you before you get your lucky break. Keep going! 

About the author
M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com  


  1. How many people wouldn't have waited two more months? Glad you stuck it out and found a publisher!

  2. I like the story and the genre!

  3. Yes, the dreaded querying process has brought all writers to their knees, crying. So happy for you Misha!! Good Luck in the future and much success!

  4. Congratulations Misha! I am intrigued by self-publishing, but since I had a hard time changing the time zone on my blog, I don't think I have the skills to self-pub at this time, so I will stick with the traditional!

  5. Smart move by my calculation and I think it's working well. You done good.

    A Faraway View

  6. I'm so glad you didn't stop! It's amazing how things work out sometimes. Very inspiring story.

  7. A very inspirational story, Misha! I'm so happy you stuck with it!

    Querying and getting a publisher is a frustrating, demoralizing, agonizing, and maddening experience to go through.

    And I can't wait to do it!

    Just as soon as I finish the new MS I've started.

    We writers are obviously insane masochists...

  8. Such good advice:"... if you know that you’ve got something good, don’t give up on it." It's too easy to get beat up and forget this in the writing and publishing world today. Congratulations on your success.

  9. Alex, if I'm honest, I waited the two extra months because God told me to. If it wasn't for that, I might not have.

    Me too, Dez.

    Yeah Cathrina, it's not easy.

    Hahaha Elizabeth, that sounds like a good reason not to self publish. :-)

    Thanks Lee!

    Julie it is amazing how things fall together just right.

    Chris, you won't believe it, but I miss querying. Can't wait to start the nightmare again. :-P

    Cynthia, when we write, we assume everyone will like it. Not outright, but in that dark corner of our mind. So when agents start saying no, it feels like it's the book that's not right. Often, though, it's just the agent's subjective opinion.

  10. Great to hear about your success! It's wonderful when things come together like this, =)

  11. A great story of perseverance and success. It can be so frustrating but I'm glad you never gave up. Now if I could only find that one person for my stories!

  12. Greetings Misha,

    And there you be, my human friend. You stuck with it. You knew what was written in your heart. And your heart sang for it knew that your determination, your resilience would see you through. Well done and continued fulfilling writing to you.

    And greetings also to that lovely human, Lee.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

  13. It is always great to hear other people's stories about publishing. It sounds like everything fell into place at the right time for Misha. Her compromises sound like they were a win for her in the long run. Wishing her the best of luck. Her book sounds great! :)

  14. Congratulations, Misha! Thanks for sharing your story. When my querying time comes, I'm going to say to myself, just two more months :)

  15. Just another reminder of the power of being persistent and giving something a try. Good on you, Misha :-)

  16. I agree Joyce. It feels a lot like I was meant to get the book published. :-D

    Christine, I'm sure you will. You have awesome skills, lady.

    Thanks Penny. Looking back now, it doesn't look so bad, but when I was querying, it felt horrible.

    Jess, they definitely were for the win. My book is miles better now than when I queried it.

    Jenn, that might be an excellent way to look at it. Best of luck!

    Agreed, Angela. Mostly, my publishing deal was about me not wanting to give up on the book.

  17. I couldn't agree with you more. My own story mirrors yours exactly. I loved my book too much to give up even though I'd had no problem trunking the previous two novels. But not this one -- publish or die trying was my motto! I'm glad it worked out for both of us!! :-)

  18. Me too Lexa. Super happy for you. :-)

  19. congrats to misha! love the story & cover!


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