On never giving up

I started writing the Hacker of Guantanamo Bay in the summer of 2005 as I sat waiting for my flight in Las Vegas McCarren airport. I didn’t complete the first draft until the summer of 2012. After some editing I started querying agents. I had a few agents and editors tell me it was a good story, but it wasn’t for them. One even told me that she loved it, but the torture scenes were too vivid for her to be comfortable working with it. She told me she expected another publisher would gladly pick it up.
No one did. Most never got back to me.
I put the story aside to work on other things.
In 2016, I attended a talk at the DefCon hacker conference called how to own a country. This gave me an idea, and I went back to the Hacker of Guantanamo Bay. I introduced a new segment, but in the process realized that this segment was readily self contained. I began to shop it as a short story.
In Boskone, I got to attend a session where I got feed back on my writing style. I found the editors and agents loved what I had done, but my sentences were too uniform in structure. It was a subtle thing, but I needed to introduce more variation into my writing style.
I attacked the excerpt one more time, and sent it out.
This time I got a sale.
I applied the same lesson to the rest of the manuscript, in the hope that when folks read the excerpt, I can get someone interested in helping me bring the rest of the story into publication.
The story is good. More to the point, I never gave up on it.
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