I first contacted Avalon Books to query after my daughter had read a couple of their novels she got from the library and suggested that I could write something similar.
I’d been writing for about eight years at that point and had completed four novel-length manuscripts. When daughter mentioned Avalon Books, I read a couple of their books, and realized that the kinds of stories they published appealed to me, though none of the things I’d written to that point would be appropriate for them.
Still, I had an idea, so I quickly tapped out three chapters and an outline of a story I thought would interest them. Then I waited. I actually completed another book in progress at the time while I waited. A year or so later, I got a response from an editor at Avalon. She liked my idea, thought it would work for them, and wanted the full manuscript.
And that’s where it got interesting. I found the first three chapters I’d sent, but I couldn’t find the outline anywhere. This is so not me. I tend to be very organized and a bit of a packrat. I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t have kept a copy of the outline. But I searched both my digital files and paper ones and came up empty.
I had only the vaguest recollection of what I had put in the outline. I went ahead and wrote the book as it seemed like it should work, which I hoped was at least similar to what I’d promised. I actually completed that book pretty quickly, in just over a couple of months, as I recall. I liked the way it worked out even if I wasn’t sure how close it was to what I’d promised.
Hoping that the editor wouldn’t remember the original outline either, I sent off the completed manuscript. Apparently it worked for her, too.
A couple of months later I got the Call. Avalon offered me a contract for the book, however they didn’t like my original title for the book and suggested “The Night Prowlers” instead.
It was published about a year later. This is the cover for the original hardback version: