Politics Magazine

Number Six

Posted on the 13 June 2024 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

Signing a book contract always makes me happy.  There’s a validation to it.  Someone thinks my thoughts are worthwhile.  And now I can reveal what it’s about.  Regular readers likely already have some inkling, due to the number of times I referenced Sleepy Hollow over the past couple of years.  I’ll provide more details closer to the time, but it struck me back when working on Holy Horror that few resources exist for “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” despite its status as such a well-known story.  An agent or two agreed with me that the topic was good but they really weren’t sure it was a commercial project.  This despite the fact that Lindsey Beer is slated to write and direct a reboot of the famous 1999 movie.  It seemed that a book on the topic available at the time might sell.

Number SixJohn Quidor, The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I tried a number of independent publishers that don’t require agents.  I learned that most of them won’t even reply to your emails.  It seems that to get published by any trade publisher you have to be already famous.  Or maybe my idea’s just not good.  Weird.  Finally I found a university press that thought it might be a good fit, and it occurred to me that McFarland, who recently dropped the price on Holy Horror, would be a good press for this kind of thing.  McFarland made an offer first, and yesterday they sent a contract.  Hopefully the book will be out next year.

This is quite a personal project.  The story is one of my early memories—most likely due to the Disney version of the story, and most likely as seen on television.  My treatment is, as in all of my books, idiosyncratic.  I look at things differently than other people do.  And I’ve been looking at Sleepy Hollow for half a century or so, and I’ve read quite a lot about Washington Irving and the Hudson Valley.  I don’t want to say too much since others write more swiftly than I do and some presses speed books along.  For the time being I can enjoy that rare feeling of having a book contract and an editor who’s excited about my project.  I do hope that the next book, number seven, might find a trade publisher.  What’s it about?  Well, I’m working on two at the moment, and it depends which reaches book length first.  And I can’t say anything since someone may scoop me.  So I’ll just bask a little bit before starting another work day.

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