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Bunny McBoobs, My First Book Failure

March 15, 2013  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, Not Exactly Random, Plot, The Craft   4 Comments

I wrote a book and it was fan-fiction. I wanted to see if I could plot without worrying about characterization.

And I could! I promptly shoved the book under the bed after having one of the kids draw a cover for it. Literally, it’s under the bed.

My second book I completely threw caution to the wind. I wrote a near-future science fiction book about a hot blonde teen girl named Bunny who was a polymath with an eidetic memory, living in a Washington coastal town during an economic downturn. The town had a nasty past, an “interesting” relationship with the local Indian tribe and… a vampiric alien.

It was a weird-ass book, but man, after a revision, I nailed the character voicing and the action scenes. I was fearless and it was way off the rails.

And I realized I could not sell it. This was not a book to launch a writing career as a novelist.

This book was important in that it was the first book I sent to beta readers. It broke through that wall most writers put around themselves when they are in that “this is a bit of crap but its good enough to get feedback.” zone. On one hand, you have to set your fears of your writing chops and worry that you’re using your friends aside and get feedback.

On the other, you need a dose of reality.

After the revisions I realized that I loved that book. I loved it very much. But I didn’t love it enough to sell it. In a sense, I picked the wrong book to write or the right book at the wrong time. This was a failure, in a way. I spent almost a year on it.

Ah, well. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything.

But someday I will come back to Bunny. Cause Bunny rules.

Bunny McBoobs

Bunny McBoobs

4 comments on: Bunny McBoobs, My First Book Failure

  1. Leigh K. Hunt March 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Fascinating post, Anthony 🙂 And definitely an interesting storyline. Something a tad …. different. Bunny McBoobs’ looks like she would have made one hell of a character.

    It’s interesting reading you talk about your first book…. I think I’m the same with my first as well. It’s kinda like losing your virginity or something, right? There is always a mental connection. My first book was written when my parents marriage broke up. Jeepers, that was rough. And who was the book about? Hot, orphan, twin sisters – named after my sister and me – Lizzie and Kathryn. Lizzie was all sweet and innocent – and Kathryn was a raging sex machine. (Lol. Lets just say that many many bottle of wine were consumed as I tried to write the sex scenes in this book…to which I discovered that writing sex scenes really wasn’t my thing.) So it became my first book,my first thriller, and my first experience of finishing a hard labour of love. And trust me, this book will never see the light of publishing days. No way. Nah-uh. Baaaaddddd.

    My friends were subjected to reading it (poor bastards) but what they gave me in return was absolutely invaluable: Keep writing – It’s not a bad story, but it’s not something I would pay for. (Whoa, tough love for me, huh?)

    And so I continued writing. And I pumped out book after book, and storyline after storyline… and now I have a whole trunk of manuscripts. Some that will see the world, and others that are better left in the dark until I can deal with them. But my very first love will always be Kathryn and Lizzie. They were fabulous characters to write and cut my teeth on.

    • The Admin March 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Indeed, it was a bit like losing one’s virginity. Well, that’s over. Let’s get to the real sex. Ha, ha, ha!

      Speaking of sex, that book had too much of it. One of my beta readers told me to cut half of it out and when I did, the book was 20K shorter.

      Whoops. Funny thing is Bunny, despite giving a well-timed sexual favor to an older man, remains a virgin during the entire book.


      Yes, my first love was indeed Bunny. But my love belongs to the Princess.

  2. Mike March 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I wrote a book once, as well.

    When you use the virginity analogy about a first book, it brings to mind some interesting clichés that apply to both experiences. Some want the milestone to be etched in perfection upon their memories. Some, perhaps dysfunctionally, perhaps pragmatically, just want that awkward, bumbling milestone out of the way so they can, as you say, get to the real sex. Some worry about their choice of partner and hold off until they find a soul mate or at least some sort of trustworthy accomplice. Some recognize the futility of such a search and see the commercialization and hype of it in the media as insurmountable and sacrifice a stranger upon the altar of their virtue… or is it the other way around? Heck, in both cases, some just decide to make a career of it.

    In any case, the world would be a better place if we could destigmatize both of these rites of passage. We would have more books and better ones, too, and fewer authors would confess to having trouble writing sex scenes.

    What? Oh… my book? Yeah, I sacrificed it on the altar of a twenty-something Argentine dance instructor from Australia that I met in Bali. She said the book was crap… but could she ever dance.

    • The Admin March 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Crap is so subjective, which is why when writing a book, you have to turn into a bit of a slut and hand that sucker out to at least three people, and it’s important to find people who know the genre.

      Then again, the dancer would probably make a good character in some book…

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