I Landed a Publisher Without Even Trying

Randal Eldon Greene
5 min readMar 3, 2023

This is not advice. This is simply what happened. It’s a story about obsession. And it’s a story that ends with me landing a publisher.

Let’s roll the clock back to 2018. I’m newly married. My spouse and I rent a house with a bat problem on the Iowa side of the Big Sioux River. One of the upper-story rooms is where I’ve tucked my desk, which has a chair’s length of visible carpet between it and the spare bed. It’s the first week of January and cold, and I’m working on a novel that won’t have a completed first draft until 2019. Or at least I’m supposed to be working on that novel. Instead, I’m on my computer, looking at old story files. Two of them jump out at me: Expire and The Defining Attribute of a Girl. The first one is a back-and-forth between two people. The second piece is a monologue. I decided that it would be more interesting to turn that second story into a two-person dialogue, like Expire.

I rewrote it. Loved it. Retitled the thing The Defining Attribute of a Woman since I was no longer the young 20-year-old who wrote the first draft. And I decided that I wanted to do this every week for a year. I ended up writing 53 pieces of pure dialogical fiction, some of which even got published by various platforms, including a couple using Medium. Most of these dialogues comprise the book which will be put out soon by the publisher I wasn’t seeking.

Okay. Let’s talk about phones now. And babies. At some point my wife and I were no longer newly weds and got the notion that a baby might be a good idea. This led to me realizing that I would probably need something with a slightly better camera and maybe internet access. So I swapped my so-called dumbphone for one of those fancy refurbished smartphones with all the bells and whistles like GPS and “free” brain-rotting apps.

I had already joined Instagram via a web browser, which doesn’t really work all that great. The only reason I found myself on “the gram” was because I had the notion that it might be a good platform to promote an author interview initiative called…

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Randal Eldon Greene

Fiction writer and founder of the "Hello, Author" interview newsletter.📗 AuthorGreene.com