Back around October 2009, I finished work on a manuscript titled GENeration, a young adult science fiction book. I knew it wasn’t finished finished. I didn’t yet have an agent or editor for the book, but I knew that when I did, they would have their say in further re-writes. But I thought the book was ready enough to start querying agents. It turned out I was deluding myself, but I nevertheless e-mailed out my first query on October 13, 2009.
I’d been sending out queries for about a month and a half when it occurred to me that having a beta reader look it over would be a really great idea (gee, ya think?). Luckily, I could keep the read in the family via my younger son. He wasn’t exactly swimming in spare time (he was in the third year of his PhD in economics), but he’s a fast reader and brutally honest. He got back to me at the end of November 2009 with suggestions for some pretty extensive changes.
Of course, I’d already sent the complete manuscript out to a few agents, including the agent who eventually took me on. Hindsight being what it is, this was when I realized I really hadn’t been ready to start querying. Yes, I wish I’d thought to send the book to my son before that first query. But water under the bridge and all that.
In any case, those agents who had the manuscript were happy to replace it with the new and improved version. I eventually got offers from two agents. The agent I signed with asked for another major re-write before he sent it out. Then the book sold to Lee and Low/Tu Books, and required even more changes including a title morph from GENeration to Tankborn. Tankborn was released in Sept. 2011.
Along the way, what with all this re-writing and editing, by necessity a lot of material got deleted from the manuscript. As part of the various and sundry editing, there were four quite sizeable chunks that ended up on the cutting room floor. Each of them was at least a few pages long and the content in them was fairly significant. They offered some pretty cool perspectives of life on the planet Loka, where Tankborn is set. Unfortunately, these scenes didn’t do anything to move the story forward. They didn’t “earn their keep” and had to go.
But I thought it would be fun to put them up on my website, part of some exclusive material that will only be available there. So if you’d like to read what might have been in Tankborn, take a look here. If you haven’t yet read the book, there is some spoilerage, but it is clearly marked. So it’s safe for all to take a peek.