Around this time 2 years ago I started writing my first male/male romance novel. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I had written plays and I felt I understood enough about storytelling and structure to put together a novel. After a year of chipping away, I submitted The Woodcarver’s Model to the Totally Entwined Group (TEG).
In July of 2021, I signed a contract with Pride Publishing (a division of TEG) and since then, I’ve been on an amazing journey. It was only possible for The Woodcarver’s Model to come out thanks to the love and support of an incredible team, and I want to take the time to thank them today.
So first of all, thanks to CEO Claire Siemaszkiewicz for taking a chance on an unknown author and bringing me into the TEG family.
Thanks to publisher Rebecca Scott in England for her endless support and for answering my queries well after hours when she should have been eating or drinking or sleeping instead of replying to emails from Toronto sent in a time zone 5 hours away.
Thanks to my editor Anna Olson in Vancouver. Your editing taught me so very much, and I continue to learn. You were kind, but firm and made the novel a much better book.
Thanks to the line editors Lori and Kristin for final edits after Anna had worked her magic.
Thanks to Kelly Martin in Los Angeles for an incredible cover for the book. A cover is a huge marketing tool, and you matched the tone of the novel perfectly.
A HUGE thank you to TEG’s head of U.S. marketing Lori Bell Blantin in North Carolina. Marketing a book in an ever-changing landscape of publishing is a daunting task. Aside from getting Advanced Reader Copies out and arranging an incredible release blitz, she also took so much extra time with my numerous emails trying to figure out how I could get the novel to more readers and helping me better understand how to support her marketing work.
Thanks to Katie Phoenix from Gay Romance Reviews for handling additional publicity and promotion from Brisbane Australia, while dealing with a 13 hour time difference.
Needless to say, with this many time zones in play, there weren’t many meetings we all attended, but individually this team worked hard to get the book to launch day.
Over the next month, a combination of 40 different romance blogs, web pages and other media publications that are focused on gay romance will feature and review the book. This will connect the book to tens of thousands of potential readers. As people read the book or review it in their publication, these reviews will filter onto the Goodreads and Amazon pages. As these reviews accumulate, the book will be marketed through various ads on social media using the best pull quotes and matching the novel with more interested readers.
The first push for the book lasts about a month. After that time there will be a resting period, and then in the summer, I will get in a larger order of the print copy of the book and do a book signing, and perhaps even visit a few places to meet with the readers. I’ll keep you posted on that.
In the meantime, I am hoping to have a draft of my second novel in good shape for submission to the publisher early in the summer of this year. This is planned to be the first of a series of gay detective novels set in Calgary, so stay tuned for progress as that book makes its way through the process from early draft to finished book.
And next year the audio book (and possibly a translation into another language) of The Woodcarver’s Model will be released. So there’s lots to follow in the weeks, months and year ahead.
In the meantime, thanks for reading, for supporting and for sharing in the journey of my debut novel. Stories don’t come to life without readers and I am so grateful for any and all who choose to pick up the book. Here’s a little video to share my joy at launching.
Next week, I’ll check in and let you know how the launch went.
Peter E. Fenton
You can get your own copy of The Woodcarver’s Model by clicking here.