Dennis Meredith: The Cerulean’s Secret

The Cerulean's Secret cover

Dennis Meredith
Glyphus LLC, February 1, 2015, $16.95 (paperback) $3.95 (Kindle)
ISBN: 9781939118141

Meredith reports:

My sci-fi novel The Cerulean’s Secret had its origins thirty years ago, when an oddball question popped into my head: What if there were a blue cat?

I suspect that notion arose because, at the time, as head of the Caltech news bureau, I was witnessing the beginning of the genomic engineering revolution. Biologist Leroy Hood and his colleagues were inventing the first “gene machines:” the DNA sequencer, DNA synthesizer, protein sequenator, and protein synthesizer. I believed that these machines would ultimately spawn an extraordinary technology for manipulating the genome.

Dennis Meredith

Dennis Meredith

As the technology evolved, so did the story of my imaginary blue cat. I began crafting the novel some two decades ago, as genomic science fiction became science fact. Once the book was finished, a commercial publisher did show interest, but the experience was frustrating. The editor strung me along for years, constantly asking for more material, while indicating that the publisher still wanted the novel. Ultimately, though, the editor just quit communicating, so my wife Joni and I decided to publish the book through our own publishing company, Glyphus LLC.

The novel is set in 2050, when genomic technology has enabled the rise of a lucrative industry creating genetically engineered pets. These include exotic crosses, like cogs, dats, snurtles, and hamakeets. But the most sensational new animal is the Cerulean cat, with its mesmerizing, iridescent blue fur. The cat, which would have fetched a huge price from a collector or corporation, is catnapped. Swept up in the crime is a naïve young wanna-be writer, Timothy Boatright. He sets out to solve the mystery of the cat’s disappearance, experiencing a series of harrowing adventures.

With The Cerulean’s Secret, for the first time, we’ve hired a book marketing company, Author Marketing Experts (AME). I’ve frankly been cautious about using marketing companies, recommending that authors do as much of their own marketing as possible, to develop their own expertise. AME has online contacts and capabilities that we don’t, however. Time will tell whether the investment, thousands of dollars, will be cost-effective.

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Tell your fellow NASW members tell how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you started working on your book, or had done differently.


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February 18, 2015

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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