Let's Talk with Diane A.S. Stuckart

The Road That Probably Won’t Ever Be Taken

January 19, 2023

While working on new proposals to send to my agent, I’ve paused (okay, procrastinated) a bit by reviewing some of my long-ago book and series concepts that never saw the publishing light of day. Some were rejected outright by editors or agents. Others never got beyond a vague outline. And still others had a few chapters written before being abandoned or, worse, being lost to outdated means of data backup. The only consolation is that, much as I think they are brilliant ideas, I frankly will never have the time to write them all. But I thought you might like to see just a few of the many nascent stories relegated to my writer’s graveyard.

THE DAUGHTER MOON…this one is from thirty or so years ago, back when Sci-Fi romance was popular. A quest story with Wizard of Oz overtones, it features a “chosen one” heroine who must journey to recover a precious artifact that will allow her to defeat her kingdom’s brutal ruler. Her bodyguard in her travels is an ancient warrior’s suit of armor that is possessed by the spirit of a recently killed soldier. His goal is equally critical—at least, to him. He has limited time to find a living body to take over before he ceases to exist on any plane. Of course, the evil ruler is determined to stop the pair. This one got as far as an overview and a chapter or two but was never submitted.

THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST…subtitled The Further Journals of Mina Harker, this is a Dracula homage which took Stoker’s remaining characters and sent them on other paranormal adventures. I first started work on the book soon after I read Ann Rice’s just published Interview with the Vampire, which tells you how long this one has been hanging around! But then everyone started writing vampire fiction and I thought, eh, this trend is about done. Little did I know, LOL. I actually recently resurrected the story and sent it to my agent. He liked it okay but thought the writing was a bit overdone. I wasn’t sure I agreed, so I haven’t gone back to it yet for rewrites.

SWORD OF THE VIRGIN…from the same writing era as the other two, this one started as a historical romance but more properly fits into the historical mystery category. Set in 1916 Mexico, a young woman accompanies her anthropologist aunt to investigate a sighting of the Virgin Mary in a small village. In the process she encounters Pancho Villa and his troops, including a dashing American ex-pat who is fighting alongside them. I really liked this one but never submitted it. I might drag it out again sometime as I think it would make a fun series. In fact, I’d like my heroine to next investigate reports of a thunderbird—which just might be a Jurassic-era pterodactyl—in the Texas Big Bend area.

So, if you’re a writer, what book of yours likely won’t ever get written or submitted? And if you’re a reader, any of these orphaned ideas catch your fancy? I’d love to read your comments below.

If you’d like to know more about author Diane A. S. Stuckart, visit her WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Diane A.S. Stuckart • Tags: , , , , |  14 Comments


14 thoughts on “The Road That Probably Won’t Ever Be Taken

  1. I really like The Daughter Moon. It’s too bad you didn’t write the whole thing. Sounds like something Wild Rose Press would take a look at. As for my own unsold books, I have 8 or 9 fully written books sitting in my files. It would take a lot of work to resurrect them.

  2. I have one that I wrote nearly 30 years ago before I had learned anything about how to write a novel and even less about the publishing industry. It’s permanently consigned to cavorting with the virtual dust bunnies of my hard drive.

  3. I write for for fun less stress that way lol. But What book will go unpublished probably everyone I write but I’m almost done writing one now that I don’t expect will get published entitled Crystal & The Big Dare Dare By Her Hunky Next Door Neighbor… I’ve had fun writing this book and in my opinion the plot twists & turns are incredible. I have also written box sets that will probably remain unpublished too.

  4. I went through a sci-fi period. It lasted a few months before I realized it wasn’t for me. I do have an old series about an evil hypnotist. It made it to the submission stage and got a couple of lukewarm responses. The bottom line was that the antagonist was not evil enough enough for a serious novel and not funny enough for something lighter. I wrote two books in what I considered a trilogy before relegating it to the probaby-never-see-the-light-of-day pile.

  5. When I first started writing, before I’d taken a single writing class, I decided to memorialize my grandmother’s courtship with my grandfather. Both were strong, independent people, one cast out of his family by being a bum so they bought him as sailboat and said good riddance. As a widow with a lot of land, she was feisty and strong and dead broke. It was a doomed romance as they married and divorced three times. I thought I wrote a great story but the only really interested feed back I got from the longish trilogy was the love scene on the sailboat. Decided I wasn’t a historical author and veered into romantic suspense. I don’t have those files anymore. Thank goodness.

  6. I have one in the drawer (or should I say printed out in a bag as the computer I wrote it on died long ago). I pulled it out recently to see if it had any merit. Decided I should let it “cure” a bit more.

  7. I used to love books like Anne Rice’s, but they got too gory. I do not like gory anymore. I still love Sci-fi fantasy like Terry Brooks Shannara novels, but anymore, I just want to be entertained. Good luck on your books and short stories. I love cozies because they are entertaining and make me think whodunnit.

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