• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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The First Cut is the Deepest

My submission strategy appears to be largely unsuccessful, though appearances can be deceiving. A small press has recently accepted one of my books for publication. This will be my first published book.  –-Tetman

Come on everybody,  give it up for Tetman. One of our tribe just got a book deal. Come on, Tetman, tell us all about your first time. HOw old were when you lost your publishing virginity? Is it everything you imagined, are you  all look both ways before crossing the street or have you already figured out how you will be  discovered as a fraud? How many submissions did it take? What would you differently? Will it be a book book, ebook, or droid implanted in my thigh. What’s it about?  Tetfuckingman! I am so happy for you.

What was your first time like, book or whatever.

55 Responses


    this post made me really, really happy—i’m so very excited for you and can’t wait to buy your book.

    congrats a million times over. (my only hope is that this new found publishing success and fame doesn’t go to your head, causing you to limit your comments. this blog wouldn’t be the same without your commentaries)

  2. Congratulations!

  3. My book deal was pure serendipity – I went to a conference and the editor who was scheduled had to bail. The Vice president in charge of acquisitions came in her stead, saw my picture book dummies in my portfolio, and in 3 days, I had a two book deal. Weirdly, when the first book came, all Random Housey, I felt kind of let down… is that weird?

  4. A fevered dream. And it shows.

    (applies to multiple events).

  5. Congrats Tetman!
    My first time was serendipitous – I mentioned to a colleague that I had finished my nonfiction manuscript and was looking for a publisher. He knew someone. That night we exchanged some emails and his friend turned out to be the publisher herself. She was actively looking for new books, like mine. And the deal was done within a few days.
    I hope the rest of my books are that easy. But I won’t hold my breath.

  6. I don’t know if I feel happy for Tetman or confused, since in my mind he is the kind of writer who should have been published a hundred times and I just can’t grok why it took so long.
    I will choose happy for Tetman. Yay, you! What will you do to celebrate?

  7. A giant congrats to out very own Tetman!

    Sadly, I published the first story I ever submitted. Won a prize even. Thought … well, shit, this ain’t so hard. Now, 8 years later ….. HA!!

    Very very cool Tetman. Love it!! You deserve it.

  8. Congratulations, Tetman!!

    Details! Details! What and when and how soon can I pre-order multiple copies for the library?

  9. I won the first short story contest I ever entered.

    I sent a screenplay to a producer. He mailed MAILED back a very nice rejection, along with notes. “Not ready, change this, you suck but in a good way”. That sort of thing. The next producer to read the screenplay bought it. Go figure.

    Since then about 1000 people have rejected my novel(s). Oh well.

  10. You give me hope, Tetman. I’m thrilled for you and look forward to reading your book.

  11. Hey congrats, Tetman, very happy for you! Which press (if you care to say)?

  12. Congratulations!! Can’t wait to read more about it.

  13. Tetman, this is great. May this success be the first of many.

    Here’s to you, friend.

  14. I am happy for you Tetman.

  15. Congrats Tetman! That is awesome.

  16. That’s great news. Congratulations!!!

  17. Well done Tetman — savour it!

  18. as i said below, congrats!


  19. First, thank you everybody for your kind words. When I saw what Betsy had done tonight, I blushed like a child. Thank you, Betsy. I haven’t blushed like a child since I got called on the carpet by my boss in 1995 for smoking pot on a business trip.

    “Come on, Tetman, tell us all about your first time. HOw old were when you lost your publishing virginity?”

    There’s published and there’s published. And there’s different forms of virginity one can lose. I first got published when I was fifteen, writing for the high school paper. I didn’t have my first short story published until I was thirty-seven. I am now fifty-three.

    “Is it everything you imagined, are you all look both ways before crossing the street or have you already figured out how you will be discovered as a fraud?”

    It’s not anything I imagined. It’s real. And I always try to remember to look both ways before crossing the street. Even a one-way. Never can tell. As for being discovered as a fraud, I am a writer. I commit fraud every day.

    “How many submissions did it take?”

    It took twenty-two. Fourteen were to agents (including you, Betsy), and eight were to small presses. Three of the small press submissions I withdrew when I felt the book wasn’t ready.

    “What would you differently?”

    Write better queries and better books.

    “Will it be a book book, ebook, or droid implanted in my thigh.”

    Sorry, Betsy, I won’t be able to implant anything in your thigh. It will be an ebook. I sign the contract and email it to the publisher in the morning.

    Fuck it, I can sign the contract right now. Hang on–

    There. That’s taken care of.

    “What’s it about?”

    It’s called HIGH STREET (though you hadn’t asked). It’s creative nonfiction that started as memoir. It’s about being a pot-head paralegal and single parent. It’s about being a lifelong petty criminal. It’s about addiction–how you live it, what you get from it, and what you give up. It’s about the inner city and people who live there. It’s about economic vulnerability, a barbaric criminal justice system, and the idiocy of the drug war. It’s about other things, too, but those are the salients and enough, already.

    It’s posted on my website, but under the terms of the contract (Outpost19 is the publisher), it comes down from my website tomorrow.

    “What was your first time like, book or whatever.”

    This was not the first book I wrote. It is not the book I have most recently written. I don’t know how many books I’ve written. Do short story collections and poetry collections count? Then there are unfinished works that get reprocessed into other works. The beat goes on.

    • Good for you, Tetman. I’m clapping, can you hear me? No? Oh wait a minute–I was taking a swig of my scotch, and you know, it’s a one hand clapping deal. Seriously, your book sounds marvelous. Let me know when you do the “all my friends and colleagues need to buy my book day to spike the Amazon numbers” thing and I shall be there with my Kindle one-touch-to-purchase.

    • Congrats, Tetman! It sounds well-deserved.

    • [applause, applause] Savor every atom of reaching this milestone! Let us know when you”ll be interviewed on Fresh Air.

    • Tetman, this is a well deserved honor. Congratulations! I remember awhile back you posted something from “High Street” here and I thought, this is good stuff. Enjoy, man, enjoy!

    • A tip of the hat to you! We all know here how hard this is.

    • Tetman, I am so happy for you. The tide is turning; I can feel it. For some reason, a word which I’ve never used before and will likely never use again came to mind as I was reading your response to Betsy’s post. That word is yeoman. Since I don’t really know what it means, I looked it up. It has several definitions, but this one, the historical one, caught my eye:

      1. a man holding and cultivating a small landed estate; a freeholder.
      • a person qualified for certain duties and rights, such as to serve on juries and vote for the knight of the shire, by virtue of possessing free land of an annual value of 40 shillings.

      You’ve plowed and planted your literary estate these many years, and are now (finally!) recognized for your qualifications. ‘Bout time! Hope whoever the dark, edgy, and brooding male lead is these days options (is Johnny Depp still the one?) High Street, ’cause it sounds like it would make a great film too. Can’t wait to read it!

  20. Dear Tetman and Betsy,

    Great news and a heady shot in the arm!

    My first book was a commissioned children’s book so I never counted it, and though I’ve published loads of stories my novels were always (I think) not worked over enough. I tried earnest comedy for a change, and my first book is coming out in April. Still feeling tingles all over, though not entirely virginal.

    Good luck with yours Tetman!

  21. What a fantastic achievement. I hope it sells trillions. Good luck.

  22. Great news Tetman!

  23. Tetman!! Great news. Best wishes for a great experience!!

  24. Well done you! It’s always so hard to know what you are doing wrong in not getting published and sometimes you’re not doing anything wrong at all, you just need to persevere. Congratulations¬

  25. Rock on, Tetman. You so deserve this.

  26. This caught me at a bad time. Grrr Tetman. WHY!

    Okay, just kidding. Congratulations!!!!!!! i guess. no, really! Yeah! Yeah……………

  27. I’ve had some rejections. Entering a competition where one of the judges was a publisher was how I got my break. I didn’t win, but I came second, so he asked to see the whole novel. That night my husband took me for a Chinese meal to celebrate. Inside the fortune cookie I opened was a message: It’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. My book is out on 1st March this year. I’m scared, excited and happy. But more scared.

    Well done once again Tetman.

  28. Wow! Congratulations!

  29. TETMAN!!
    Fantastc news! Who says hard work doesn’t pay off? Well done, big guy. Well done.

  30. Congratulations. I hope it fuels a long and exciting career for you.

  31. Congratulations, Tetman. Sounds really interesting!

  32. WOW–what a fabulous fabulous thing! I am very happy for you and as a virgin at 54 you give me great hope. I’ve never sent anything out–not sure if that makes me a tease or a nun. But I picture you slogging away in your basement office like me and I have hope.

    Can’t wait to read it–sounds, well, fabulous!

  33. “Provocative Digital Publishing” — that sounds like a perfect fit between you and Outpost 19.


  34. Cheers to you, Tetman!!!

  35. Tetman, you fucking rule. Don’t be all modest and shit. This is a big fucking deal and you know it. How are you celebrating? Congratulations!

  36. I haven’t been commenting for very long here, but let me add my (unknown) voice to the congratulations! And it was mighty nice of you to mention your age. Gives me hope.

    and yes, I am aware my name is Hope.

  37. The more voices of congratulations, the better. So – congratulations! I very much enjoyed bouncing over to your blog too. A trove of smartness.

  38. Congratulations!! Just let us all know when we can purchase it – we’ll be your silent army swooping in and boosting the sales numbers!! Way to go!

  39. Way to go, Tetman! This just made my day better. Tell me where and when and I’ll be there. Again, congratulations!

  40. I’ve long been a fan of your thoughtful posts Mr. T. Let us know when High Street’s available for purchase.

  41. Whoa, Tetman, congratulations! Totally agree with your answer that “There’s published and there’s published. And there’s different forms of virginity one can lose.”

    As far as Betsy’s questions are concerned, I recently had my story collection published by a small university press, and yet I still feel like most of my publishing virginity is intact. That and there are no limits to the ways I imagine I will be discovered as a fraud…

  42. Congratulations, Tetman! I’m with everyone else who wants to know when we can buy it. Such awesome news!

  43. Congratulations Tetman. I’d started to read the book on Tetman’s website and I’m not surprised it got picked up. So now I’ll have to buy it to read the rest, and that makes me happy.

  44. YEY for Tetman. 🙂

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