Though I had a relatively complete MS for Never Ceese, I felt something about it was missing when I read through it. I decided to find someone who might help me figure out what that “something” might be. I searched for and found “professional” editor Arlene W. Robertson. Together she and I whipped Never Ceese into shape. At the end of it all, I had an MS with a guaranteed less than 2 percent error rate and a chunk of change now invested in my debut novel. It paid off, though. I got picked up by a “traditional” publisher because they knew they didn’t have to invest in an edit. They paid me an advance against royalties, (that never came) and printed 5000 hard copies with dust covers of Never Ceese and took me to Book Expo America in 2006 to sign 500 copies to give away to libraries and visitors. I even had someone offer to make my never-read-by-anyone book into a movie. I left the BEA wondering what the heck just happened.
I spent the bulk of my time at the BEA hanging out with Captain Jack Sparrow. Who wouldn’t? Yes, I spent the day with Johnny! Johnny O’Kelly, that is, an impeccable Capt. Jack Sparrow and my obsession.
During the time I was with this publisher, I (not my publisher) submitted Never Ceese to be considered for a Bram Stoker award. It ended up making the Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a First Novel the year Jonothan Mayberry won in that category with Ghost Road Blues.
When I shared this information with my publisher, they responded with, “let us know when you win.” Because of making the preliminary ballot (I’m guessing) The British Fantasy Society contacted me and wanted to know if they could review “Never Ceese.” They have asked to review every book I’ve written since then. Forever Richard even made the 2009 BFS Long List.