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This is the 6th and final stop on the tour!

 After checking out the history of our publishing company on this page, you'll probably want to proceed to the "Front Gates" of the amusement park. Right this way!

 

A Brief History of Haven Publications

 

As a writer, for me, the sending out of query letters has always been a bit of a hobby, not the preoccupying obsession it needs to be in order to get published in the industry. At 15, I sent a query letter to the Jay Garon Agency, which at the time represented a new literary star by the name of John Grisham. In my mind, I didn't expect them to send back a request to see the manuscript, but they did. I remember thinking of what I did as "fishing" in a sense, dropping the line in the water just to see who bites. Unfortunately, I naively committed the cardinal sin by calling them two months later to see if they'd gotten to it. I simply didn't know a writer should never do this; you send them your materials and let the agency read the work on their own terms. Basically, forget you sent it. Not surprisingly, they sent back the manuscript (which I didn't ask them to), and I don't blame them. Let my mistake be a lesson to you.

 

Cut forward to age 24, which was the next time my work drew interest (and was, it seems to me, the next time I sent out query letters) but for a different novel. This time, when the Barbara Harris Literary Agency requested I send it to them, I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut. They ended up offering me a 1-year contract. Alas, they were unable to secure interest from a publisher, and didn't renew the contract. They sent out 25 copies before giving up. At the time, I was disappointed, but it didn't hit me like a ton of bricks. It was more like slowly drowning over a period of years, without immediate realization that you're even in the water.

 

Soon after, I married my wife, Jennifer, whom I'd known since she was twelve years old and I was fourteen. We didn't hit if off until a couple years later, but in 1999, she moved to Michigan from Florida to live with me and we married in 2002. The same year, I founded Haven Publications. I'd come to the conclusion that if "the middle man" couldn't help me, I'd cut out the middle man altogether. At that point, getting my books out there presented a whole new set of challenges. I no longer had to pore over the Writer's Market or write query letters; instead I had to become a graphic artist and a web designer.

 

As your own publisher, it's hard to find time to write. In my case, I was the writer, editor (with some exceptions), designer of the cover, and creator of the website. This site was first uploaded in August of 2014. Since then, I've spent most of my time compiling, editing, and illustrating my first anthology, consisting of 4 full short stories culled from 3 of the 4 volumes in progress collectively known as The Night Show, as well as excerpts from 4 novels (5--counting one of the short stories, "The Hostage", which is a self-contained short story and part of a novel called Flip City Blues). Thus, the cover of Twilight Junction: An Anthology Before the Fact also carries the subtitle "Excerpts or Complete Manuscripts Representing 8 Unreleased Novels and 4 Short Story Collections." In some cases, short stories pull "double-duty" as representative of specific novels:

 

The Novels represented by...

(In order of Appearance):

1) a brief excerpt from Santa's Secret Weapon,

2) Flip City Blues (represented by the full short story "The Hostage"),

3) The Mosaic Trilogy (an excerpt from the third book of which represents the overall trilogy),

4) a "prequel" story--"Natives"--that prefaces Book I of The Mosaic: Lazarus Cane & also appears in the short story collection In the Parlance of Our Crimes,

5) Chapter 1 of Things that Never Happen, a short novel, called "4 a.m. Observations from the Oasis", and finally;

6) the entire first part of In Risk We Trust, a massively huge novel I plan to publish in six parts, like Stephen King did with The Green Mile.

 

 

The Short Stories from The Night Show...

(In some cases associated with the novels):

                                                                  1) "The Hostage," a complete short story, also representative of a novel;

2) The short story "Natives", though not included in Lazarus Cane, serves as a prequel to the events from that novel, thus represents the first book of The Mosaic Trilogy;

3) "The Revelation Sessions", the third complete short story in this anthology, hails from Book 3 of The Night Show series, Crackpot Visionaries;

4) and "The Collective", the fourth and final complete short story offered in this mythology (along with its fact-cited foreword--"The Sum, In Parts", regarding a slew of 20th Century conspiracy-related stories).

 

Therefore, to sum up, Lazarus Cane, Running the Infinite and Godwin & Deville (the 3 books of The Mosaic) are represented by the excerpt from Godwin & Deville and a short story, "Natives," from one of The Night Show volumes; Santa's Secret Weapon, Things That Never Happen, The Savage Pursuit of Serenity, and In Risk We Trust are the only standalone novels with no ties to any of the short stories. "The Collective", "The Revelation Sessions", and "Natives" represent 3 different volumes of the overall short story collection The Night Show, which itself consists of 4 volumes altogether, including The Great American Night, Signals from Noise, Crackpot Visionaries, and In the Parlance of Our Crimes. "The Hostage" representing a novel called Flip City Blues, also by necessity represents The Great American Night, which is where the 4 part novel originated with the story "The Restless Age". The only novels not featured here by excerpt are Primaland, Running the Infinite (Book II of The Mosaic), the two volumes of The Truth Variations, an early novel called No Prisoners, nor any of the material from Blackwoods Drive, the new trilogy I'm working on consisting of short stories which can be read separately, out of order, or back to front and culminate in a cohesive, linear novel. These three novels thus qualify also as three collections of short stories: The MAJIC Show, The Gentlemen Of Blades, and The World Staged.

 

What's my "pipe dream" concerning all this material?

Simple: I want to start a bidding war between publishing houses. Whoever wins will have earned the right to publish all 8 novels and 4 collections of short stories. Since everything I write is also intended for cinematic retelling, that breaks down to 8 films or 6 films and 2 series for television, plus the intended TV series The Night Show. However, the individual stories (56 from the four volumes) could also be developed into feature films for a grand total of 64 films. This is to say nothing of the "outtake" stories not represented here at all. Each volume from The Night Show has, approximately, 5-6 outtakes. Add those to the aforementioned 64 and the number is closer to 79 feature films. Blackwoods Drive will add another 32 filmic possibilities, or another TV series.

Despite all of this material at its disposal, Haven Publications has only published three books since 2002: The Great American Night (in two printings) and Primaland (a cerebral, surreal road trip novel). The next projected release is the anthology Twilight Junction: An Anthology Before the Fact, which focuses material I've written since 2003, the year of Primaland's publication. Exclusively on Amazon Kindle, I plan to release short stories as the music industry used to release singles; with an "A" and a "B" side. The first of these will be from Signals From Noise: Book II of The Night Show Series: "The Collective" b/w "A Yard Sale in Conspiracy Heaven," along with forewords to each, and the overall foreword to Signals From Noise.

If no one bites when I send out Twilight Junction as my query letter, I'll be quite happy publishing it myself. For now, I continue editing, building this site, building film interests in Detroit, and am 3 stories into Blackwoods Drive, 2-3 plays, scripting certain stories already written as short fiction, and planning some new stories that will only exist as screenplays. Also, there are new covers to design and some to complete. See "Home" and "Who Am I" to see further updates as of December 15, 2016.

Thus we (Haven Publications) find ourselves 14 years in, about to unleash an arsenal of new work. I'm always open to new associates, so contact me by email if you feel yourself inspired by any of the material on this site or just to shoot the shit.

 

For now, enjoy the party from the comfort of your favorite chair

D.R. Nelson,

April 21, 2015

 

Update as of March 13, 2016

Twilight Junction is finished but has yet to be released, either on Kindle or paperback. My attention has been split betweent the writing of a lengthy script called Black Tapestry regarding the assassination of JFK and a three-volume collection of short stories which culminate in three novels collectively called Blackwoods Drive. The first three stories (nee "chapters") from the first volume, The MAJIC Show are called "Staged Lightning," "Majestic Airlines," and "Frisky's Weekend Pass," all of which will be excerpted here. Twilight Junction will definitely be released in 2017, if only on Kindle. Excerpts from everything abound on this website. [Updated December 15, 2017]

Black Tapestry

Blackwoods Drive

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