Murder in Ocean Hall – Update

Just a quick update to let people know where I’m at with my book.

I finished writing Murder in Ocean Hall at the beginning of April. It’s a murder-mystery about a controversial explorer who’s killed in the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall, when a giant replica of a whale falls from the ceiling and crushes him. It’s up to a cynical DC detective to solve the murder of a man who was equally admired and hated among scientists and explorers.

There really is whale hanging from the ceiling of Ocean Hall – go check it out.

The book was loosely inspired by the three years I spent working as a web site manager for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Of course, no one was murdered while I worked there but a lot of what I learned about ocean exploration, government bureaucracy and the occasionally big egos of people in the field has made it into the book.

I’m represented by Stuart Chang of Samara Literary. I’ve known Stuart for several years – we used to be in a writers’ group together – so I was really happy that he agreed to be my literary agent. Samara Literary will be focusing on DC authors. I’ve signed a six-month contract with the agency. Literary agents work like other types of agents – they get paid a percentage, if the book gets sold.

I’ve submitted the manuscript to Stuart and he’s gotten back to me with some excellent edits and suggestions that I’m in the process of making. A select group of readers has also provided invaluable feedback. After I get the book in final shape, we’ll start looking for a publisher.

This is the beginning of the long process of getting the book published. Coming from a career in web site development, the publishing world seems positively antiquarian with its lengthy lead times and schedules. If we sold the book today, it would be a year before it’s in stores.

But I’ve done the hard part – I wrote the book – so I’ll keep pushing on. 

I’ll let you know what happens next!

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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