Scott Navicky’s debut novel Humboldt, or the Power of Positive Thinking, follows Humboldt’s rags-to-riches-to-rags trajectory — from dirt poor son of a soybean farmer to performance artist, to CEO, to prison inmate.
Hypertext Magazine sat down with Scott to find out the pros and cons of writing at a bar, what makes the ideal protagonist, and what it’s like to publish a debut novel.
Hypertext: Humboldt, or The Power of Positive Thinking, is your debut novel and is published through CCLaP. What was the publication process like for you? What steps in your career have you taken to get to this point?
Scott Navicky: Well, the steps I’ve taken so far are mainly figuring out ways to deal with failure over and over and over again. Which is tricky, but now I am very well versed at it. After I wrote the novel, I started querying agents. I never thought of myself as a novelist, but I started writing and it went pretty quick. So, I put together a long list of agents and queried them all and they all shot it down. Then I started sending query’s to small presses that I found online and they all shot it down. CCLaP was literally the last publisher I had queried and I sent them something different because their word count was a third of what Humboldt was. CCLaP responded and said he didn’t want to publish what I sent him, but when I had something new, send it to him first. I said, “Well, I have something new, but it’s longer than what you’re looking for…”
Here’s a link for the rest of the interview: