The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lightning can strike twice.

Perhaps this is old news to most of you. Actually, I know it is old news to almost everyone. I have met via the wonders of the interweb a writer named Amanda Hocking. That is her to the right. ---> That right, not your other right.  I had heard of her before via a news article about self published authors but never put  two and two together. Now that is has clicked thanks to a twitter friend I decided to go back to the very first post on her blog and follow this writer through her early (totally unedited) posts and read her journey to fame. If you haven't already read it or even looked at it I highly recommend it. Especially from the point of view as an writer. She doesn't seem to hold back at all in her writing. Her feelings and views about the whole process imitate my own so closely that it could be considered odd. It makes me feel good about my own process. No matter what agents say to my query's there are now other options. Lightning can strike twice.

** MILD PERSONAL RANT INCOMING  ** <You have been warned>

SO... after that little blurb it brings me to a total side note on the whole query process. As my followers know I am now receiving rejections on my story. It is OK, I understand that it is all part of the process. What I don't understand is this one line sent in a form rejection.

"Unfortunately, this manuscript does not look like it is for us, but we're sure other agents will feel differently."

I even had to read it a few times. If you are sure that "other" agents will feel differently, how bout sending me their email address? A name? Where they hang out? I know it is a kind way to say keep trying, you might have better luck with another sucker agent but c-mon! Really? If you are sure that another agent will feel that way why don't you feel that way. /Sigh ahh well I will continue my search. There really IS an agent out there that will love this book. I know it.

On a non ranting note. If you haven't visited my FaceBook page yet please stop in and hit the like button.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

It's official!

What you may ask? Well, that's what I am here to tell you. I have received my first OFFICIAL rejection letter. Please, please, hold the applause and just throw money. No really, please throw lots of money. I could use it to pay my unpaid copy editor. Speaking of which I would like to take a second and thank Witchywoman2118 for her help on this my... 5th total review/rewrite on my book.
I know this is my first rejection (OK really it is my second but the first didn't count since I saw it coming)  and I have to develop tough skin to be a writer. Even with a thick skin it still hurts in some way.
I didn't fall off the horse though. I re polished my query letter and promptly sent it out right away to the next agent in line. I have to admit though, this time I am wondering if I am crazy for doing it.
I walk around stores and look at the book section all the time. I see the short shelf life of a book and its ultimate disposal into a bargain bin and wonder. Is that where my work is to end up one day? How would it feel to be that writer with your work, your heart bled onto those pages to only see it end up in a bargain bin for 50c. I have to say that might be one of the hardest parts of all. For me only time will tell since as of yet; I haven't even sold my own work to myself.
So on that note I am back on the horse and waiting for a reply. Be it a form letter rejection, (If the work isn't right for you but you are sure it is for another agent then perhaps you could give me their email address next time?) or simply a note that "no thank you". It isn't right for your agency. I will persist. I will continue and at the very least. I will get better. (And tougher skin)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

June, the month to hit submit.

I have given myself this month to be the one where I actually commit and hit that submit button. I have to admit to you all it is a daunting thing. For those of you not in the know about the writing/publishing process it starts like this. (Hopefully after the book is done) You begin with a query letter. With those six scary words you start on the path. Yet to a writer who has just finished a 90k+ book those six words can be the start of some of the hardest writing you might ever do. I have done a total of five rewrites on my query letter. That is, five FULL rewrites. It doesn't count the twenty or so touch ups or minor changes to each draft. I have sent this query out to be read by a good friend in the business only to take the feedback and write it again, and again. Once again I have sent it out for what I hope is the last time. Forgiving a touch of polish since every ones opinion will be different. This should be the last time. All I need do after that is copy it to the body of an email, type in the correct address. Tweak it to that person's specifications and hit send. In theory that sounds very, very easy. Yet hitting that one last button can be one of the most important things you do as a writer.

Recently I had the privilege of having some one on one time with a former agent. She told me something that is practically unheard of in the writing world. When she was in the submissions stage she only had to submit to an agent once and was picked up the first time. Those words shocked me at first so I of course asked the all mighty, how? She informed me that it was the research into what agent was best for her book. That is the key here. You have to know the agent you are submitting to. The Internet is a wealth of information and anyone willing to take the time can usually learn a lot about people. That goes just as well for agents. Even more so perhaps. Agents don't want to have their time wasted anymore then anyone else does. So if you even do a little research you can find their tastes, or what they don't like. Either can be invaluable to a writer. I have researched dozen of agents. Many I rejected right away, others I put in a folder for later. In the end I have come up with three. Should all three find my story to be not their tastes I will of course continue down the list. I know my story is good. I know it is not perfect. Perfect is a lofty goal for a new writer like myself. However in the end there is an agent out there who is looking for exactly what I have written. I just need to hit submit.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Patience, or a reasonable facsimile thereof

So I got some AWESOME responses to my contest entry. The feedback was great and I gained a few new followers here too, however I haven't yet got the response I am waiting for. It turns out that I am not a very patient person. Sure, I can be under certain circumstances heck I have done the same job for seventeen years; but for some reason with this contest I am just not the waiting around or do something else kind of person. I can't really tell you why this time is so different. Perhaps it's because I keep dreaming I won and got to meet Judith. (She was a totally awesome agent in that dream too. Super nice. My wife and kids loved her.) Perhaps it is because I actually think I have a real chance of winning? I like to think so. I know my writing is good. Hold on, stop right there. No, I don't have that large of a swollen ego. I said it is good. It is by no means perfect, or awesome or .. you get the idea. It needs work. I must have re-written that first page over ten times. It was polished to a shine. The other pages are still a work in progress. SO... I have as good a chance as anyone else out there. It all depends on the agent's taste. IF their taste's run the same as my own; the hook might have sunk in. That is the biggest problem I seem to be facing though. Does the agent have the same taste as me or not? It has been six days now with no hint of a response. I have done some harassing err stalking um, gentle questioning perhaps *cough* and as far as I know there hasn't been a single hint of a response from this contest. I made a promise to myself to start querying agents this month regardless of the outcome of the contest and now with the help of my good twitter friend @ReneeDillon my work is getting a fresh set of eyes to once again add some polish. After this draft I should have a very reasonable product to start pushing on sales. So instead of hitting that submit button I am once again forced to wait. Perhaps forced is too strong a word, I am choosing to wait. I want it to be done right; the first time. So I sit, and hit the refresh button, and check my email for that all important message. Perhaps it will read... You are the one! or a reasonable facsimile thereof.