Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whole Lotta Nothing

Unsurprisingly, I haven't heard anything from that agent I stupidly sent a re-query to. Fortunately, I still have other options as there are many, many other agents out there I can write to. Plus a friend of mine who already has an agent (and is building a rather successful career) gave me a referral to query her agent, so that'll be the next on my list. Still waiting to hear back from The Agent. Its been 2 weeks, so I'm at the halfway point of her stated time it usually takes to get back to people and 4 weeks away from being able to re-query if I haven't heard anything. The days really seem to be dragging on this one, I suppose because I have so much hope pinned to it.
Meanwhile, I'm plowing my way through the latest JR Ward books I hadn't read yet (Lover Avenged and Lover Mine) and am thinking of doing a total re-read from the start of the series when I'm done. That'll keep me busy. I'm also getting bits of Alastor written here and there, but obviously I'm not wearing out the keyboard in an effort to get it done like I did with Atrophy.
Spring has just started thawing winter out here and its a beautiful sunny day. So I might take my book and go get some rays in the backyard today. Can't wait until it turns into the full burn of summer, my favorite season.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can't Take My Own Advice

Apparently I'm not as smart as I think I am. I broke one of the golden rules of querying.
That's right, I went and did exactly what I said I wasn't going to do in my last blog post. I spent the morning thinking about the rejection and then went to re-read the blog post that agent had put up about receiving generic queries. And I thought "you know what? My summary is so totally bland. What does it really say about my book? Its all too ambiguous."
So I drafted up a reply to the agent along the lines of "thanks for getting back to me so quickly" and then told the truth (for all that might do for me). I said I'd read her blog again and put my thoughts about my generic summary in there and told her she had no obligation to read any further or even reply, but I'd re-written the summary from an entirely different angle.
The worst she can do is not reply (and then put me in her "crazy, annoying, can't-take-no-for-an-answer writers" file and immediately reject me if I ever query her again) and at least this way I was able to sleep last night. I took a massive gamble. The odds of it paying off are so minuscule as to be non-existent, but I had to do it.
And I've still been worrying about the reply I'm going to get from The Agent over my boring, generic query. I'm still having thoughts of sending another query saying "please ignore that last one and read this instead." But it seems even stupider to do that than it was to send a follow-up email to this recent agent.
I suppose I could pull the same stunt with The Agent if she rejects my query. At this rate, I'll be earning myself a reputation all over Agent Town in no time.
All I can do is keep waiting and try not to think too closely about my idiocy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quick to Forget

The agent I queried yesterday got straight back to me, but no luck, unfortunately. And how quick I am to forget that moment of excitement and anticipation as you see the reply email waiting in your inbox, quickly followed by disappointment as you read the politely worded, generic rejection.
Like all authors, I'm left with the questions of why? On her blog, this agent said they see too many sci-fi queries that sound generic, so was that my problem? Does the plot in the query letter sound too run-of-the-mill? Or was it some other factor that stopped them from wanting to see more.
I'm worried now about hearing from The Agent. I had a bit of trouble writing the brief summary of my book for the query letter when I never had before. In the end, I paired it right back, but now I'm worried that I may have left out too much information that may have separated this book from the hundreds of other sci-fi queries this other agent receives.
Now I'm considering re-writing the summary, yet I've already blown my chance with this other agency. I can't just re-word the query and send it back again, can I (though I'm sure I other people have!)?
There's nothing I can do about it right now. I might have a go at re-writing the summary, but I don't think I'll go querying any other agents until I hear back from The Agent. I can only hope if the summary isn't reading very well, she might decided to take a look at it anyway based on the basic familiarity we've developed over the past years.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Unexpected

Just a quick post - I sent off an unplanned query to an agent this afternoon. As I was doing my round of reading the industry blogs I follow of agents, publishers, and other writers, I found one of the agents had put up a post to say they're actively looking to expand their list of science-fiction and fantasy authors. This agency comes into my top 5, so I whipped up a query letter and emailed it off. It was obviously an opportunity too good to pass up, so we'll see if anything comes of it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nothing Much

That's right, I don't have much to report, but thought I'd put up a quick post anyway. Alastor is coming along, a bit slower than Atrophy did (95,000 words in 7 weeks. Am I crazy? Yes, just a little.), but I'm giving myself a bit of a break on this one. The actual demon, Alastor, is proving to be a complex character and I suppose on some level I need to make sure he's coming across the right way.
I haven't heard from my friend travelling in South Africa again, though I imagine she's too busy having fun to worry about something so mundane as the Internet and emailing little old me sitting at home in front of my computer.
I also haven't heard from The Agent. Its been a week today (not that I'm counting!) though I know she's busy with lost of queries in her inbox, according to her blog, so it could be another couple of weeks before I hear anything. If I think the wait is hard now, I don't know what I'll be like if she requests to see the first three chapters, because her response on that could take a couple of months, not a couple of weeks.
I've also been debating whether or not to send a follow-up letter to the submission I sent to Silhouette back in January, but by all accounts, all the HM&B offices have a huge backlog, so I'm not holding my breath on it. In fact, I had been considering offering that manuscript to Noble once A'albiel gets released.
Decisions, decisions!
As busy as I get sometimes, I'd much rather have a full plate than an empty one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Beginning

I made a good start on Alastor yesterday, wrote 2000 words. Not-so-surprisingly the scene went a way I wasn't quite expecting, but I'm very happy with it because I can see the following scenes unfolding well from this point. If I'm in the right frame of mind, Thursday is usually the one day of the week I can get the most work done. So, we'll see if I can kick things along a bit to get chapter 1 finished and make inroads on chapter 2.
Meanwhile, while I sit in my house, in front of my computer, doing the same thing I do everyday, one of my oldest friends is in South Africa at the moment. I got an email from her this morning about some volunteer work she's been doing with children. I've asked her if I could put it up here on my blog, because I think its a great thing she's doing and I know its something I don't know if I could do myself. Sure, I could volunteer to work with kids, that's the easy part. But in a country like South Africa, in a squatters camp? That takes some character.
So, possibly tomorrow I will have that to share with you and more as her trip continues on in the coming weeks (but I'm not living gratuitously through her at all.)
I've got some industry blogs to cruise, then its into my writing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Book to Start

Two posts in two days? I must be procrastinating!
I finished Atrophy, edited the first three chapters and sent a query off to The Agent. I'm quite happy with it and can only hope good things come from this manuscript.
In the meantime, I'll be starting work on Alastor, the second book in my angels/demons series bound for Noble Romance Publishing.
I've done some research this morning and have come up with an arcing story for the entire series, a more in depth one than that which gets touched on in the first novella. Still, it is only a ghost of an idea. Ultimately I'm a 'pantser' when it comes to writing. I don't have a plan and generally make things up as I go along. Its a dangerous way to live, but its the way I do things. So when I get the chance later today, I'll be cutting the couple of thousand words I wrote and writing a new opening scene, one which ties in better with the overall story.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slow Burn

I thought I would have finished Atrophy by now, but since last Wednesday a whole bunch of stuff cropped up in my home/personal life that prevented me from quite getting it done. I'm up to 94,000 words, so close! I'm in the middle of writing the closing scenes now, so the end total will probably push up over the 95,000 word mark a little.
Then I'll have chapters to edit before I write to The Agent. But there's no rest to be had. As soon as that's all done I'll need to get on with writing Alastor for Noble, the second in my futuristic angels/demons series.
Oh, and I came up with the opening line to the second book in my Atrophy series the other night. I'm thinking about calling it Quantum. Though I set up a shiny new file and opened a new page, putting that one opening sentence in, it's going to be a while before I get to write that book, there's a few others that I need to concentrate on in the meantime.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Taking A Break

I've only got 12,000 words left to write on the sci-fi/futuristic romance manuscript I'm calling Atrophy, a few days work at the most. But I haven't done any writing in the last couple of days and probably won't today either.
On Friday I went to Melbourne to meet up with Tracey O'Hara who was down for World Con and doing a book signing at Rendezvous. She also had Erica Hayes with her, who I knew of, but had never personally talked to before. Erica was lovely and we all went out for lunch to talk 'shop'. I had a fantastic day, it was great to actually talk to some other writers face to face, who were also fellow RWAus members.
I've been thinking about joining the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, but I don't live in Melbourne, so it'd be a bit of a drive to get there for their meetings. But after how much enjoyment I got out of simply meeting Tracey and Erica for lunch, I decided that despite the drive and other logistics of it, I'm going to make it work.
On top of that, I had a few other things taking up my weekend, so I decided to make it a long-weekend, give myself a three day break. Though writing doesn't seem like such hard work most of the time, I really have been pushing myself in the last seven weeks to get Atrophy finished so I can query The Agent. I've been hearing a few rumblings that futurstic is going to be the next big wave, editors are starting to look for them, together with the fact that I just sold my paranormal sci-fi to Noble, gives me hope that this round of agent-querying will yeild some results.