Category Archives: query

Still in Query mode…

Two more form noes. Sent off another, revamped and hopefully improved query for Love, Darrows. It’s come so close three times now. The full/partial MS requests…so Awesome! This is the furthest I’ve ever made it to getting an agent! I’m still in shock at the warm reception by agents, though I will say readers seem to like it more than the agents…which might be a problem if I want it published. Anyway, still searching for the one that gets Darrows enough to rep him.

need to pet on Lucky Kitty.

And I still need to decide if I’m going to let Darrows out to play in Pitch Wars. I mean, I’m up for it. In the same breath, I think I’m either way ahead of the curve or way behind the curve with Darrows. Most agents (now) are looking for sci-fi stories. That’s the current trend…Sci-fi. SMH. I don’t know. I mean, I LOVE STAR WARS LIKE NO ONE I KNOW,

and yet sci-fi stories and I don’t really get along well. For the most part. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. As for writing one, it’s not in me. not now anyway. I could take Human Touch, put it on another planet or spaceship in the far future. Same with Darrows. I can stick my Cupid on Neptune. Not a problem. Except a major problem. They’re not the stories I wrote. I’m not changing what they are for any reason. Wait…I could pull out Last Man Standing, though that’s more dystopian…You know what? No. I won’t change to fit what’s popular. They are what they are, no matter.

Even if it means I never get published. So until this sci-fi trend dissolves in the space shuttle’s afterburners somewhere as it passes Planet Nine in the Xennon District of the Nexula Galaxy, I feel sort of stuck for getting my stories published. One thing for sure, when contemporaries make it back in fashion, I’m golden! Or ghost stories! Or myths! Or dystopians!

In the meantime, I’m writing SoS. I have four other stories competing for my attention and trying to grow, too…thanks to the afore gif’ed mention of muse… a person, though, not the band. Mostly as I type out the one, I’m writing out notes, ideas and chapters in journals for the others. Add in the critique groups I’m participating in and I’m working hard at hardly working.

At least I’m at the tail end of vacation catch-up. Finally. So it’s all looking good from this side of things.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This post will be filed under random blathering.

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Filed under book boyfriends, learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, my opus, Pitch Wars, publish it, query, random blathering, rewrite it, self-doubt, write

Dammit, Darrows!

You are awesome! Seriously, you are! Everyone that comes across your path and takes the time to get to know you seems to love you so much. So why can’t we get that love from an agent who truly wants you?

After today’s letter, I have a theory or twenty.

One. The agents that took the time to really read you, love you. They just don’t parlay the tales of myth and legend no matter how contemporary you are. I don’t know anything other than the fact they do love you.

Two. Of the noes this query round, most have been personalized. Most have said specifically why you weren’t their cup of tea, most of it is they don’t rep Cupidkind. But don’t get your wings in a twist…they love you. I’m sure if a publisher came along and said “We want something Greco-Roman and winged,” I’d be getting that call.

Three. Today’s rejection letter. Totally a form letter in reply to a query I sent out in March. Yeah, MARCH! I know! Now, the form was just basic, email-inboxes-are-full-but-you-are-always-free-to-query-an-agent-that-this-project-might-be-right-for. And I wonder if this agent even gave you a look… I mean, this person went to the bottom of the slush pile, clicked off massive denials because it had been a while and the slush needs to be cleared out. Felt like that, anyway.

Don’t get down. I still have one partial request out there and one full I haven’t heard from yet. The critique partners I’ve found seem to enjoy you a lot. Okay, maybe not one in that first chapter, but by chapter four, it’s love…of something you’re an expert in, right my Cupid? (Well, maybe not love, love, but very much like.)

So I still have hope for you and your boyfriend. I know that one day your story will be out there. The question is:

Am I going to get you to an agent or take this out on my own?

Because we can totally go it alone. (Especially since I figured out the .mobi formatting today and can do a kindle book in the blink of an eye now.)

Just know I am always keeping you at the forefront, thinking about what step to take next so that you can spread your wings and fly. In the meantime, you keep up with your Cupid job and keep making them fall in love with you.

Because in the end, Quentin Darrows, you will win them over.

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Filed under love carter, love darrows, love letter to quite the character, query

The Writer’s Voice – query and first 250, Love, Darrows

May 20, 2015

Potential Mentor(s)/Agent(s)
The Writer’s Voice
Brenda Drake’s Blog

Dear Potential Mentor(s)/Agent(s),

Quentin Darrows is a seventeen-year-old, high school senior who’s popular in school, an over-achieving Wünderkid, and a Cupid in training. There’s nothing that brings him more joy than creating a new love. It gives him life and purpose. There is one thing that trumps Cupid for Quent, and that’s his best friend, Lexington Carter. Lex is a major player among the females of Romulus High—Go Wolves!—but he is also Quentin’s boyfriend and possible destined love that all Cupid are said to have.

Life couldn’t get any better for Quent and Lex. They had a great, enlightening weekend at Lex’s lake house. They came out as a couple to both of their families. And they have plans for the biggest announcement of all. Monday morning they’ll kiss on the Quad—Romulus’ answer to the Roman Coliseum—officially announcing their love for each other in front of everyone at school. Monday comes, but Lex doesn’t pick Quent up for school as planned. When Quent finally finds him, Lex is either very hateful or just flat-out ignoring Quent. What happened in that twelve short hours after they parted Sunday night? To confuse Quent more, the new girl, Psyche Xenakis, is on his radar. He suddenly has this insatiable need to kiss her and be near her every moment of the day. Quent knows at his very core he’s gay, so how is Psyche becoming the love of Quent’s life so fast when he’s not even close to being over Lex?  Why is Quent’s world suddenly so upside down? Will he ever get Lex back and feel like himself again?

I am currently seeking representation for my YA novel Love, Darrows, told from the perspective of Quentin Darrows. This story is a contemporary YA that mixes Roman and Greek mythologies in a modern day twist on the classic Cupid tales. It is LGBTQ and diversity friendly. It is complete at 89,927 words. There is a second book to this duet written in first draft. The Love, Darrows manuscript is available, in full or in part, upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration of Love, Darrows. As requested, I have copied and pasted the first two hundred and fifty words of Love, Darrows below. (To finish out the last sentence puts it at 258 words.)

DJ Siciliano

Love, Darrows

The morning scramble. Less delicious than it sounds. It consists of running around, last minute, trying to not forget anything. Clothes, preppy and colorful. Teeth brushed, breath minty. Hair, every strand in place. Books. Shove books into backpack. Backpack on shoulder. Stairs. Overbearing mother.

“Quent, take a moment and eat something.”

“Sorry, Vee. No time. Lex will be here any minute.” The backpack takes a chair as I shove my arms into my jacket.

Overbearing mother sticks a banana in one hand as it emerges. She sticks a small glass of almond milk in the other hand as I shrug the jacket onto my shoulders. “Eat!”

There’s never any arguing with the self-proclaimed goddess of our household. The almond milk slides down my throat in a gulp. The banana is peeled and takes about three bites and a hamster cheek to fully consume. The peel hits the counter and I go for my backpack.

“Quentin…”

Saved by the blaring horn. A blissful poetic justice.

“Bye, Vee.” I book it to the front door, overbearing mother not too far behind me.

“Can’t you call me mom just once?”

I turn at the door and give Vee a quick kiss on the cheek. “You told me you were too young to ever be referred to as ‘Mom’.” I step into the cool humid air of a late, sunny September morning. Lex’s car is sitting at the curb. The windows are too darkly tinted to see anyone, though.

“That was in public. You are free to call me mom at home.”

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Filed under contest, love carter, love darrows, love story, Pitch Wars, pitmad, query, the writer's voice

Well, here I am.

I feel like I’m in that Beetlejuice (Beetleguise, if you prefer, which I typically do) waiting room and my number is 1,209, 098,478,215,365 * ∞ and they’re calling number 2 right now. The wait is killing me…and I’m only talking about query waiting.

Now, one agent, so far, did LOVE this story, having asked for a partial, then a full manuscript, and it was eventually a “no” with a lot of explanation of why and what was loved and the one miniscule thing that didn’t appeal to her enough for her to represent…

And while I am a little–like thismuchslightly–bummed, my writer’s ego is smiling like a fool. It was the best “no” I have EVER received in my life! To me, it means I’m close, like walking-the-borderline-and-am-falling-into-the-land-of-represented-author/writer close.

I have ten other queries out in query land. I haven’t heard a thing from any of them. And I’ve recently had a thousand watt idea bulb pop on in my mind. I know exactly where I can find a small list of agents looking for a retelling in a contemporary LGBTQ story setting. (Don’t know why it didn’t click on sooner…too busy searching I guess) But, this list will have WAAAAAAAYYYY to many queries out in the electronic world of querying…and most of the advice says stick to five, so my ten is going above and beyond…

So, I’m going to ask other writer’s, authors, query-ists, or any reader with an opinion:

Should I query out to a group if I think I have a better chance? Or should I wait for a response? And how much longer should I wait? We’re teetering the six to eight week mark right now.

And advice is gratefully accepted. Thanks in advance.

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Filed under author woes, fictional beginnings, learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, query

Querying quandry. (I love Q words…and Q!)

(When you all get a copy of Darrows in your hands or on your screens, you’ll get that.)

I have never experienced such a rollercoaster before. One moment, I’m up. The next I’m down, but never out. The next, I’m so confused I don’t know what to think.

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again. Darrows is a difficult sell for a lot of people. I knew that going into the querying process. Mostly because I can’t classify this story without thirty different labels. Well not thirty, but…

YA LGBTQ CONTEMPORARY MYTHOLGICAL FANTASY M/M TEEN ROMANCE

Or something like that. I don’t even know if that fully covers it all. It does fit, though.

So it’s a hard sell. It just means this story is different from what’s on the shelves, which “YAY! job well done,” I say. It’s what I like to do: find something no one seems to have done before and do it. And I know I’ve done just that.

So here we go. I find through Twitter and a few other outlets a list of agents who may have mentioned (at least once) that they were interested in LGBTQ stories. And I searched for agents who were interested in a retelling. I found agents who wanted tragedy as well as something different. And I made a VERY short list.

Sent out up to ten queries. A somewhat high/low number depending on who you ask. Why? Because it keeps the field small and easy for me to manage, otherwise I’m sifting through the thirty or forty agents I have at one time…and losing my mind trying to keep it all straight. BTDT and let’s never go through that again. (Last time I queried, it took up to seven months to hear from some agents. So, the shorter my list, the easier to keep straight who I’ve queried and who I haven’t.)

One maybe. YAY!

Then one No. Standard form letter, and that’s okay. Quent isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I love him no matter.

Send out another query to keep my number level. Which came back a few days later as a no in the form of a form letter. Again, it keeps Quent as my treasure.

Another out. No word yet.

And then, this week, the weirdest rejection letter (from the first group) I have ever read in my life or my very short authoring career so far. It was a not-form-letter. It was “praise” and “love” and “unique” and “different” and “intriguing” (not direct quotes, synonyms-ish). My story got quite the inflated ego, like a balloon being filled. But after it was full and pretty, the air came out with a pthutututututututut for at the very tail end of this beauty of a letter came an overall “This is not for me.” Huh.

I didn’t know if I should be proud…

…or if I should be upset…

…or both…

I still sit confused as I read it. I think…I really have no answers. I can only imagine the reasons why…but I don’t want to because it’s not for me to assume or blame or judge, but query…instead, I’ll just take all the positives from the not-form-letter, clutch them to my chest because someone almost “got it” and keep on going like there’s no tomorrow.

Send out another query.

gifs found on giphy.

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Filed under learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, publish it, query, self-doubt