Tag Archives: query letters

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

As Homer Simpson would say…

D’OH!

Yeah…that about covers it.

Yesterday, I did my kill-myself-until-I-die exercise routine. Turned on the water and checked email while pacing about in my exercise gear and waiting for the hot water to kick in. In my email, I found something that had me falling to my knees and crying hysterically. My story, Love, Darrows–yes, the same baby I belly ached about last week–had a callback…um, that’s an acting term, sorry…chapters and a synopsis request. I still can’t believe it happened.

I read the thing like a zillion times, through tears and notified those that would get it…and after my very tears-of-joy-filled shower, I sat down to reply to the email.

I copied everything from my MS into Google Docs to format it for email compatibility. Then copied and pasted from there into the email as requested. Yay me for getting it in there correctly, although I had to go through and create all the necessary indentions for paragraphs. PITA, but done. Yay me for doing that correctly again.

I’m really good at this point.

Then yesterday afternoon, I had my first “D’oh! Moment” of this journey. I freaked out thinking the agent asked for a summary instead of the synopsis…which would mean I sent THE ENTIRE WRONG THING! And I freaked and the severe shakes came back…and I couldn’t face the email she sent…and after an hour I checked because I wasn’t getting anything else done…and there it was in black on a white screen: “synopsis”. Mild heart attack. No damage done. Good. I could breathe again.

Then I was trying to fix my Google Doc with indentions, a royal PITA (oooo….The Royals starts on E! this weekend!) and I found a missing word from a sentence! It had to have been lost during the copy and paste process… UGH!!!

Major panic mode two. Do I send an updated email with the word replaced or not? A quandary I have yet to figure out. All because I don’t want to look like a newb, although I am a MAJOR NEWB at this! That decision is still up in the air.

Panic Mode three. DEFCON 1!!! I keep thinking my response left a lot of information out of the body of the letter. Though I’ve Googled plenty of times of what to do when someone requests chapters or pages, the only advice was to follow the agent’s request to the letter. Which I did—Yay me! But I haven’t found anything about what to say in said letter. And I keep thinking I should have added more info…I did add the title, and thank yous and mentioned her request and label the email as requested, but I didn’t put in pages or word count, I didn’t mention YA novel…And I keep thinking I should have. Right? Did someone blog this and I missed it or wasn’t in the circuit at the time?

So today, I am left with this MAJOR D’OH! MOMENT hanging over my head, questioning every little thing I’ve done…Analyzing how wrong I’ve done it.

I thought sending queries was tough. I’m just totally clueless…

…but I am still going to keep working my way towards that ever calling goal of getting published, learning from my mistakes along the way. And I’m super glad someone got Quent. He is a hard sell, but so worth it. Love ya, Darrows!

all gifs found on {giphy}.

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Filed under author woes, CW dramas rule, fictional beginnings, love carter, love darrows, publish it, query, self-doubt

Love, Darrows.

Quentin Darrows. My guy. Book one of the duology…although I love to call them a duet more. A picky, uptight fellow. And the guy I’m pimping out right now.

Ish.

Querying him is difficult. Because his tale is as old as the idea of sand yet entirely new and modern. Because he is gay, and while everyone says they want that diverse character, not everyone mentions that on what they want to see in their query inboxes, so I’m questioning whether I chose the right agent.

Because much like I do with people IRL, I take a big sister approach to my guy. I don’t want anyone to put him down, or belittle him whether it’s for being gay or because this story is admittedly on the far side of a normal teen going to a normal high school and falling in love…but it’s just a love story. And I will defend it him them to the end.

Because my family, when this gets published, will NOT be happy with me because they don’t accept gays or lesbians or any one they perceive as not being ‘normal’. Which is highly sad because they’re missing out on a lot of great people. That and causes a lot of riffs among us. This may very well put that final stamp on my familial exile.

Because I love these two. Alone. Together. They’re unique and different. Unlike any other characters I’ve read, and I’ve been reading a lot lately. To have someone turn them down…For me, it equates to being back in high school. I was the weird girl who never fit in, but embraced her oddness and really flaunted it. It hurt to have people judge me or oust me because I’m different…Weird. I don’t want my guys to be judged for being too far off what someone would expect, but I am fully expecting it to happen.

So why am I scared? All of the above, sure. I mean, my other series, Human Touch isn’t quite the norm, either. And I was nervous submitting those queries, but I was never crying-and-throwing-up-as-though-I-got-a-positive-on-a-pregnancy-test-when-he-promised-the-condoms-weren’t-expired sort of scared to death.

Two so far. That’s all I’ve been able to get out there. Two queries. Today.

We’ll see if this goes anywhere. I’d love for it to, because I know in my heart Quentin and Lex are two great guys that need to be shared. I just need to get over this fear and get them out there.

Why am I so scared?

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Filed under author woes, human touch, love carter, love darrows, love story, publish it, query, self-doubt

*crawls out of the creative cave*

*stands up* *dusts off knees* *rubs eyes with back of fists* *squints*

“Who turned on the sunlight?”

“What year is it?”

“What’s been going on?”

Well, it’s official. Approximately six months, the love of two characters, the idea of a story, and incessant typing have brought me to the finish of the Duet…the two YA books covering one story. And quite the weird, contemporary yet ancient, fun, amorous story it is. I am so proud of this one. For once, for me, I didn’t question what I was writing. You know those pesky ones that get stuck in your head with almost every word you type:

“Who’s going to want to read this?”

“Why am I writing this?”

“This sucks to me so why would I torture someone else with it?”

I’ve thought those things before–either all of them or just one–with every novel/screenplay/novella I’ve written. Until now. It’s the oddest thing…

I plan on reading through the first story, making the edits I need to make…and hopefully not adding more content. And then…Pitch Wars is coming up this weekend. Or I may just query it straight to agents. (Thanks to Lori Goldstein {her website and new book} for her help with those dreaded queries.)  Need to decide where I’m taking Darrows and Carter soon.

In the meantime, I feel like such a…

I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I have about 97 story ideas waiting to be born into novels or screenplays (it’s been a while since I’ve typed out one of those) or even a graphic novel…but nothing is sticking in my head as something I’ve absolutely got to type and type right now.

Maybe I can sit back and enjoy life.

Hindsight is a great show and I can now watch it without pausing to write notes. And seriously??? Andy!!! What are you doing??? I cannot stress enough how wrong this moment was… and look at Lolly in the background there…she’s making sure Becca isn’t going to flip out while this nonsense is happening…

Oh, The Royals is coming up on E! on March 15th! And I’ve been dying to see this since seeing the trailer on the big screen before Mockingjay pt 1. DYING, I say! My new drama staple…I just know it! Prince Liam!!!!! And CORGIS!!!!! And le sigh… I can’t wait to bask in all this glorious, fictitious, richery (that’s rich debauchery for those that don’t understand my combo words)…not since 90210 went off the air have I wanted to watch something like this so desperately. (PS gif makers, I’m in need of The Royals gifs…a desperate need! Send ’em my way if you have ’em.)

And finally, after the Flash next month, iZombie! I’ve read the graphic novels and am fully ready to enjoy Veronica Mars meets Zombieland. Mmmm…brains, comedy, and just some good old CW FUN!

All great distractions, but really, I want to fill journals and type away…

I’m sure something will come to me and I’ll wind up crawling back into the creative cave to disappear from society for a while again. Who knows? Maybe next time, I’ll emerge into a Zombpocalypse event or something.

all gifs found through giphy on tumblr. Prince Liam image is from Tinder and I’m sure property of E!…apologies for borrowing him, but it’s too awesome not to share.

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Filed under CW dramas rule, editing worries, having fun, keeping entertained, love carter, love darrows, love story, Pitch Wars, publish it, query, write

#PitMad is tomorrow.

Am thinking of participating.

Am thinking of how to pitch Human Touch.

Not paranormal, but with a ghost. Romance all the way. Definitely a YA series for this half.

I’m leaning towards doing something someone told me last year to avoid doing. Maybe it will be just what I need to do to make this work. I’m going to bring in the tales that this story kind of grew from. I’m talking split-aparts. To others, this is more like soul mates–although I will argue this to my death–they are not the same thing.

Years ago before Google was the go to search, I yahoo’ed the term split-aparts. There wasn’t much at the time. I mean, this was the dawning of the internet when I looked it up. All I found was a simple Japanese folktale about a man and a woman who met each other and realized they were halves that completed a whole. They lived and loved long lives. And when it came time to move on into the next world, they laid side by side, hand in hand so that their souls would move onto the next world together.

Sweet. Simple.

A few years ago, I came across the Greek version of this tale. Pretty much the same thing, except it gets a little freaky and weird. But then what Greek mythological tale doesn’t. Yeah, I’m looking at you Oedipus, even though you can’t see that.

{Greek Mythology}

Was that Oedipus jab too soon? Anyway…

I like to make things difficult. Twist them until they’re barely recognizable. That’s what this story is. A very weird, long, twisting, epic version of tales like these with ghosts, humans, Heaven, Hell, Atlantis, worlds both on this side of life and the other, the other side’s answer to the FBI, the occult, high school, the 80s, now, Michael J Fox, Rick Springfiield, and purgatory…It starts off slow yet fast, confusing and sweet and builds into something that takes you to places that are either so real it’s like earth or so made up it couldn’t possibly exist. All nice and neatly wrapped up within tales of love, lost loves, hateful bullying, another important issue I won’t mention without screaming spoiler alert, cheating significant others, fidelity, jealousy, life and death.

And that’s all within the first three books. The last three are this and more. (Something just clicked yesterday…a problem I was having in a specific piece of the story…problem solved now) I’m excited to get them finished. More excited for someone other than myself and two others to actually give this tale a read.

Now, if I can get that description down to 140 characters, I’m going to so rock #PitMad. Assuming the term split-apart doesn’t chase anyone off…

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Filed under author woes, human touch, love story, paranormal, Pitch Wars, publish it, write