A Special Annoucement

Well, I said I was going to take a blogging break until January, but I lied.

That’s because my critique partner in crime Lori M. Lee is now represented by Suzie Townsend of Nancy Coffey Literary!!!

I’ve been on pins and needles since I learned Lori had a phone call set up with Suzie little over a week ago, and now everything’s come full circle. You can read more about the call at Lori’s blog.

Be sure you are following Lori through her blog you are the unicorn of my dreams and on twitter as @LoriMLee.

I’ve been privileged to read two of Lori’s novels, and I absolutely can’t wait to see them in print one day.

Congrats again, Lori!! *hugs*

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Query-Go-Round

When this year started, I promised myself I’d start querying my historical romance this summer.

Umm…that didn’t happen. I was too busy incorporating feedback from my writing group and fretting about, well, everything.

Then I said I’d query this fall for sure. October came and went. (Where did October go? I really want it back.)

Then I told myself I’d query before December—because everyone knows agents automatically discount December queries as half-baked Nano novels and if that’s true, I didn’t want that to happen to my story.

I started querying last week.

Delight or Terror. That is the Question.

And the last few days have been full of Exhilaration (A request? They like me, they really like me!), Despair (Form rejection? Form you!) Second-Guessing (No auto-reply? Maybe I should send again.), and now impatience as the holidays take their toll on the industry.

But that’s ok. I met my (oft-modified) personal goal for querying and know the novel is the best I can make it right now. And for that, I’m thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Etiquette versus Intentions

I’ve run into a bit of a dilemma.

One of the people I’ve have shared my novel with locally is convinced “I’m ready for publication” (her words). A good feeling, right?

Yes…and no.

When she sent me her feedback on my novel, she said she’d be happy to speak with her writing friends to get me some agent recommendations and referrals.

That was kind of her, but I wanted more information on who these people were before she did anything. So I simply thanked her for the feedback and waited until our next meeting a few days later so we could discuss it in person. That’s when I found out she had already started talking me up to her friends.

And I was upset. I didn’t know who these people were, what they wrote, who they were agented by. Since this woman doesn’t write commercial fiction, I question her evaluation of my work in the first place, and wondered if her contacts would even be relevant to me.

Her help, while generous of her to offer, rubbed me the wrong way. We went from her offering to contact people on my behalf to her doing so without bothering to secure my permission.

I explained to her my reservations, and naturally she was offended. Said that she was only trying help. Didn’t I know that networking is how things were done these days?

Ugg. Yes, I’m not an idiot.

But for me the problem was etiquette. She should have asked. I should have the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered as to whom she wanted to approach. It is my work, so ultimately, I should have a say in what she does on my behalf. Right?

However, she was so certain that because her intentions were good, that she was doing me a favor, I shouldn’t have a problem.

But I do. I’m really close to querying this novel again. I feel I am at a delicate place, and any step forward with this project needs to be deliberate and well thought out.

Because I’m half this woman’s age, because she’s been agented twice before (most recently the early 1990’s even though no publications resulted from these arrangements) she feels she’s qualified to dictate to me what I should do. I joined the writing group she was in for feedback – not a self-elected mentor. I also think part of my aggravation stems from her motherly “I know better” attitude. Drives me crazy since some of her info is way out of date for today’s marketplace.

She wants to help, and I’m grateful for it. But she also jumped the gun (since I’m still collecting feedback and making edits) and went over my head. She thinks my objections have to do with me being “afraid of success” when really my concerns stem from a breach in etiquette, trust, and respect of me and my work.

Etiquette versus (admittedly good) Intentions.

Who is right? Am I blowing this out of proportion?
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Get Thee to WriteOnCon

What, you actually expected a post today with actual content? During Day 2 of WriteOnCon 2011? Silly human.

In case you don’t know (somehow), WriteOnCon is a free online conference put on by Kidlit authors, agents, and editors. It is the place to be if you write picture books, middle grade, or young adult.

The full schedule is here.

You can register here to post in the forums and potentially have your work critiqued by ninja agents.

There’s also a forum dedicated to matching up critique partners.

Missed yesterday? Lydia Sharp has a post with the highlights of Day 1.

And if you want to start at the beginning, read my 2010 Write On Con Recap covering the best content from last year.

Happy Writing!

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Getting Back on the Horse

It’s time.

Time for me to dust myself off and get back on the horse. What am I talking about? Why submitting, of course.

I started by submitting two flash pieces yesterday. I’m also reworking one short story and finishing up another one with the goal of having them submission-ready by the end of the month.

And then there’s that elephant in the room. My completed historical romance. There’s a voice in the back of my head that grows louder and more insistent every day to start querying. I’ve queried before – much too early – but this time it’s different (doesn’t everyone say that?). I’ve revised the story since the last round of queries. Had my critique partners look it over and I’m in the midst of revising again. I can see the difference in the writing in my story. Everything inside me is just screaming to send it off into the world. Now.

Author Jody Hedlund wrote a post earlier this week about the three stages of querying: the naïve beginner, the rejected optimist, and the seasoned realist. I’m definitely somewhere in these last two stages, and my next batch of queries will tell me if my work is ready. I already know I’m querying a tough time period, so it will come down to my writing and the fates.

Writer Sarah Fine also had a set of interesting posts on the querying process this week (Should You Send That Query? What We Can Learn From The Marshmallow Test & Step Away From The Marshmallow. And The SEND Button.). She relates how a psychology experiment measuring one’s ability to delay gratification ties into the querying process. Fascinating stuff!

So querying will happen. Very soon. And if nothing pans out, the process will galvanize me into tacking my next project with renewed fervor. In theory…
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