If you are almost done polishing your MS and are ready to send out queries, get your 35 word pitch ready first and participate in Pitch Madness! Go and find out all about it here at Brenda Drake’s blog. Best of luck to everyone!
Last Friday I finished the novel I have been working on. I was so happy, today I have been working on the query letter (again) and the synopsis (again). I will probably be working on them for the next four years *sniff*
I posted them on Agent Query Connect, because there are so many great people there to help out. Let’s see how badly they tear up my work. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate, and return the favor when you need it, so I am posting my query letter here today. If you know where I should try submitting it, that would be great too. So here it is, I am bludgeoning my ego and baring my soul to you…
Dear Agent xyz,
Incur is a —-word conspiracy thriller for YA, set in the year 2051.
Janice Sinclair, rich bitch and Senator Sinclair’s only child is dead. Someone nailed her to the floor of her own bedroom.
When nineteen year-old homicide detective Natasha Damiri investigates the ritualistic murder, she discovers Senator Sinclair didn’t bother to mention the dead girl isn’t actually Janice. Then he disappears.
Evidence leads Natasha to Mehdi, the enigmatic leader in waiting of a growing cult, and now the prime suspect in a case that leads to a tangle of murders ranging from a young blackmailer to the President of the United States. And a race for power in the Middle East.
Any serious suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
In a fit of spasmodic enthusiasm I joined a variety of social media stuff I have not an inkling about. I’m convincing myself I can be social media savvy and cool as the hipster 20 somethings who wear plaid skinny pants and large amounts of multicolored medical gauze wrapped around their necks, forever engrossed in their expensive tablet-phone-camera gadget thingy.
Okay maybe I don’t wanna look like that.
But I would like to be savvy. You know just because I am at that point of life where I realize I have no idea where the past 17 years of my life went since the birth of offspring numero uno. It’s like waking up from a coma and thinking you are still twenty something because you were a little while ago. And I realize I am still stuck in the technology of the nineties ie: I can turn on a computer if I can locate the on button.
wannabe author writer you are advised to have a platform. Agent websites will tell you in their extremely detailed instructions of do’s and don’ts that you need to have a substantial following. They don’t want to be bothered by some person who nobody knows. And nobody wants to know a person who Agents don’t want to be bothered about. What?
I joined Tumblr (against Teenager1′s advice), Delicious, Quora, and Hootesuite. I was already on Facebook (the only one easy enough to use), Twittter (where I tweet into strangely empty nothingness) and Google+ (but I didn’t know it!) I am also on Agent Query Connect, where I feel more at home. But I haven’t visited in a century because I haven’t managed to figure out a way to completely forego sleep.
According to Teenager 1 parents really should not be on Tumblr. It is for hip, emo, intellectual, whatever kids. Parents should stick to ‘mainstream’ stuff like Facebook, where they can post endless pictures of what they cooked the night before or how much snow they had to shovel from the driveway. I persisted however and I can now navigate my way around to find blogs that interest me. I also managed to hook up WordPress and Tumblr so that my posts appear there. Woohoo! I think by the end of this year I will actually manage to have at least two followers there. Hey you, follow me dammit!
The only thing I found Delicious useful for was bookmarking the endless amount of pages I use to research what I am writing about. These days? Politics and conspiracy theories. Did you know our existence is only a simulation? Delicious is pretty easy to use.
Quora is too much information at the same time for my aluminum and fluoride ridden brain. You can ask any question (you have to see the stuff people ask!) and people from all corners of the Earth will answer you. I get all my answers from Agent Query Connect. But Quora is interesting if you have loads of time and nothing better to do than be intellectual. When I have loads of time I clean out the litter box. And brush my hair.
“Fat Kitty needs to poop. Clean that litter box woman!”
Hootesuite is very handy because it organizes all the stuff you’ve entangled yourself in. I suspect the packages must be really good because what they are offering for free is quite useful and not that hard to use. It only took me a couple of
weeks hours to figure out how to link all my social stuff up and be able to post from there. But I like posting to WordPress directly because I couldn’t manage to get pictures into the post from Hootesuite. I must be doing something wrong. If you have any idea let me know.
One piece of advice, if you are a dinosaur like me, use a nickname rather than your real name just in case you are scared to press buttons. I was, and for some reason whenever I press a button to test something out, I can never find out how to edit/delete it. Why can’t edit/delete buttons be big enough to find without a magnifying glass? Or a map. That way you won’t be embarrassed by a dumb post like “This is a test. I am
uncool a newbie loser and this is my first post. Idiot Technophobe trying to learn lol.” Teenagers. Extreme facepalms.
The point is you have to invest a lot of time. Which really bugs the heck out of me because I want to get that novel written. The Young Adult world needs a Conspiracy Thriller that involves real people in the real world. There are too many witches, faeries, and demon slayers out there.
I don’t do the nanowrimo thing. But this week I need to finish the novel I have been trying to write. So if you see me here or on Facebook or Twitter tell me to get off and go finish that book! Keep your fingers crossed for me, that next week I can blog about finally finishing the book.
This is what I pictured for myself….
…but I was duped into doing other things. My spot was hijacked. My laptop was hijacked. My cat was hijacked.
I am forcing myself to finish my WIP. It is YA. Speculative Fiction. Thriller. Conspiracy Theory. Would teenagers read a cross between Dan Brown and Joel C. Rosenberg? I googled and googled. Can’t seem to find anything that would come under that description for YA. Suggest some titles if you have read anything, I need to take a trip to the library for a good book coming under this description.
And of course, would a Literary Agent pick up something like that? They always say they want something new. I am giving you something new, Agent. So pick it up. It will scream at you from your slush-pile full of werewolves and paranormal romance, dystopias and aliens. It will earn you lots of money, no really it will. Teenagers need to be given a dose of reality, what is happening in the real world. They have been on a steady diet of make-believe for too long. So give it to them, let them freak out about something that could really happen. They can have their zombie splurge when “Walking Dead” returns.
When a smart, young detective crosses paths with the future leader of a steadily growing cult during a murder investigation they get caught up in a tangle of mysterious deaths ranging from a teenage blackmailer to the NSA Director. And a race to get hold of power in the Middle East.
Now offer me representation!
Although Boredom is Good for You….
It is shameful and I shouldn’t do it, but I can’t help it. I read Life of Pi some years back. And I had to force myself through it. I hang my head in shame. But hell it was boring. The only reason I forced myself through it was I kept hoping that somewhere along the line it would get interesting or my malfunctioning brain cells would start working and I would actually get the story. But I didn’t and at the end of the novel I felt quite cheated. Please forgive me, all you incredible critics who gave it rave reviews. I could never imagine it being turned into a movie. But watching the Oscars last night convinced me that Ang Lee and his team are capable of magic and yes I want to see the movie. No offence Yann Martel, I am just plain dumb and totally missed the entire point of the story if there was one. I like fast paced stories which have a beginning, middle and end. No hidden meanings that require the IQ of a rocket scientist to decipher. But I want to watch the movie, it deserved the Oscar for Cinematography and why is everyone trashing Seth Macfarlane? Because he sang out true well known facts? Well all those actresses should have thought about that before dumbly agreeing to do just anything on screen, good for you Jennifer Lawrence you just gained more respect. And you fall gracefully.
(Images from Google and the Guardian.co.uk)
November is my favorite month, it is the month I turn eighteen every year. Now it is going, and then agents will be flooded with nanowrimo stuff. And I can imagine what good moods they will be in. I didn’t do the nanowrimo thing. I was tempted, instead I decided to do the short story contest stuff. So I wrote and am writing some short stories to send to different places. I enjoyed it, at first I was doubtful. I seem to have too much to say. But I am really enjoying it. I wrote a humorous story about a desi boy and his crazy family because I had fun writing ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’ for Dawn, in fact it was so much fun I am going to turn it into a novel.
I also wrote a sad ghost story, which I had so much fun with that I am going to use the idea for another novel. It is kind of like the Time Traveler’s Wife crossed with Ghost.
Here are some links to short story contests that I hope some of you find useful:
http://www.inktears.com/Inktears/WritersNewWriters2012.html the last date for this is November 30th and you can write any theme/genre
http://www.commonwealthwriters.org/prizes/commonwealth-short-story-prize/entry-rules/ the last date for this is December 4th you can write any genre but you must live in a Commonwealth Country
And here is a place that has a list of other places you can check out:
http://www.christopherfielden.com/short-story-tips-and-writing-advice/short-story-competitions.php I love people like this, they make life so much easier. Thank you Christopher Fielden.
I love creepy, haunting stories (think Edgar Allan Poe) so the other short stories I am writing are creepy and haunting(no zombies!). The ideas creep me out at night. Of course so does the Walking Dead, but some things are just so addictive.
I hope I can get the two other stories done on time, last week and today are really busy. And then I also have to have regular vocal cord exercises to get that opera singer job or be cast as the next Hulk, so I need to take time off to yell at the offspring. They begin to feel deprived if I don’t.
I also hope to send out more queries for ‘Miscegenation’ but it takes a lot of time going through those agent websites and then writing out new queries. Especially when I am so busy hollering at the kids and planning tea parties with Kate. You know Kate? The one who married the Prince?
What are you busy with these days?
(All pics swiped off Google Images)
I am doing a blog hoppy thing. This is the first time.
I was tagged by two awesome writer people: Alexandra Tys O’Conner at Whispering Minds and Anne Woodman at Writing by the Numbers. You have to go and visit their great blogs. And read and comment and make new writer people friends.
So here I go.
1- What is the working title of your book?
Miscegenation. Long uncommonly used words just fascinate me.
2- Where did the idea come from for the book?
When I moved back to Canada after many years I happily observed many mixed race couples. Also there is a lot of unrest in the other half of the world and I thought what if we just blew ourselves to bits while fighting and the survivors were extremists who decided no more inter racial marriages. They want a Pure Blood Society of the different races believing this is going to avoid all the genes from getting crazy and self destructive. I have a Master’s in Biochemistry and genetics really fascinates me.
3- What genre does your book fall under?
Science Fiction (YA)
4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have absolutely no idea, but I think Johnny Depp should be in every movie. He just should.
5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
This is the most painful question in the history of questions. This is the first sentence/hook/pitch from the query:
Welcome to Arya, where being different will kill you.
6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am hoping (read praying, begging, crying, moaning, struggling ) that it gets represented by an agency.
7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took one month.
8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It is about a racist society. The only other YA I have heard about that deals with racism in a similar way is Vril: the Power of the Coming Race.
9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
There are so many paranormal type characters but I haven’t read one with a djinn in it yet. I wanted to write a novel with a djinn as one of the characters. So one of the races is of djinns.
10- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A lot of action ( I love action movies/novels) some romance ( the one where they can’t live with each other and they can’t live without each other) science stuff for science stuff fans. Angry teenagers for emo kids and rebellious stuff in memory of James Dean.
Now check out these blogs: (you guys have one week! Try to post it on Nov 7!)
I was reading through ‘when in doubt’ quotes because I am in doubt. When I am not procrastinating, I am busy being in doubt. I found some enlightening advice and I thought you could use it.
“When in doubt, don’t.” Benjamin Franklin
“When in doubt, do it.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“When in doubt or danger, run in circles, scream and shout.” Laurence J. Peter
“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”
I found all this extremely helpful. Especially running around in circles and screaming, it relieves the tension and gives the kids a good laugh. And if you think you are making a fool of yourself, act like an intellectual so you seem ‘brilliantly creative’ to everyone else.
Seriously though doubt is so hard to deal with, all the advice says ‘just write’ and keep writing. As Dory would say “just keep swimming”.
But how do you convince yourself? Sometimes I just want to lock my laptop up and throw away the key. Just forget about the whole thing. Sometimes I just sit there and cry while I eat plenty of chocolate. I am not good enough, there are too many people already writing, I don’t have a Master’s degree in English Literature, I don’t post enough on my blog, I don’t have any articles or short stories published in any of the ‘big’ magazines, I am not a member of any affiliation for writers, I don’t have time, I do have time but I can’t do it, I have too much housework, I will end up not giving the kids enough time and they will end up disturbed juvenile delinquents, the kitchen floor needs to be mopped. The thing that is behind everything is doubt that I just can’t write at all. And I thought it was just me, but apparently even published writers have their doubts: How to Conquer Self Doubt and Just Write
And if that inspires you enough then you might want to try writing a short story for this competition: Young Adult Fiction Competition
They extended the deadline, so if you stop doubting and get writing you can make the dead line. Good luck.
(All Images from Google Images)
Phoning the Literary Agent.
Hi how are you? I hope you got the puppy I sent you. I read an interview you gave once, at least I think it was you, and I found out you like dogs. You don’t? Oh you’re a cat person! Sorry about that, I am sure you can find someone to give the puppy to. Anyways I have written this really cool book about a vampire that falls in love with a werewolf who was adopted by fairies when her pack was attacked by flesh-eating zombies. Everyone who reads it tells me it would make a great movie. I think you should show the manuscript to Steven Spielberg I know he is gonna flip when he sees it. I know it would appeal to a very large audience, since it is really fast paced with lots of action as well as having a great love triangle; there is an alien who is also in love with the female werewolf. I can’t tell you about the aliens, it would ruin the suspense. You just need to hurry up and read the manuscript I had tied to the puppy’s collar. It nearly choked him? Aw poor little guy! Yeah that is the one, with the scented orange paper. I know orange is your favorite color, you can tell I did my research huh? So when do you think you can get back to me? I am really busy, I have already started the fifth book in the series but I have three more to write. When you do contact Steven…you know, Steven Spielberg? I just told you about the movie based on my novel remember! Like I was saying, when you talk to Steven ask him to check and see if Tatum Channing is free to play the lead role. You don’t think they would be interested? Why? Well they’ll be sorry later when they read the headlines about the movie breaking all the records. I think Emma Stone would make a great werewolf, try her. So when do you think you will get back to me? I was hoping the novel could be out by the fall, so work on the movie could start by the end of the year. What do you mean you only represent non-fiction?
(picture from Google Images)