A.K.A. "What I've been up to the last four months"
The other day I realized I’d written my last blog post almost four months ago in November. November! Back then, leaves were abdicating from their boughs in red, orange, and goldenrod glory. But now it is nigh April, and the long-naked tree limbs are clothing themselves in floral hues of pink, white, and purple. In this season of new beginnings, I thought I’d share an update regarding a new season in my writing life.
Last summer, I completed a polished draft of my murder mystery, Not to Be, and began the daunting task of submitting it to literary agents. The submission process is a little like buying a new pair of sandals; all you can do is put your best foot forward and pray you find the right fit. I learned how to craft a query letter (a book-jacket-like story teaser with writing credentials) and a plot synopsis condensing over three hundred pages of text down to four -- a tricky thing to write! I learned how to research agents within my genre through databases like querytracker.com and manuscriptwishlist.com. And finally, I learned how to travel the rocky road of manuscript rejection.
Sometimes I felt like a castoff shoe as the number of “No, thank you”s marched into the double digits.
But stories of other authors getting rejected multiple times before succeeding encouraged me. I decided to keep walking the traditional publishing path until my rejections hit the triple digits; at that point, I’d reevaluate my writing direction.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to reach that bend in the road because in December 2018, God provided a person to represent my work! This is pretty much a miracle.
It felt wonderful to finally find someone who understood and cared about my story, and I am super-grateful.
For the last few months, I’ve been working with my agent to tighten my manuscript and make it as attractive as possible to potential publishers. I’ve also completed a rough draft/outline of my novel’s sequel (more on that project in future posts). It’s been invigorating to work on a new story just as the seasons start to shift from cold winter to vibrant spring.
So in spite of my blog-posting reticence, I’m happy to report my writing has not withered away. In fact, I think it’s just starting to bloom.
Thanks for reading!