Writer Wednesday – The importance of options

Since starting my Agent Quest at the beginning of September, I’ve sent out 11 queries and received 5 rejections and 1 No response (although the website said if I don’t hear from them in 3 weeks, it was considered a pass).   I’ve only had one agent request a partial, all others have been rejected simply on Query or the first few pages. I currently have 5 queries out there and am prepping another letter to send off, as I like to have 6 queries out at once, since this is a time-consuming process. 

I admit I wish I was getting more feedback, like “we aren’t searching for a Steampunk Romance”, or “No one is looking for this,” or “You’re writing needs work specifically in these areas.”   Unfortunately most have simply been, “we are going to pass on this project.”   

“Why?  Why are you passing?” I wonder. 

Last week, I talked about my looking for Beta Readers and this is why.  So I can find out if its something in my writing that isn’t working.   My concern is that the writing is fine, and I’ve missed the market on Steampunk.  If that’s the case, even if I decide to go direct to the publishers, I may have a difficult time finding a home for this manuscript.   It makes me question if I should write something saleable for NaNoWriMo or work on the next book in this Steampunk series.   

I have been researching Indie publishing for the very concerns I listed above regarding the market for Steampunk.  I personally love the genre mixed with romance and feel there aren’t enough books, but maybe I’m in the minority on this one.  Although by all accounts, this seems to be a loyal fan base if you get “it” right, and there is a significant amount of self-published (indie) books in the genre.  I feel if I did go the self-published (Indie) route that I’d at least have a chance to succeed (or fail) based on readers. 

But I digress as this post was about Options.   Even though this process has been long and tiresome, I do still have a good portion of my agent list to work through and then after that my editor list.  I’ve decided to give my agent search until January and then I’ll be querying publishers directly.  That list is pretty long too. 

To give myself options when I go to find either an agent or publisher I make an excel spreadsheet of what they are looking for and what is important to me, so I can expedite the list, so really when I can the rejection I’m not so dejected. 

I admit my experience with publishers (especially digital presses) is that they know exactly what they want and the turn around on query, and usually the manuscript is much faster.   Many publishers now take the full manuscript so there is very little waiting.  

Well I should write that next query letter, so I can hurry up and wait. 🙂 

~Tina

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writer Wednesday – Request

Last week, right after I posted my rejection post.   I received a request for an additional 50 pages from another Agent.   The Universe must have a plan.  

I had met this agent at an RWA conference a couple of years ago when the manuscript was just getting started in my head and on paper.    She had given a talk on agents and how they help you in the business.  That talk made me look at querying agents for this book that was an idea in my head.     Especially since what I had written was such a bit of a departure from my current work.   

I will still have to wait a few more weeks before I hear back, but this is exciting news.  I remember listening to her talk, and getting a good vibe.  

As you read this, I’m heading to the airport to go on my annual retreat with the WZG Founders.   And plotting my next book.   More on that next Wednesday. 

~Tina

AuThursday – Your name here

img_0982We are getting to the end of the year and I’ll be looking for Interview Candidates for 2017.  

If you think this is something you might be interested let me know. 

I post Interviews every Thursday and Excerpts on Saturday.  I’m thinking of adding some new items like Wednesday Writer Space – More on that to come. 

I don’t do reviews or blitzes, as I want the readers to get to know the writer and what makes them tick.   

Reader make-up seems to be a mix  of Fans, Aspiring Writers, Actors and Veteran Writers.  This page if  viewed more as informative and educational rather than promotional. 

I’ll post the Clog Blog Results at the end of the year as I have in the past.   

Stay tuned next week for more writers. ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday – Colleen S. Myers

Please welcome Colleen S. Myers to the Clog Blog.  Colleen, what is your latest news?

I am so happy to announce the second book in my Solum Series is coming out June 6th, 2016.  Available everywhere in eBook and print!

Q:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

This may sound odd but I don’t feel I had one mentor, I had dozens! Every author I have read help make me the writer I am. Plus, I was a Harlequin Teen junky when I was little.

Q:  What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

I always have a basic Idea for a plot before writing. Sometimes I do free write to stimulate ideas but right now I have 5 separate series in my head so it has been a while since I have done that.

After I get the idea, I generally plot it out and organize it in Scrivener.  My first draft is in scrivener, then I do all my editing in Word once I have the plot ironed out.

Also while in scrivener, if I am having trouble writing scenes or characters, I tend to do Point of Views or little excerpts about the characters so I get to know their motives.

Q:  What inspired you to write your book, MUST REMEMBER?

I love fantasy. In real life I am a doctor which can be very stressful and very grounded in reality. I like to imagine what it would be like elsewhere sometimes and thus Must Remember was born.

Q:   Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learn from everything I do in life.  Even if you fail, you have learned something!

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I take everything with a grain of salt. Not everyone is going to like everything I write, just like I don’t like everything I read.

Q:   Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?

Oh, well I totally missed mine!  My husband was sick that day so It went to voicemail and they didn’t talk to me, they just left an email, so mine is pretty anti-climatic.

Q:   What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author?

Getting my first fan, someone who is completely separate from my family who told me how much she liked my book.

Q:  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently working on the third book in the Solum series over halfway done. I am also working on a Contemporary romance novel dealing with a wounded veteran finding love with his high school sweetheart after coming home from Iraq with a missing limb.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Social Media links:

Website:  http://www.colleensmyers.com/

BLog: http://www.csmyersmusings.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColleenSMyers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColleenSMyers

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/csmyers3637/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/csmyers3637/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114862374558510360435/posts

Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleen-myers-883a66b6?trk=hp-identity-name

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Colleen-S.-Myers/e/B016XCBKA2/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14553363.Colleen_S_Myers

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Colleen’s 

 

AuThursday – Anna Mayle

Welcome fellow Resplendence Author Anna Mayle.  So Anna,where are you from?

I was born on Drummond Island, in a log cabin my mother built with her own two hands. In the summer we lived in a teepee in a large clearing in the woods. We held rendezvous there where trappers and traders and Native Americans would gather to live a tiny bit in a time that had already been and gone. Later we moved to New Mexico and even later we came back to Michigan, even if it isn’t the island anymore, but I’ve always considered myself as being from that tiny piece of yesterday that we worked so hard to hold on to.

Q:  When and why did you begin writing?

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t creating stories. At first it was just something fun to play around with. Later it became a way to shape the world into what I wanted it to be. I hid in my writing for a long while. Actually, I only surfaced to find friends and join the real world a few years ago. Before that it was always my family and my writing, nothing else mattered.

Q:  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I guess I really saw the possibility of being a professional writer when I finished my first novel ‘Such Bitter Heaven’. It still isn’t published yet, but I have hope for it. ^_^

 Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

 I make up the characters first, and write a scene (not necessarily the first one), then I just let them play. Even I don’t know how my book will end before it does. Sometimes I have a vague idea, but the characters usually go somewhere I was really not expecting. Honestly, it’s a bit like having a multiple personality disorder sometimes. My head gets very crowded.

As for the physical conditions, it depends on what I’m working on. Usually quiet or soft instrumental music (my current favorite for my WIP is ‘Song of a Secret Garden’) is preferable. I fix a hot cup of spice tea then curl up at my desk, feet on the chair or tucked under me because I can’t stand sitting with both feet on the ground. Occasionally a cat or lizard will join me while I’m working and keep my head, neck, or lap warm while I type.

Of course, those are preferable conditions, all too many times I’m scribbling on a napkin, or scrap paper at work while I’m on break, on the bus, or in a loud room while family and roommates play and I try to drown out just enough of the din to focus, and fight the cats away from my keyboard since they think it’s the neatest toy ever. *sigh* good times.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

Monica Furlong’s ‘Juniper’, I always wanted to grow up as strong as the Dorans in that story. Kahlil Gibran’s ‘A Tear and A Smile’, the lessons in that book are what I was raised on. While some kids are quoted bible verses, I was quoted bits from those pages. More secrets of life and happiness were found in ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and ‘The Big Friendly Giant’ by Roald Dahl. ‘The Last Unicorn’ by Peter S. Beagle was my favorite book as a child, I must have worn out three or four copies of that book. And ‘The Last Trail’ by Zane Grey, that one not for the contents of the book as much as the memory of being curled up with my brothers, beside our mother in the guest room at my Great Great Uncle Bill’s house in Newburry, snuggled warm against the cold while she read to us in her soft, musical whisper. I remember looking up and seeing my Grandad looking in on us from the doorway and thinking ‘all is right with the world’.

 Q:  What are your current projects?

I have a full length novel finished and awaiting approval (fingers crossed) called ‘In The Shadow of A Hero’. It was supposed to be for the Handcuffs and Lace line, but it ran away with me and got too long. The story is about a homeless man, Maxwell Thomas, full of self-loathing and hiding from his past by trying to save the city he feels he wronged. When Nick Kenna, a truly good hearted cop, stumbles upon him and tries to pull him out of the darkness, they both end up caught in a fight for their lives, and Maxwell’s sanity.

I’ve also got a short story in progress about a young musician who stumbles across the journal of  a soldier from WWII. The more he reads the more he sees the shade of the soldier in his dreams, the more he dreams, the more they blend with reality until he isn’t sure what’s real anymore, or what he wants to be real.

Q:  Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Nature. I can’t begin to tell you how many times, when life began to pull me down, I would retreat to my garden or the woods or water. Without mother Earth about to ground me… it’s terrifying to wonder where I would be today.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

 The call hmm?

Metaphysically I think it was more like a telegram buried in the annals of my psyche. I had to keep writing more and more because if I didn’t, I started to talk out scenes to myself…out loud. It was scaring people. My dad thought I was going insane. ^_^

If you mean the physical ‘you’re going to be published’ kind of call. The Email actually got eaten by my Hotmail account. I waited for a month or so and the gave a tentative message to Resplendence asking if I’d just not been chosen or if the story hadn’t been read yet. Instead of the brush off I was expecting I was told that I was going to be published.

Honestly, I think I almost fell out of my chair, I was so shocked.  

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.annamayle.com, it’s not much yet, but it’s a start. I also used to write a lot of fanfiction under another name, but that’s a s-e-c-r-e-t. shh.

Join me on Saturday when we read an Excerpt from Anna’s Bedtime Stories for a Stolen Child.

Tina