Monday, April 30, 2012

Some More Searching...

Here are some updates since my last post a million years ago.

On Tuesday, April 25, 2012, I thought I was going to die. You can totally say I'm spoiled and impatient, but I'm just a passionate person. I'm emotional and I'm not afraid to admit it -- even if it may be unwarranted at times, it's just who I am. 

Remember the partial request I was talking about in my last post? Yeah, on the 25th, it was rejected and I went back to square one with no responses and rejections on the query alone. So, I went back to thinking it was my book; my concept just wasn't good enough. I just wasn't good enough. 

So, I sought solace in both my writing group and the forum boards at QueryTracker. Everyone there is so helpful and supportive. I got PM's for "hugs" and lots of "Don't give up!"'s. Subsequently, I also got a few "you need to rework your query"'s. And I thought. Good Lord, not this again! So, I set about diligently (and when I mean diligent, I mean I stayed late after work and stuff) reworking the query, got it to a comfortable spot after several soul crushes and tissues, and sent out another five the next day. 

And April 26th was a better day.

Because I got my first full request. 

Not only was it a full request with the words, "Please, send the full" in the body of the e-mail, but it was from an agency that was notorious for only requesting 3% of queries that come in. And, boy, was I excited. So, I sent it off right away and waited. Then, that night, I got a second request from another agency. 

Dang, I thought the world had gone insane or I just hit a lucky streak. But today, April 30th, my full was rejected from the first agency, saying the writing was good, but he just didn't "fall in love" with it. 

On the bright side, I'm not back at square one again, because I have a second full out there. But I'm still not getting a lot of responses off my query. So, I sent out ten more today and hope for the best. 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today is a Good Day

Today is a good day. It started off with a harmless enough Facebook post in my writer's group, "The Few, The Proud, The 238." This post is as follows:

"In high school, I dated a guy who had a twin brother. At the time, I KNEW which one he was because his brother was weirder than he was. Now that I have them both on my Facebook, I can't remember which one I dated. Is that bad?"

In my opinion? Yes, that is very bad. Specifically if either one of them sees that. Of course, what followed was a barrage of comments from my fellow writers. Some of them were:

"i dont know. i'm too busy laughing! :D" and "your twin comments were so good that I posted them on my wall. They're so funny that they've already gone viral. It'll help your career, if not your self-esteem."

I just love all my fellow 238er's. They are actually some of my best friends even though I've never met them.

Anyway, on to more news at hand.

So! Last we left off, I was searching for that all-elusive "yes." On Monday, I sent a new and improved query to a smaller agency. About six hours later, I got a partial request. My first request! Woo-hoo! I know it doesn't mean much because people usually get many requests before they even get some personal interest. But, it helps my ego and self-esteem that someone liked my query enough to want to read the first fifty pages.

Guess I know which query to send out now, huh? So, I wrote a paragraph to pull the reader in, and submitted my query to ten more agents the next day.

It's now Thursday and I have yet to hear anything. Impatient? Damn right.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Search for that All-Elusive "Yes"

What happens after we die?

From the moment our oldest ancestors looked into the sky and caught a glimpse of a far-off supernova, we've been obsessed with life after death. We've discovered paintings on cave walls of a bright, oval-shaped light in the sky, gods flying high above the heavens depicted on pottery, and there have even been theories about the ancient Nazcans drawing huge pictures in the sand so their gods had something to look at when they descended.

But that doesn't answer the question.

Well, the long answer is very, very long -- convoluted with theories, religious interpretations, and even some "first-hand" experiences. But, the short answer is, "We don't actually frackin' know."

My opinion? You don't want to know it... trust me; it's not relevant or happy. Which brings me to my point about finding that one agent who will say "yes" to my book.

"Seventeen-year-old Katie Bunny has thirty days to accomplish everything she’s ever wanted in life. Before she dies. Again"

That's the hook for the novel I'm pitching around. Most people I've come into contact with have said, "Wow, I want to read it based on that". So, why haven't agents told me the same thing? Because they're busy, they're picky, and they're right.

Katie Bunny (yes, she has a strange last name, but it's integral... trust me) is seventeen, moderately freckled, and socially awkward. What I mean by that is she's too busy watching old B movies and trying to finish high school to think about what she needs to do in life. She figures once she graduates, she can do the things grown-ups do without having to worry about cliques and cliches. Unfortunately, she dies first. But because she never achieved her purpose, she isn't allowed to pass onto the next phase (a dimension without bodies, only consciousness). Katie is suddenly given thirty days to achieve her goal so she can pass on. But she nearly spills the beans right away, so this alter-dimensional being, Martin, is sent to follow her around like a lost puppy. In addition to sanity threats on Katie's behalf, alter-dimensional wraiths are trying to acquire her soul by any means possible -- usually by exchanging it with some bogus but tantalizing offer. But if Katie gives it to them, then they own her and she'll spend eternity being consumed by them once she dies.

I can't tell you how many times I've drafted and re-drafted my query letter. Okay, maybe I can: it's about 30 or 40. My blood, sweat, and abundant amount of tears are smeared across the pages of THE DEATH OF ME and on the wall in my computer room (from bashing my head against it if you didn't catch that). So, having to rewrite a query and spend more time on it than the actual book just seems odd to me, but it's like a job interview, right? You can spend ten years working for the same company and hate it. But you can spend fifteen years searching for the perfect job and tailoring your resume. So, I understand.

But, I haven't even garnered any requests; only form rejections based on my query. What am I doing wrong? Probably nothing. I'm just one of the unlucky 90% that never gets a chance no matter how good the writing is. Just like a job interview. It doesn't matter how good a person you really are. What matters is the first impression you make. It has to be fantastic, solid, and awe-inspiring.

In conclusion, I don't need help with my writing, I need help with my QUERY! Dog have mercy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My First Post

I'm a writer. I love words and I love to write about truth and fiction. Although, it's usually more of the latter with a little of the former thrown in for balance.

Now, notice how I said "writer" and not "author."

In my complex and ever-changing brain, being a writer means you love to write and will sacrifice relationships, sanity, and computers to do it. An author is someone who is paid to write, whether or not they actually enjoy doing it.

I don't get paid... Yet.

I've had my fair share of hobbies in life just like everyone else. Of course, most of those hobbies ended in a hanging of my head in one form of shame or another. I drew pretty pictures, sang at weddings and events, even dabbled in Paranormal Investigation (well, go on then, shake your head and walk away!). But out of the ashes of my failures, I found my true inspiration was story-telling.

Did you ever play that game at a company meeting or classroom where one person tells the other three things about themselves, and one was a half-truth or all out lie? No, well, let's do it. Here goes:

1. I can sing in Japanese (yes, I was born and raised in California... never even been out of the country).
2. I had my appendix taken out.
3. I have fifteen unpublished works gathering e-dust in my computer.


Yes, I can sing in Japanese. It's actually pretty easy. It's just like learning a song in English -- specifically seeing as most of today's pop stars whine for three solid minutes while unoriginal music drones on behind them.

Number two is false. I still have my appendix (for now...).

I know what you're saying, now. "Fifteen unpublished works?" Well... that's about all I know you're saying. I have no idea what questions you're asking in your mind (or even shouting at the screen). Of course, some of these works are short stories I only wrote for myself with no intention of publishing them. But, some of them are meant to be shared. Here's a list:

1. Luck Be a Lady
2. A Cure for the Condition
3. A Cure for the Past
4. A Cure for the Family
5. A Cure for the Hero
6. A Cure for Their Daughter
7. A Cure for the Nightmare
8. RVE025
9. Under the Glass Dome
10. 31919
11. Gibberish
12. The Death of Me
13. The Death of a Pop Star
14. Dimension
15. I Hate Meat

Damn... I have way too much time on my hands. Double damn... none of these are published. What am I doing?

Numbers two and three on the list ARE coming out this year. A Cure for the Condition will be released in June and its sequel in October under a small, independent publisher. Sure, I have to do all the publicity work myself -- and I'm terrible at selling myself, let me tell you -- but it's cool to know that someone else liked my idea enough to publish it.

Now, if only I could find an agent...

Coming up...

My foray into searching for that all-elusive "yes."