Yeah, it's fun to daydream sometimes. And it's fun to think you'll be as cool as a cucumber when your inbox shows you've got mail. Especially when the email starts with: "I am pleased to tell you..." You're not going to
No, you'll be an uber cool dude, and no one--I say, NO ONE--is going to find you doing a cross between the chicken dance and Elaine's dance because you are such a professional.
What? You want stats? I don't do stats, but I'll try my best.
I started querying around the end of March--which was very poor timing on my part. People were just coming back from the Bologna Book Fair. I sent out a few queries (like 3) and waited, and waited, and waited. It was also the earliest version of my query. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, I decided to send out a few more with a newly revamped query. And the waiting continued.
Lesson #1: Be patient.
Rejections finally came in. *sting* But as they were based on my query, it didn't hurt too much. I knew I needed to work on it. Enter Agent Query Connect and its awesome band of writers. I had all my query versions numbered in a file. My first full request came, and I thought I was going to faint. I was so nervous I messed up the page numbers in my file submission and had to re-send a new email with the corrections. *facepalm*
Lesson #2: Learn to calm down. Double check everything. Don't be hasty.
For most of April, I sent out intermittent queries. At the same time, I worked on my query, even asking BBC's Query Cat to do a Saturday Slash on my query. I stayed up late writing query drafts. I dreamed about writing queries. Also zombies. And a handful of vampires (no, they weren't sparkly). I also had to deal with a lot of medical stuff and lab tests. It wasn't the best of time for me. Did I feel slightly down while the crickets in my inbox created an orchestra to rival the New York Philharmonic?
Yes, yes I did. But I kept on going.
Lesson #3: Don't give up easily. Hope is a beautiful thing.
I've been following numerous literary agents on Twitter, even those I had no plan of querying (just because I already knew they weren't a good fit for me, personality-wise, or that they did not represent my genre). I followed them anyway because it's always good to get oneself educated about the publishing biz.
Ms. Fabulous Agent was on Twitter giving out #querytips, #writingtips, and #pubtips. They were helpful tips, and sometimes downright hilarious (the most recent one is from a sample where the author likened a pancake to a coffin. :D). I
Lesson #4: Trust your writerly instincts.
I sent off my latest query to Miss Fabulous Agent, and one other (also a lovely agent). Then with fingers and toes crossed, I set off for my 7-month prenatal appointment. While waiting in the lobby, I checked my email (confession: Having an iPhone is both a curse and a blessing. I will not tell you how many times I check my email every day, but you can probably guess it's a good substantial number.)
She said my query intrigued her.
She said she wanted to see the first 50 pages.
I wanted to go home and send it off right away, but I needed to see my doctor first. And take a nasty glucose drink to test for gestational diabetes. Which meant more waiting at the clinic. My palms began itching.
The minute I got home, I sent off my partial with a little prayer. (Apparently, I forgot lesson #2. I was THAT excited.)
I woke up extra early, and nearly fell off the bed when I checked my email on my phone and found out Ms. Fabulous Agent read my partial first thing in the morning. And she wanted to see the rest of the manuscript. Holy moly. She was lightning fast. The crickets in my inbox must have developed laryngitis or something. I couldn't believe it.
I sent her my full, and prepped myself for a long wait. In the meantime, I got another full request from a different agent. I decided to send out a few more queries.
Lesson #5: Query widely. Just do. If I had stuck to my list, I would never have found and queried Ms. Fabulous Agent.
She. Loved. It. All of it. My book Hidden. Loved.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe I did both.
I sent out notices to the other agents I have queried or had my full submissions that I had an offer of representation. I could have signed with Ms. Fabulous Agent right then and there (I liked her THAT much), but I had to be courteous. Six other full requests invaded my inbox. I was stupefied. I gave them 10 days to get back to me.
Possibly the longest ten days of my life. Some of them came back with high compliments and very positive feedback, some missed the deadline. I then informed Ms. Fabulous Agent I wanted to sign with her. I don't think I slept very well that night--I was too hyper. :)
She emailed me the Agency Agreement for my preview. I was in a complete daze. And I truly adore her.
Now excuse me while I go
I'm writing this with my brain only partially functioning. It is late at the moment, true (almost midnight, my time). And I've had this nasty cold and cough-turning-into-asthma combo for a month now. Don't even get me started on my pregnancy woes. I have less than 2 months left--which means, an even bigger belly, grossly swollen hands and feet, and aches and pains all you mothers out there are all too familiar with.
But wait--don't leave. I'm not really here to whine and groan. I'm here to
Please bear with me while I tinker and prod my blog (and bash my head on the desk occasionally when encountering technical difficulties) for yet another makeover!
Friday, May 11, 2012 | | 10 Comments
My lovely friend, Angela V. Cook, of The Starving Novelist tagged me in a meme. I thought I better do this now before I forget--as baby boy's due date draws near, I find myself losing a few more brain cells each day. (Where did I put my car keys? Wait, how could I forget buying milk at the grocery store? I mean, it's the first thing on my list, for goodness' sake!)
So, here we go:
Welllllll... I have two story ideas competing for my attention at the moment. I've started both of them--yes, both but I wrote them on different days. Wouldn't want my characters to become bipolar--but as some of you may know, I'm part pantser and part plotter. I usually have a VERY general idea of what the story is about, but I don't outline the details until I've at least written the first chapter or so. As to what they are, I guess you'll find out when I figure it out myself. Hee!
Do your stories tend to be plot driven or character driven?
Can I say both? Pretty please?! Heh. I like my characters to grow during the course of the story, and most of their actions/reactions/decisions arise from who they are as a person. But at the same time, I like the plot to evolve as well and to be intertwined with the characters' choices. Plot doesn't have to be a sequence of events happening just because. Your characters CAN drive your plot, and your plot will then dictate where your story goes. Complicated much? I hope not.
Name the craziest thing that has ever inspired you.
Erm, inspired me to do what?
Do you make up character names, or use the names of people you know?
I don't stress too much on character names. Sometimes a name will just fit the character and I go with it.
Do your main characters always have the same hair color as you (thanks Marian!)?
Name a television show you watch that you consider a guilty pleasure.
Oh geez. I used to watch TV back in the days, before I had kids. No, wait, I'm not much of a TV watcher, even back then. When I was still in school, TV didn't even play a role in my life. I was so focused on my studies, I had no time for TV. *coughnerdcough* Books, on the other hand, were a different matter. I'd stay up late to finish a book if I truly love it. Who cares that I had a 7 am Chemistry test the next day, right?
Nowadays, the kids hoard the TV. So unless I'm a fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or Good Luck, Charlie, no TV for me.
What's the first name of your first crush?
Geez-whiz. What is this? First grade? *snorts* Darn if I can remember anyway.
What's the first concert you ever attended?
Ah, I had a boring high school life. Concert, what concert??
Which would you rather eat: pie or cake?
BOTH! Though at the moment, because of pregnancy medical stuff I have to deal with, sugar is off-limits for me. Booo! *sadface*
When you were a kid, what did you always want to be when you grew up?
A pilot. Uh-huh. I see your eyebrows going up, up, up. (My dad is a pilot <--this explains it.)
What was the happiest day of your life (other than getting married/the birth of your children)?
Finishing my book, maybe.
I'm supposed to tag people and come up with 11 questions of my own to give them, but really don't have time right now. So breathe easy, my blogger friends. I won't be tagging you today. :)
Have a great week, everyone!
Thursday, May 10, 2012 | | 7 Comments
So there's this thing called The Writer's Voice, which everyone I know seems to be doing. (Deets here if you want to know more.) And lucky me, I got in! So here's my entry for HIDDEN, my YA Contemporary Fantasy novel. Hope you'll like it!
UPDATE: Just wanna say THANKS to all who left me lovely comments! I'm no longer in the running for the contest, so I had to take down my query and first 250 words. Good luck to those who are moving on to the next level! :)
Thursday, May 03, 2012 | | 47 Comments