It’s been a while since my last update, so I thought I would take this opportunity to report on what I’m doing right now.
I sent out a few queries in mid-October. I got some rejections, but there are still a few that haven’t responded yet. Instead of sending out more queries right away, I decided to re-examine my query letter and sample pages before trying again – I wanted to conserve my agent list until I was sure my query wasn’t toxic. I plan to send out 6-8 more queries between now and Thanksgiving weekend.
In addition to going over my submission materials, I also re-prioritized my agent list. I won a copy of the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents in a contest on Chuck Sambuchino’s blog in early October. I made good use of it, updating and adding to my list of agents to query. I spent a weekend going to all of the agency websites on my list, looking at current agent rosters and submission guidelines. Some agencies instruct you to only query one agent within the agency, while others encourage you to query multiple agents as long as you don’t query them simultaneously – I updated my list with this info so I would know which agencies I could only take one shot at.
For NaNoWriMo, I started work on a Middle Grade novel that shares a character from The Destiny Matrix. It’s a story about a teenage boy and his dysfunctional family as they operate their family business. I was on pace during the first weekend, but fell behind once I got into the first work week of the month. Right now, I’m stuck at about 5,000 words. I have several days off coming up, so maybe I can make up some ground. At this point, I’d be satisfied to end the month at 25k.
A few weeks ago I attended my first writing seminar. I didn’t think I’d ever take time out to write a short story, but in the middle of last week I got a great idea. Rather than sit on it and risk never getting it started, I began writing the next day. I finished the first draft on Monday, and am polishing it before sending to the seminar instructor for his feedback.
About the same time that I sent out my first batch of queries, I also took part in an online pitch contest called Nightmare On Query Street. I didn’t make it to the mentor/agent round, but got to know a group of other writers who have a lot of the same hopes and dreams that I do. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken part in a blog hop hosted by michelle4laughs.blogspot.com. Each participant posted the first page (250 words) of their novel on their own blog, then other participants visited to provide feedback. Here is my entry. The traffic I got set new daily, weekly and monthly page view highs.
In December, I plan to take part in the PitchMAS and SFFPit contests on Twitter.
Here’s where the juggling comes in. I’ve been trying to work in a blog post or two each week (not counting reblogs). I’ve also been trying to get my Facebook author page up and running – up to now, most of the content has been blog posts. I haven’t been in a big hurry to get the page going because minus signing with an agent or landing a book deal, I won’t have much author news to share. I’ve also signed up for an account with Mail Chimp, and will be working on getting their mailing list sign-up form incorporated on this site and on the Facebook page. On top of all that, I still try to read 1-2 books each week. I’ve started what I hope will become a weekly post devoted to what I’m reading, what I’ve read and what’s next on my list.
I’ve got a lot of stuff going on, but don’t worry, I still make time for Twitter and football.