If you’re like me and have friends and relatives that know you’ve written a book, you’re probably dreading the upcoming holiday season for one reason. The dreaded question.
“So, what’s up with that books of yours?”
There’s got to be a simple answer to that without opening up old wounds and explaining about queries, agents, and rejections, right? Since I’m sure you’re not reading this just to get a simple answer, here’s what’s going on with my book right now.
After spending the first half of 2015 doing an extensive re-write of The Destiny Matrix, I started querying and entering contests again in July. The results were underwhelming, but I got a fairly detailed critique from one of the agents who requested the full manuscript.
I was thankful for the feedback, but discouraged at the amount of additional work needed. In addition, I spoke with a writer-friend about changing the category of the book from YA to MG. In either case, I’m looking at a few months of revisions, at a minimum.
It was early August, and I wasn’t psychologically ready for that step yet so I entered Pitch Wars, thinking that having a mentor to help guide me through the revisions wouldn’t be so bad.
Welp, I wasn’t picked for Pitch Wars. Or for Pitch Slam after that. Instead of beating my head against a wall on the manuscript I’ve spent over three years on so far, I decided to start something new. I still love the concept of my first story and think it’s my best chance of getting published, but I learned from my writer-friend that sometimes the best thing you can do to get one book published is to write another one.
In mid-September, I started working on an MG story based on some strange events that happened in my hometown more than forty years ago. My goal was to complete a 50,000 word first draft by the end of October.
I hit 40k with more than a week to go before my deadline, but life intervened to keep me from finishing on time. I finally finished on November 15th, with a final word count just over 56k.
While I take a break from the second novel in preparation for editing, I’m starting work on converting the first book to Middle Grade. The basic plot is the same – it didn’t have a great deal of inappropriate content for MG anyway. I have a new (and hopefully better) beginning in mind, and will need to cut word count to meet MG expectations.
If all goes according to plan – and I realize that it probably won’t – I’ll have the new book ready to enter in contests in February, and be ready to resume querying on the first book shortly afterward.
If neither of those get me any closer to my goals, I have several more book ideas anxiously waiting their turn.