The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

28 July 2009


There's still lots of work to do to get my first manuscript in tip top shape with a dynamite query letter and synopsis to back it up. Nevertheless, I don't want this writing thing to be a one off fluke, so I've started working on the next book. I figure it will help me get some distance from the first manuscript so I can accept rejection without personal devastation. I can multi-task, don't worry.

I'm getting excited about the new book (and yet another one I plan to write afterwards). It's a departure from 'Seer', which is a dark, suspenseful story with a poignant mixture of hope and despair. The new book [title to be determined] will be a fast, savvy mystery full of humor--and rude, hairy elves. It's a fantasy-detective story with a sassy heroine. It's gonna be heaps of fun! The 'world' is built, most of the characters even have names, and the outline is 75% done. I'm giddily anticipating writing the first draft: there's nothing better than when you let the creativity flow unchecked.

20 July 2009


My query letter is horrible. I realized that shortly after sending it out to five agents. Why didn't I see it before!? I took refuge in comforting cliches like 'beautiful girl with a dangerous secret'--uggh!!! What was I--high? I don't even drink so it can't be that. Please, please can I do take backs?

Oh well, I shall return to compiling lists of agents to contact, prime criteria being that they haven't seen my previous stinking pile of a query. In my own defense, queries and novels are very different. I was thinking a query was all Hollywood loglines, but it's supposed to be more like a mini synopsis with personal voice and pizzaaz.

I am now giving myself a crash course in 'How to Hook Literary Agents (aka Fishing for Form Letters)' , and I hope and pray and wish to any higher power that is listening that I get it right this time and end up with a good agent. Or any agent.

19 July 2009

Two good reviews and I can conquer the world!

Maz got back to us and I quote: "I think it's pretty good! Forbidden lerv, attractive settings, strange planets, horror and thriller elements thrown into the mix. The characters are all believable and well written, and the story overall is great, lots of twists and turns to keep the reader interested... I think it's a really great read – and thanks for sharing it with me!"

She had a couple of suggestions (I took them out with '...' so nothing is given away), but I didn't need that box of tissues after all! Yes!!!

I felt on top of the world for a whole day. But, that was two days ago. As I was writing query letters to agents yesterday, fear set into my belly with a sickening motion far exceeding the mere fluttering of butterflies--it was bats. Fear bats in my belly. I felt like begging for mercy in those queries, or turning round and running... But I did neither. I faced my fear and I mailed out two of them today. The other two queries in this round I will email tomorrow... or when I've determined the stellar alignments are auspicious.
Fingers crossed.

07 July 2009

She said, 'You're a very good writer.'

...And there was no 'but' after it! Yes, I heard back from Julie. We had a nice sit down lunch at a local cafe under an umbrella, which was good because it alternated between beautiful sunshine and bursts of chilly little raindrops. Fortunately, my mood wasn't such a pendulum. I was worried I might get defensive of 'my baby' but I managed to be calm and objective throughout. It didn't hurt when Julie had a huge list of things she loved about the book, while there were fewer bits she didn't like. It was great to have an outside viewpoint, and rewarding to see that the subtle philosophy and 'big ideas' that underpin the book got through to her without interfering with the thrill of the story. Whew! Now, just a few more revisions based on her response and we're ready to go! ...Unless Maz totally hates it and I have to wallow in depression for a while.