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

24 February 2013

Querying: I think I'm going to be sick!

I've missed my blog terribly, but, as I've been unable to bend the laws of physics and find more than 24 hours in a day, sacrifices had to be made. My gorgeous little boy is nearly two years old, and based on the way parents' mouths gape as he zooms back and forth across the length of the park chasing pigeons, I can safely say I drew the firecracker from the toddler pile. He takes up most of those 24 hours. Another chunk is eaten up by my full time job where (patting self on the back) I've managed to be promoted to Head of the Corporate Marketing and Communications department in only one year...we won't mention that the department is just me and two other people. At least I've got a great title. 

But all I want for Christmas, Santa, (and I'm telling you now so you have time to make it happen) is an agent! 

In every 30 minute to 1 hour nap period I get from my toddler on weekends (he refuses to go to bed before I do, so evenings are shot), I've been glued to my computer plugging away at the epic fantasy I've been writing. It's a four book series, and I've finished 2 and 1/2 of them (that's about 250,000 words) just to make sure I was happy with the plot and characters. I've re-written the first book three times to address plot, pacing, character development and plain old internal consistency, not to mention the zillion times I've gone through it copyediting. My synopsis of the entire series brings me and my husband to tears every time we read it. I'm on version 37 of my query letter, trying to make everything perfect... and now I feel like I might puke.

I've queried before. Novel number one when I was 21...best not to describe that sad sticking of my toe into the publishing world. And way back with novel number two, in my wonderful ignorance, I blithely sent off query after query telling agents how great my story was. It really wasn't. I'm not surprised by all the rejections. In the end, I decided I needed more practice, so I wrote about a dozen teleplays and screenplays (I can't stand short stories so I chose a different medium for practicing plotting and dialogue) and another novel. My beta readers said this third novel was much better. I didn't even bother sending out queries. I needed to get it right.

Thus, here I am with an epic dark fantasy that's everything I'd want to read if I ran across it in the days when I still had free time to read...and I'm terrified. Call me old fashioned, but I want a traditional publisher. And for that I need an agent. And most just want to see my query letter. 250 words to represent 250,000 and more. Years of work in 250 words... You can see the big pit of blackness that I feel like I'm falling into, can't you?

Excuse me while I go be sick...