Results of Querying: Bad Fairy

I’ve decided to stop querying for this book because I need to go back to the drawing board based on the feedback I got.  (And it wasn’t unexpected.  I know a 255,000-word book has a snowball’s chance in Hell.)

Of the seven agents I queried, these were the results:

  • 1 non-response
  • 2 form rejections
  • 4 partial requests

Two of the partial requests turned into full manuscript requests.  One of those turned into an overnight rejection because of the length.  Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.

The relevant part of that letter:

I love the premise of this tale, and did enjoy the writing, however it is way too long for publication as it exists. And it is not a problem you can fix with a simple solution like cutting one book into two. Then you will not have a story. It needs to be pruned severely so it can blossom. Right now, we see too much of the day to day of Delia’s life and it gets a tad boring. If you can cut it down to 100,000 – 125,000 words or so, an editor might give it a look. Otherwise, you will not even get past step one in the publishing process.

Another alternative is to self-publish and attempt to market it yourself. When/if you sell a significant number of copies, thus proving to the NY publishers that you have something special, they might give you serious consideration.

Best of luck and please do continue writing. You have a wonderful voice.

She’s right.  I’ll have to think about what to do here.  Will probably just work on my other book for a while and try to find representation for something shorter.

New Novel: Finding Mulligan

Started a new book!  The working title is Finding Mulligan.

About:

Finding Mulligan is the story of Cassandra Howard, who somehow manages to fall in love in an alternate universe.

Cassie’s excited to escape to college, where she can be free of her attention-seeking chronically ill younger sister and can finally stop feeling like a nobody.  Cassie just so happens to have another life in a universe she travels to in her dreams, and there, her alternate self Dia is falling in love.  Her drummer-boy boyfriend, Mulligan, might just exist in the waking world, too.

Finding Mulligan is going to be about Cassie trying to find the boy who’s the “real” version of her dream man, figure out her relationship with her other self, and wrangle her college life.  While determining how weird things from her past have affected her.  It’s gonna be neat.

But I’m not going to speed-write this one because I’ve got too much going on.

On Publishing Scams

So you’ve written a book, or you’re writing one, or you’re thinking about writing one. You’re an artist. You’re a visionary. Or you’re at least very excited about the idea of creating something beautiful in writing and looking into getting it published. What do you do?

Ah, well, a lot of opportunistic companies out there are interested in you. Rather, they’re interested in your money, and in exploiting your idealism and naïveté to make you think you need their services. Or that their services are a legitimate, authentic road to becoming a published writer. Guess what? They aren’t.

I’ve written about The National Library of Poetry and how they try to rip off clueless poets by praising their poetry and then trying to sell them a book containing their poems (and others’ poems collected the same way) for exorbitant prices. These publishing and editing services are in the same camp.

There are many scams out there to try to trick writers into thinking it’d be prudent to pay for some service. Now, editing services exist. And I recommend having your novel heavily edited, even if you have to pay for it. But if you see someone charging reading fees for agent reviews, offering to take your money to rep you to publishers, or praising your work (sometimes without seeing it!) and offering you vague statements about their “connections” which they will put to use for you for a small fee, run. The websites Preditors & Editors and The Absolute Write Water Cooler are excellent resources for writers trying to research the legitimacy of any professional in the writing industry. But here are some specific things you should know about these misleading services.

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Completed New Short Story: “Wind”

Finished a new short story called “Wind.”  But it’s more of a novella than a short story, like most of my stuff seems to be.  It’s about 20,000 words.  Modern fantasy romance.  With a lot of sass.

Thomas, alone on Christmas Eve and missing his recently deceased mother (and her cookies!), is startled out of his funk by a knock at the door. Enter the mysterious Windy, a beautiful and apparently magical girl who claims to be Thomas’s personal fairy.

Windy enters Thomas’s life in a big way and becomes a special part of it even as he tries to figure out where she fits and whether she’s really what she says she is. But Thomas isn’t the only one struggling; Windy has some doubts and confusions regarding her existence as well. After realizing how they feel about each other, they have to figure out what to do to make being together possible. But can magic fit into Thomas’s life? And how real is she anyway? They might just have to pull away to find out how close they are.

I might eventually try to publish this, but it’s kinda long.

 

Ready to Query: Bad Fairy

After years of editing, processing feedback, and researching what I’m supposed to do to submit manuscripts and whatnot, I’m ready to query for this book.  Thanks to the following people for helping me edit:

These folks read the entire thing and gave comments: Jeremy, Mike Lee, Fred, Keggernaught, Meggie, Ronni, Cara, Stacy, Mikey, Jan-Martin, Daddy, Dorian, Jessie, and Victor.  These folks read part of it and gave comments: Jeaux, Laura, Miriam, Steve, Dan, Whitney, Sarah, Dieter, Adam, Phil M., Brian, Zack, Trisha, Chandan Aubel, and Dan B.

It’s ridiculously gigantic.  But the fairy tale retelling thing is popular.  Maybe I’ll get somewhere.  Unfortunately, some agents want my query letter to mention its length and I feel like that is going to kill me before I have a chance to get my foot in the door.

Scenario: Agent of interest opens package containing query letter, synopsis, and first thirty pages. Agent scans query and drinks coffee. Agent is spurred into spitting coffee all over the the pages in either horror or wild amusement (you pick).

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Quoted: Contemporary Sexuality

Jumping off some quotes I made to Salon earlier this year, I seem to have found myself quoted a bunch of times in AASECT’s newsletter, Contemporary Sexuality.

Asexuality Gets More Attention, But Is It a Sexual Orientation?

aasectI wasn’t specifically asked about having my quotes appear here, but I was represented pretty well. Sadly, the article does spend a lot of time suggesting asexuality is a trend and what danger asexual people pose to other people exploring their sexuality since, you know, it’s such a fad and it’s probably about repression. Oh well.

New Webcomic: Negative One

I love the old Ivy stories I wrote in college—from my modern fantasy series, The House That Ivy Built—but her story just isn’t cohesive enough to survive as a marketable novel, so I think one cool thing I can do with it is make a webcomic about it.  So . . . that’s exactly what I’m doing.

This alternating-story webcomic will update every Friday for the foreseeable future.  And since it’s pretty much my own thing, you can expect a lot of sort of indulgent narration.  But if you like that sort of thing, perhaps this webcomic will be up your alley.

Completed New Short Story: “Just Like Stephen”

Finished a new short story called “Just Like Stephen.” Genre: Modern fantasy.  Word count: About 7,000 words.

In the society in which the protagonist lives, magic is a rare but real part of life, cropping up somewhat randomly among the population. Unfortunately, admitting to having magic is a one-way ticket to a government-run institution where officials channel the magical people’s powers into controlled projects. The government basically considers having magic the same as having a sickness, and it’s true that it can cause insanity, so they claim to be helping the magical people by institutionalizing them and training them.

The protagonist’s older brother Stephen developed magic one day, and suddenly everything was different—he had to be taken away, and no one seemed to care but him. Before leaving, Stephen urges his brother to try to hide his magic if he develops it later, which they both suspect he will. And in the present, the protagonist, now nineteen, has taken his brother’s advice and has hidden his magic for four years. Unfortunately, magic has a way of deciding when it’s going to be used, and this is a story of how he answers that call without letting anyone else hear him.

I’ll be pursuing publication for this.  Eventually.