Ladies and gentlemen, I have an agent.
Since requesting the full manuscript only four minutes after my initial query, James McGinniss of McGinniss Associates Literary Agency has become one of the biggest extant fans of A Sea Sought in Song. I’m pleased and proud to call him my representative in the rarified realm of NYC publishing.
brb gonna take said realm by storm now
Wow, has it really been only two months since my last progress report? Seems like longer. A lot has happened.
First and foremost, Book Two is now complete. I finished those two additional chapters I mentioned last time, and a new prologue, as well as various minor insertions throughout the preexisting manuscript, juuuuust eking it over my 100k-word target. These efforts deepened some of my characters’ motivations and fleshed out a key subplot, firming up the novel’s narrative arc by shifting its emotional emphasis slightly. (Dear reader, you’ll have to forgive all the abstraction for now. This is a spoiler-free blog, after all!)
So with Book Two behind me, I updated my generic query letter accordingly and turned to my Book One synopsis. I hadn’t revised it since the Big Split, and knew it needed some finessing beyond simple subtraction before I could feel comfortable dispatching it.
However, it quickly became apparent to me that Book One, in its then-current state, simply couldn’t support a good synopsis. I found I kept having to provide supplemental information. I’d finally climbed high enough above the treeline to see that parts of the forest were missing. Fortunately, fixing these omissions proved easier than replanting timberland. All it took was a few surgical insertions here and there, followed up by a continuity sweep.
So now I have two completed novels—the first at 115,000 words, the second at 101,000 words. The first half of my tetralogy could theoretically hit the presses tomorrow.
Of course, that part’s not up to me.
So now I must loose another swarm of queries and manuscript submissions upon an unsuspecting publishing industry. Fly, my pretties, fly!
Welp, it’s been a heady five days. The seminars were fascinating, the fellowship scintillating, and the self-promotion alternately awkward and exhilarating. Stumping for Lorehaven was a blast, and it was great to meet those with whom I’d only interacted online; they’re all even better in person. I clocked between three and five hours of sleep per night, so the post-conference crash is proving rather brutal.
Time will tell whether A Sea Sought in Song made a sufficiently-fetching splash. I ended up delivering three very different pitches to three separate publishers: the first felt casual, the second mortifyingly stilted, and the third exultant. But in each case the initial reaction was positive, so I’m cautiously optimistic about the novel’s prospects.
That’s all for now. I’ll just leave you with a pic of me hangin’ with John Robinson, aka the inimitable Kerry Nietz of DarkTrench and Amish Vampires in Space fame.
My airline tickets are in the bag. Next month will find me hobnobbing in St. Louis at the Realm Makers writer’s conference. I’ve scheduled official pitch meetings with two agents, and aim to pique the interest of as many Industry Insiders as possible. But regardless of whether A Sea Sought in Song impresses, it’ll be fun to make the corporeal acquaintance of fellow writers with whom I’ve only spoken online.
Everything gets easier after that initial cut. It may prove difficult to keep the line straight, but at least you have a line. Seemingly-infinite possibilities have narrowed to what’s right in front of your blade. All you have to do is continue what you started.
Hopefully this is an apt metaphor for the process of getting a book published. I wouldn’t know, having never done it, but at least I’ve gotten started. I’m making the incision.
Work is progressing rapidly. Last year I had no idea when my writing would culminate; then I reached the moment for which I’d striven for over a decade, and a great hush fell. Six months ago I didn’t know what literary agents even did; now I’m accumulating their rejection letters. A week ago I didn’t know what a one-sheet was; today I possess one that blows away the clip-artsy examples I found online.
Oh yeah—and I have a website. With a blog.
What does this all mean? I haven’t the foggiest. Maybe my novel won’t catch on. Maybe my target audience won’t emerge from the woodwork. Maybe I’ll have to just keep doing all the work and publish the series myself.
Only time will tell. But at least my blade’s drawn blood.