Sunday, November 30, 2008

TWILIGHT


What a fantastic movie. I was only halfway through the book when we saw it last night, but I was very pleased. The soundtrack was reminiscent of a 90s horror movie and the cinematography was different.

Blah blah all of that though. It was just a good film. BUT. Of course, I have absolute qualms with certain things about Mrs. Meyer's vampires. No fangs? What?! Sparkling sunlight? Get out... And her vampires never sleep. Never. Ever.

See, that's just sad. Give 'em coffins or something, because what is worth living if you can't reset? You'd go mad! And this is sad, because I never connected with Edward Cullen after this. He was above even vampire at this point, and he lost all human qualities - which he had a few up til this point. So I shuddered a little cringe when Bella expels the word "Vampire!"

Yet I do want to see it again. I was suprised that it was honestly fairly accurate. And for sure I'm finishing the book. I'm looking forward to the Twilight box set that's headed my way. Good film. And a great soundtrack.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Query

I wanted to list my query here, and see what you think. I have a few versions of the letter depending on the requirements of the agent. Here is one such letter:

Thank you for taking time to consider me for representation. I've read your guest-blog post today, and after reading your information and client list at Publisher's Marketplace, I wanted to contact you regarding my first novel THE UNIQUE DESTRUCTION OF AN ORDINARY SOUL (contemporary fantasy; approximately 130,000 words). If I may, a brief synopsis:

Evander is an average young man looking for love and adventure in Baltimore. One lightning-wrought night he finds adventure and so much more when he meets the woman of his dreams, and quickly becomes an honest-to-god, blood-sucking vampire, as our protagonist puts it. And when a master vampire goes too far in persuading the new vampire to live under his House, Evander quickly begins to lose loved ones in a battle that eventually consumes the entire city, while the world heads on a course for nuclear destruction.

I'm currently an undergraduate student working towards a degree in English. Again, thank you for your time [mr. agent]. I hope to hear from you soon.

Respectfully

It's certainly not perfect, but I figured this is short and sweet, and hopefully will get them to read the synopsis or partial.

What The Hell Just Hit Me?!

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, especially with the holliday season upon us, but I haven't written AT ALL lately. Granted, I'm at the end of the semester too, but things have been just a bit ragged. The workspace I was planning has hit a snag and I'm stuck with only materials and no room to re-energize. And with the rejection letters coming in I am really not in the creative mood. That's really unfortunate. Like the recession, I seemed to have just slipped into a depression without even realizing it. I sit in front of the tube and flip, flip, flip away. I've become a freakin ZOMBIE!! Hell, I've forgotten what my gym looks like.

This just emphasizes for me that I can not afford to have a television in my writing space when it's all said and done. The damn thing is pure distraction that I don't want to tolerate any more. And maybe I should give myself some space. From writing, that is. Perhaps it will be good for me. Or maybe this is just the funk talking...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rejection

So I got a letter from JABberwocky today - it's my SASE envelope - and see that it's, of course, a rejection letter.

I'll just add that to the Pile. Thanks for the opportunity, JAB! So now I'm scratching my head and thinking there can't be that many more agents out there left... Self-publishing is starting to sound mighty possible.

Back to the query letter, I guess. I let this RL bother me for about 15 minutes. That's it, now I'm good again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ginger Clark @ Curtis Brown

Another query emailed, this time to Ginger Clark at the prestigious Curtis Brown literary agency. Upon reading Ginger's page at Publisher's Marketplace, I figured she could empathize with my novel, considering her client list being profoundly Science Fiction/fantasy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marketing

Is it ever too early to market your book? This question is retroactive to pre-publishing, too. I know very little about marketing. In fact, I guess I know nothing at all. My plan has always been, from the beginning, to get my story out there. To have people read it - that's the point to all of this. That's why this blog exists.

And yet now I find myself searching for new, constructive ways to market this book. So far, I've been searching for an artist for the cover. I have it completely planned out, but I could screw up a stick figure, so I'll leave this to the pros. I'm wondering if it's too soon to design a website. Would a website even work for an unpublished work? I don't know. These are things I am looking into to help market my first novel.

I've never had much use for an ego, but is self-promotion really egotistical? Or will it only hasten my prospect for publishing? Hmm.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Chapter At A Time

I'm taking fellow blogger Annie Wicking's advice, and going through UNIQUE chapter by chapter. The more I think about it, the more I want to clean up the story. I want to make sure the plot is not stale, and the characters are not just fodder. My goal tonight is to shave ten thousand words, and bring the count down to about 130,000.

Originally, I was shooting for 180,000 words. Wow was I way off. That would have just been too drawn out.

So now the outline begins, where I will highlight the main issues in each chapter, and recycle the unnecessary paragraphs. One thing I have to mention is that reading - especially in your genre - is so very important. There have been quite a few revelations with certain books I have been reading lately, and I am beginning (after six years) to see what a good story is all about.

So thanks for the advice, Annie. I have some direction now while I wait for the mail.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Writers House

It's another beautifully gloomy Autumn morning, but for all I know, the birds are singing and my feet are dancing! I've just put together a proposal package for the Writers House literary agency, care of Jodi Reamer, Esq. They are a prestigious house with - in my opinion - (Mrs. Reamer's own) Stephenie Meyers topping their client list, and Laurell K. Hamilton, who I am also a big fan of.

They even reside in a wonderful historic building in New York that just makes you cross your fingers even harder. From the website alone you get the feeling that something special goes on in inside this building. And I want to be apart of that.

Pretty cool, right? Even without the sun today, it just feels all bright and warm. My own personal sunshine. Good lord, I have to get over myself...

Monday, November 10, 2008

What The Hell's A JABberwocky?!

I have just put together a hearty query for the JABberwocky Literary Agency, c/o Eddie Schneider. His profile listed some things that just struck a cord with me.

This is the same agency that has brought us Tanya Huff and Charlaine Harris!

Again, I have that warm, confident feeling in my belly that's just growlin'! So now I'm on my way to FedEX Office where I'm going to put this thing in a business envelope and send it on its way with love.

On The Chopping Block

For some reason, I've opened my eyes to re-editing UNIQUE again. While reading the third book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and the 30 Days of Night novel (not simultaneously), I began to mentally dissect my own story, and came to the conclusion that there are quite a few paragraphs throughout that could completely be cut from the story. Whole scenes, as well.

I look forward to tightening up the story. It will make it a lot more fresh to read, and help the plot stay focused. At approximately 240 pages single-spaced, I'm going to print out the manuscript, and go through it with a highlighter. This may help with dealing with the strain on my eyes that this PC is ever giving me...

I'll be back soon and we'll see how many pages I was able to chop.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back To The Query

Okay. Now that I'm out of my election high, I thought I'd take a moment and write a proper blog. I have yet to hear from any of the six agents that I queried about two weeks ago. So. I'm about to send out another six queries, and I'm also in the middle of a submission for another publisher.

I brought this up the other day, regarding writing genres. The vampire story usually has elements of three genres; i.e. fantasy, horror and science fiction. Now, for the most part, you can combine all of these elements, and label the genre dark fantasy. There is also a somewhat a huge dollop of sex, but it wouldn't fall under Romance. I've been having trouble finding agents that represent such a genre.

So what to do? Well I plan on hitting every literary agent that lists any of these genres. Agent Query has been really helpful with searching for such agents.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tor Submission

Whew, thankfully it's over. Almost, anyway. We're hours away from real change in this country, and I couldn't be happier. Well, unless grampy wins...

In all seriousness, I've put together a real nice proposal for Tor last night, and I will mail it out tomorrow. I'm really happy with the cover letter and a re-vamped synopsis. Tor does a lot for the fantasy/SciFi/horror literary crowd, and I'm quite a fan. They are one of very few publishing houses around today that accept unsolicited submissions. That's really refreshing, considering I'm having zero luck with literary agents. I have yet to find one agent that supports my genre, i.e. dark fantasy (which in my opinion combines all of the aforementioned genres).

Fingers crossed!