Just rewarded myself for finishing my WIP and submitting it to an agent and a publishing house by reading the latest in the Prey series of books by John Sandford. This one is called Storm Prey and is the 20th in the series. The best thing about this one was that we got Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers both in this one. I love both of these characters. I was thrilled when Sandford started to write novels with Virgil as the protagonist, but I do like them together. They play off each other in a witty manner which sometimes makes me laugh out loud.
One thing that I catch in all of these books released in the last few years is a passage where someone is either called by the wrong name or the wrong character is in the “said” tag (see bottom page 213). It’s weird. Almost like the Amish custom of making a mistake on the quilts they sew because only God is perfect. Is John Sandford a member of the Amish sect? I would guess not based on the language his books contain (which fits cops and works for the type books he writes). The real question is why doesn’t his copy editor catch it?
I love these books and this one was no different. It has a great plot, a good group of cops, bad guys that are believeable and lots of fast paced action. There were a couple of deaths that bothered me in this one, but I recommend the read. Enjoy these and if you haven’t read any of them, start. You won’t regret it.
That’s the question of the day for me. I am a writer. Part of that process is rejection. Duh. I know that. But each one I get makes me think I’m a hack. Why is that? The funny thing is, I know I’m competent and capable. But send me a rejection and I think I’m horrid and worthless. I’ve sold numerous short stories and two novels and just started a quest for an agent about a month ago. I got two agent rejections yesterday. And on Monday, I got two short story rejections. It was like a quadruple whammy.
And no, I wasn’t arrogant enough to think that the first agent I queried would fall in love with me but I did at least think I’d get a request for more pages. One of the agents said my writing was very strong but she wasn’t captivated by the first 5 pages, which was all she had. The other one blew me off completely. Short, terse, nothing.
So, determined not to give up, I sent out two more agent letters and I sent the short stories out again. This morning I woke up to a contract in my email for one of the short stories- It was accepted by a children’s magazine (for ages 14 and up). So, what a difference 14 hours makes. I went from Gloomy Gus who thinks she can’t write to Delighted Debbie, the master story teller! Until the next rejection, that is.
What a crazy industry this is. And me, too. Crazy, that is.
A new source of romance stories went live last night- my alter ego has a story in it but she can’t talk about it today because it is Wordless Wednesday on her blog. But check it out: http://romancestoriesmagazine.com/ One Night in Costa Rica is a story about a surfer and a herpetologist.
http://jillianchantal.wordpress.com/ and check out Wordless Wednesday too as the manuscript heads to the agent.
I’ve been absent from this blog because I am in re-write hell. I had a story that I thought was complete at 55,000 words- it was short because I was targeting the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line. Sent it in and got a rejection letter but it was a great letter- the editor liked it but said it wouldn’t fit what they needed at the time- She was very encouraging about the story itself- she liked the heroine and the story line but felt I needed to ramp up the romantic elements. She didn’t say it, but I think it was partly due to the language my character uses.
I then pitched it to another editor- added more words and got it to 70,000- thought the story was complete at that length as well. I sent it to her and she was encouraging as well. She liked it, too but thought it was too short. Oy Vey! Too short?
Then, I attended RWA National conference and pitched it to an agent. She wanted it bigger, too. She asked me to re-evaluate it and send it to her after Labor Day. So, now I’d been told twice to make the sucker longer.
AND I have begun that quest. Started it on Sunday and am up to Chapter 8. I have added over 8000 words so far this week. I’ve been working two chapters a night for the last couple of nights (did 3 on Sunday)- It may not sound like much to say I’m working on two a night but this is tedious. I am trying my damnedest not to “pad” the story and sometimes, I add something only to get two pages further down and I already have something similar and have to go back and take out the stuff I just added. Very slow going.
AND now, I come home and am immediately distracted by a Clive Owen movie. He’s the inspiration for the hero in the story I’m working on. It’s a conspiracy. I’m sure of it. But, if I want that elusive contract for a full length book, I gotta buck up and meet the goal I’ve set for myself for the week. Wish me luck!
EDITED TO ADD: Just got an email that the newest anthology I’m in has released. It is called Halloween Dances with the Dead and my story is called The True Believers. It was inspired by the Pensacola Lighthouse and the allegations that it is haunted. Here are the front and back covers and order info: http://whortleberrypress.com:80/
The conference is going great. Having a nice time but serious lack of sleep may do me in. I’m going to want to crash when I get home on Sunday but I gotta return to the real job on Mon and I know it will be chaos as I have not had time to check my personal email very much and haven’t checked the work at all. So, feeling the impending doom! LOL!
Have found two agents that I was impressed with on the agent panel for the PRO retreat. Gonna query them when I get home. One of them is the partner of my friend Katie’s agent so I’m gonna talk to Katie and get some opinions. I know Katie loves her agent.
Have made some pictures but forgot my little device that hooks to the computer so I can’t post pics til I get home. Adieu!