One week ago tomorrow, I sent my first query and submission to an agent. Want to know what I’ve been doing since then? Recuperating. Seriously, I have. Once I committed to releasing LIFE-LIKE into the inbox narcolepsy took control. I could barely keep my eyes open an hour after.
I have similar fits of sleepiness when I write scenes that challenge me. I almost always lay down in bed, the Sand Man busy dumping bushels of narcoleptic toxins over me. I always lay down with a pen and notebook by my side, knowing my subconscious will do wonders and help me. I nearly always have a breakthrough as sleep attempts to overtake me. I scribble notes across the blank sketchbook page and trust there will be something to work with when I wake up later.
But this is different. This is me with no control. It’s back to that taste and timing thing I mentioned a few weeks ago. Man, was that easier to say when years of work were still safe and sound, in my computer and under my control.
I know I should get cracking on the next book. I know what I’m going to write about. I even have a bit of an outline. But I can’t do it. I don’t know if I’m waiting for my first no to kick-start me. I hope not. I pray for a yes, but understand the statistical rarity. How many writers are repped by the first agent they query? Anyone want to chime in there?
I’ve built a spreadsheet. I pulled out my film producer hat and created order for my querying process. The header includes: date submitted, agent name, email, agent preferences, authors the agent reps, submission guidelines, and the name of a person I know who knows them (if they gave me approval to use their name). I see if they represent something a little too close to mine, and make sure I don’t query those who wouldn’t like my style or high concept.
I try to remember, during the SCBWI Carolina’s conference September 28-30 2012, Susan Chung, editor at Tor Books, would have kept reading my book after hearing the 200 words read aloud. And agent Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates said, “The writing flows and the dialogue is snappy. the high school setting is believable, as are the characters, and I ike Liv’s moment of vulnerability when Billy says, “I’m not with her”…” Ms. Olswanger went on to say,” I think this will be marketable. It has a believable teen setting with ghost story and romance, and it shows a girl and her mother who love each other, which is refreshing in YA literature.” That feedback is valuable.
I dont’ think it’s right to tell you who I submitted to. I will once the three week exclusive they requested is over. I respect them and honestly don’t want to risk upsetting them or muck up my chances with them. My hands and armpits start to sweat when I think about them reading or not reading my work. I will have to turn my focus toward Halloween. I love Halloween. Then I’ll start the first draft of my next book, title TBD.
Please, cross your fingers and say a little prayer for -LIFE-LIKE finding an agent and publisher soon. Thanks!