Steel Plate Silhouette, is the second of five novels. Here I reverse the plot. Justin needs help to save his business. He hires Lindsey to help him run his partner’s supercomputer after the man’s death. The drug cartels, helped by a rogue cop want the device and are willing to kill to get it. As a team, Lindsey and Justin face adversity together. Are they successful? Have a read and find out.
Molly Dolly could not carry the load for composing a novel in one month. Worked at it for twelve days and had 400 words for my trouble. So I dusted off an old short-short Named Letters to My Daughters. This is better but we will see.
So, this is Writer Block! I have not been subject to this in the past. Yes a complete surprise. My total output during more than six weeks is 351 words. Yep, each word polished sparkling clean, yet none added to continue the epic of a little girl and her doll.
Now I will try something different, an outline. National Novel Writing Month starts November 1, challenging us to write a 50,000-word novel during the 30-day month. This kicked me off two years ago and it will do so again. There is plenty of support here from other authors.
Discipline–Discipline–Discipline, after all my new novel, Molly Dolly deserves it.
- J. K.
An opportunity to meet with the independent publisher Marci Braun came earlier this month. She was not alone there were two other publisher that met with other members of the Palm Springs Writher Guild. Each author had 15 minutes to make a pitch.
I took my time preparing a new synopsis and polished the first few pages. After the Guild meeting we, mostly women, waited outside of three rooms for our fifteen minutes. Nine hundred seconds to skip months of query’s to agents. It was apparent from the ‘get go’ that the women returning from their appointments—in less than their allotted time—were not happy. Any man would recognize their stiff leg walk as signal to beat a hasty retreat.
In exactly seven minutes, I followed them out without the panache of stiff legs.
My Synopsis had fallen flat on my bib. All of the constructive suggestions keyed from an I-phone not much bigger than my wallet. Still not sure I understood what was wrong other than my female character, who started the first chapter, captivated her attention. Marci liked her so much . . . wait not the point. Which is the synopsis sucked!
So, myself and Jane Friedman’s internet site started to learn more that I wanted to know about preparing this type of document. I used other input as well and finally came up with enough information. Still working on it!
My query process has progressed past 65 percent. Completion date scheduled for the end of June. While I am waiting, I will investigate the next several steps in the process. First step will be 7 June with a meeting with an independent publisher; contact provided by Palm Spring (CA) Writers Guild. There is no name yet for my contact so an investigation of all the names may be in order.
No matter what happens my team remains in place for self-publishing, just e-book to start with. Why, Book Fairs are not my thing.
See you later. J. K.
Well I do.
My quest for an agent has produced nothing. This was not totally unexpected, nor has it ended. But, I have reached the end of Query Tracker’s list of agencies in the United States (covers Canada, England and Israel.) The last pods of agents for query mailings sit in the ‘to do’ file. Ten each: no, I do not mail them all at once.
Patience, getting to my question soon as I remake the hard facts of this process.
- Woman read more than men do. So called ‘chick lit’ sells well.
- Book sales continue to diminish.
- Literary fiction is selling for now.
There are more points but I hate redundancy.
I question these things.
Why are the libraries almost empty? Mall books stores are the same way.
Have men stopped reading? No, look around at the airport; more men reading tatted hard and paperbacks.
Who is selling books? You guessed right, thrift stores; five dollars for a shopping bag full.
Where does it end? Self-publishing gets my vote. Assistance by an expert is expensive and time consuming if you do it yourself. My first novel sold 1500 units on Amazon.
My agent search will continue, just part of the writing process for me.
Do not miss this—too much of a trip.
Electric Speed is the name of a newsletter written by the renowned publisher Jane Friedman. This free newsletter was an option with the download of the graph “Key Book Publishing Paths.” In Paths, she suggested anyone trying to find an agent to represent them might be chasing their tail.
- The big five publishing houses provide over 80% of the selection in traditional bookstores.
Highly selective process often requiring an Agent; very few authors accepted. Other sources suggest less than 2% of those that apply have a slight chance.
- SELF-PUBLISHING OR “INDIE” PUBLISHING may provide a better alternative. You, the author, shoulder the costs up front if you choose a ‘book shepherd’ to help you. You can cut the cost to near nothing by learning the “Do It Yourself” process.
The experience gained from chasing my tail cannot be preplaced.
This process started in late 2015 with 31 queries. When there were no takers, I did research on my own which suggested two things. First, 99,000 words might be too long for a breakout novel (self-publishing does not count.) Second, the title resembles others on the market; changed it also.
With a new title, the query process begins anew with each one rewritten to the requirements of the individual agency. An additional 30 queries sent in the last two months, each rewritten a like number of times. My favorite response is the on line form.
Missing the process might be a mistake.
Finally, an on-line form that shows an agent is truly interested in their “slush pile.” Check out ‘the Rights Factory and its on line form. They ask for enough information in different ways to allow me the opportunity to showcase my novel. The best part was, I had the option to send to a particular agent or let them select who it most suited. I will take their selection anytime.
He greets me every morning hanging from a clear plastic pushpin. The caption above his picture says: IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY. Below: that picture of him with his scraggly hair and “here’s Johnny” grin he used in Towns Only Game the movie The Shinning. Below it says, I THINK I’LL SKIP MY MEDS AND STIR S— UP A BIT. Yes Jack Nicholson.
That is just the way I feel when I start looking for an agent.
Search an agencies website at random. The first words I usually see are ‘Literary Fiction.’
So, this quote from Wikipedia: “Literary fiction, also known as serious fiction, is a term principally used for fictional works that hold literary merit, that is to say, they are works that offer deliberate social commentary or political criticism, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition.”
Okay!!!!!! No one can be more serious than us.
Now take a moment to review each agent’s page. They do thrillers. I have spent my life reading thrillers from Mickey Spillane, through most of Nora Roberts and her team’s books, all the time searching for a new author—finding one, Jenifer Levin (way too deep for me)—then starting over. So!!!!!! Do Not Be Intimidated
Once you investigate enough agencies, you will discover how they flow inside. They take up to a year to get a book published, so that is way they are meticulous. Did you notice how many there are?
All of which convinces me that we independents can find an agent by using this query process. My thrillers have all of the above and more. How many authors I have their education? Not me.
So, I continue to send queries out in pods of eight. If a couple of agents reply that it is ‘not right’ for them I fill in behind so the pod remains active. Then there are those that say ‘up to four months to reply.’ To a one page double-spaced query letter? I will leave it up to you to decide how long you want to wait.
It is their game, the only one in town. Okay again, I have started an additional pod in my game.
So keep those agent’s e-mail boxes busy.
The first eight queries are gone. This prompted four abrupt surprises, agents who acknowledged receipt. They are Blue Ridge’s Dawn Dowdle, Betsey Amster Literary, Bradford Literary and Inklings. More class acts from literary agencies. This is a nice change from the 31 queries sent over several months last year with my original manuscript. No receipts received.
Now it is time to wait. I will keep busy drafting more quires to fill in behind those that lapse. According to their websites, this can take up to four months. Experience shows some are faster. So fast, it prompted me to rewrite the novel and queries. Yes there is more than one with each tailored to the individual agency requirements.
I am betting my characters Lindsey, Justin (J.C., JZee) and Sidney can corral the most reluctant agent.