Seriously, sometimes in this business you just feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall. It’s so hard to break in. But I’m nothing if not stubborn. I’ll keep banging on that wall just as long as I have to.
I’ve been querying FIRE AND EARTH–a story I love maybe more than any other I’ve written so far–since April. I’ve had three requests for partial, two of which are still out. But that represents only about a 10% request rate. Not bad, but hardly great. I’ve recently overhauled the query. Too soon to tell how well that’s going to turn out. On the other hand, if I choose to look at the glass as half-full, I had three requests on MAGE STORM in a little over a year and more than twice as many queries sent out. So, my current request rate is actually progress. (And nothing says that I can’t requery some of those agents with the revised query in four or five months. What’s the worst they could do? Reject me again? Been there, done that, survived.)
Recently, my mind has been going back to MAGE STORM. I still really, really like this one. I keep hearing that agents and editors are crying for middle grade boy adventures. Well, that’s what MAGE STORM is, darn it. I just may have to take another pass through this one, revamp the query, and send out some more queries. I’m half inclined to use this one for the Christmas in July contest. Hmm. I wonder if it’s allowed to submit more than one book to that contest. I might have to ask.
I did get “The Music Box” e-published, but it’s going to languish just the same as “Heart of Oak” and BLOOD WILL TELL unless I start figuring out this marketing thing. It’s out of my comfort zone, but that’s part of the whole point. I need to learn how. Skin in the game was supposed to force me to do that. That hasn’t been too successful so far. I may just have to force myself to schedule in some time for that exclusively in order to make this work.
I don’t really write enough short stories to make much progress on that front. I’ve only written one and an abandoned partial so far this year. I should try to write more, but novels are just so much more satisfying. On the short story front, I’ve got two out on submission. One has been out for 147 days and a response on the other should come back any day now, assuming the publication keeps to their stated response time.
I’m making good progress (not roller-coaster, nanowrimo type progress, but good steady headway) on THE BARD’S GIFT again. That actually feels great. I’ve got my two characters close enough to begin depending on each other. Now it’s time to drop the axe and separate them for awhile. Have to make your characters suffer. And I think the opening of this one is the very best first page I’ve ever written.
So, even though sometimes it feels like standing still, I really am making progress. Sometimes, you just have to stop and remind yourself of that. It makes banging on the wall a little easier.