It’s time to take a step back and figure out what I want to do next with THE BARD’S GIFT. This is a tough one.
When I first sat down to write TBG, I had a choice to make. I could either write the story as straight up second-world fantasy or I could do a lot of research and write it as historical fantasy or alternate history. I chose to stretch myself as a writer and go with the historical–a story with fantasy elements set in 14th-century Greenland.
On some levels, this may have been a mistake, but I’m not sorry I did it. I really like the way it turned out. And, frankly, some elements of the story would have been different–maybe not as good–if I hadn’t done that research.
However, it looks like a young adult story set in 14th-century Greenland is a tough sell, at least to agents. Since the very first book I queried, I’ve never had so little response to a query.
It’s odd, though. I’ve had half a dozen or so of those repsonses queriers will tell you that you never get–personalized rejections. These rejections from agents who read a part of the beginning along with the query have complemented the writing, the main character, what they know of the plot–and then gone on to say that they just can’t take it on. I have to conclude that it’s the historical setting.
So, here are my choices:
- I could shelve it. But my gut and those peronalized rejections are telling me that’s not what I need to do.
- I could rewrite it as a second-world fantasy and try again. See if that gets any better response. I’m thinking about this one, but it doesn’t quite feel right.
- I could try sending it directly to some small and medium presses that accept unsolicited manuscripts and see if I get the same response from editors, but–wow that could take a very long time. Unlike agents, editors generally want exclusive submissions. And they may take months to get around to reading an unsolicited manuscript.
- Or, in today’s digital marketplace, I could just go ahead and epublish it myself. I’m leaning towards this one.
Meanwhile, following WriteOnCon, I’m ready to start querying MAGE STORM. Hopefully, this second-world middle grade fantasy will get a better response.
And, of course, I have to really dig in and start to prepare for the launch of BLOOD IS THICKER.
Also, Chapter 8 is now available free on wattpad.