My writing goal: to publish one of my books, the mainstream way, by the time I am 40. I have two years. I think that is a reasonable goal. Reasonable because, breaking into the publishing market is an incredibly difficult process. If it doesn’t happen, well then, I will *gasp* self publish—become an Indy published writer.
I write fiction. I write general fiction. I write for women. My stories are character driven. I do not have any vampires or werewolves or paranormal events, sorry. Though I am thinking (just for fun come November’s National Novel Writing Month) finishing my zombie/western. I know, you’re like WHAT??? That’s weird. I agree. It is completely not my style. But this last week, my critique group thought it would be fun to do a writing exercise—write a beginning for a novel in a genre that is out of our element and comfort zone. One of the ladies chose to write a fantasy/scifi, which I think has to be one of the hardest and yet most creative genre’s out there. She struggled writing it. It took her several days. But wow, the end product was amazing. The other lady in the group, who normally writes fantasy for young adults, decided to write a romance. Once again, it was great. First, I wrote a suspense/M. Knight Shayamalan kind of beginning. In jest, I mentioned the zombie/western and one of the ladies in the group egged me on to give it a try. Writing exercises are fun. Exploring other genres opened up a world of possibilities. Why be limited?
I can tell you what is not fun though—writing a query. The query is what you send out to prospective literary agents. A query has to be the hardest thing to write of all. Imagine taking your 80,000 word novel and trying to sum it up, condense it if you will, into a 300 word blub. Plus it has to be exciting enough to get an agent to “bite” or ask for more (like the first 3 chapters, etc . . . of the novel). It is incredibly difficult. It is a writing exercise in itself. I have pulled out a lot of hair over it. The query is the mechanics of selling a novel—it isn’t fun at all and can make you question your desire to be writer. Is it worth it?
I have written my query for my novel called Desert Rice perhaps, I don’t know . . . twenty times or more. I still don’t think it is right, but I do know that it is much improved from the first one.
So, here is my query. Please feel free to let me know what you think. Sound to general? Boring? Interesting? What? Honestly, I would love to know. If you read this on the back cover of a book, would it intrigue you enough to buy it? That’s the sort of thing I’m looking for. Since most of you read this blog, but NEVER respond, I’m expecting silence. (But, please help if you think you can):
Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl. But no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all a part of her older brother’s plan: a plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and keep her hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister; including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.
Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids all on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option. Not because they don’t want to, but because no adult has ever given them a good enough reason to let down their guard.
But when Sam meets “Jesus” in the park—a man who smells an awful lot like a horse—life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and maybe he would be willing to save her and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia.
The problem . . . Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.
An adult novel, Desert Rice, is complete at 74,000 words.