Friday, April 29, 2011

Here's the micro-query the AbsoluteWrite people came up with

Dear <--whomever it's aimed at-->:

Sixteen-year-old Locarno just wants to study magic with his grandfather.

But he will become much more than a mere sorcerer when a secret society decides the time has come to destroy mankind.

Disobeying his grandfather, Locarno finds a magical ritual in a book of sorcery that promises to enhance his occult powers and grant him eternal life. With it, he'll be able to save all that he loves.

Only one problem...it will cost him his soul.

MEMORIES OF THE DEAD, a young adult/fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

What do you think? I'm using it for five queries...we'll see how it goes. Can't hurt, right? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trying something out. What do you think of this query?

Locarno didn't want to do anything other than study his sorcery and learn the lessons his grandfather was willing to teach. Obviously, he didn't want to stand by helplessly as people he cared about were being murdered. Absolutely, he did not want to have to take the role of hero or savior of mankind. Unwillingly, he became our only hope. Dies Irae, a secret society once part of the church, wants to destroy civilization. If they can reduce man to a state of barbarism they believe this will force God to disown the world. They believe that man is no longer worthy of redemption, and they want it all to fall away into chaos and death as God turns his back on his own creation. When Locarno undertakes a magical ritual found in an evil book that will enhance his occult powers and grant him eternal life he gains just the things he'll need to stand up against Dies Irae. But the process is flawed, his soul must be removed and placed in a fragile container of glass, easily destroyed. And his soul, possessed of a will of its own, wants nothing more than to be reunited with his body. If either of those things happen all his power and immortality will be lost, and Dies Irae will have nothing stopping them from reaching their goal.

I hate queries

Working on them...you never get it right. You cannot satisfy everyone (or apparently anyone, for that matter.) Too much plot, not enough, too little voice, way too much... ugh. Really, it is a broken system. What agents ought to be asking for are two-page synopses instead of queries. But, such is the baloney we have to muddle through. At this point, I think I'm losing ground. It is damn near impossible to take 72000 words and make a ~250 word "you want to buy me!" pitch that works. It's random, I swear. Being an IT dude, I'm used to "do this, then do this," but that's not how queries work...if they do work...I wouldn't know.

Makes me want to barf. Seriously!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More query hell

Well, I think we're at version 6 now...


Dear XXXXX:

Raised by a cabal of sorcerers, a boy named Locarno watches helplessly as people around him begin to die. Dies Irae, a rogue element of the church, is murdering civilians and creating chaos so God will wipe clean the slate of creation. In order to fight Dies Irae, Locarno undertakes a magical ritual which will augment his occult abilities as well as provide life beyond death. When he is captured and killed by agents of Dies Irae the magic finally takes hold, and he rises as a lord of death, enacting revenge by slaughtering them, one by one.

MEMORIES OF THE DEAD, a young adult/fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,


 Is it any better? What do you think? It is certainly clear and concise. But does it "grab you"? You tell me, man...I only work here....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Query hell

Already, within one day, I'm getting GREAT feedback and help on the Absolute Write forums on my query. Good stuff. If you're not already over there...what are you waiting for?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Query version 5... refinement never ends

Dear <--whomever it's aimed at-->:

Locarno's death delays Armageddon.

Born long ago, raised by a cabal of sorcerers, he quickly becomes embroiled in a plot overseen by a rogue element of the church (Dies Irae) against which he must not fail for he is mankind's only hope--at stake is the loss of all civilization. But he's just a boy, not yet a man; and while he studies his secret sorcery he soon gains the affections of Juliana, the daughter of one of his grandfather's inner circle, and love blooms. With their passion rising, so too does the danger. Compounding the threat that Dies Irae represents is the doubly-troubling sudden appearance of feral vampires. Captured, failed, and finally slain, Locarno rises as a Lord of Death, and his vengeance is truly profound; but for his possessed prowess he may have only forestalled the inevitable.

MEMORIES OF THE DEAD, a young adult/fantasy novel, is complete at 72,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More queries

Just sent query number 75. I wish it God's speed and good luck!

Finding time

You know it's almost impossible to find time to write in these last 2 weeks. And a holiday is coming up...ugh. Perhaps I can whittle away some more next week? We'll see.

Still doing the query shuffle...didn't get any rejection letters this last week, which is interesting and disheartening at the same time. I'll send out some more queries when I get my head above water.

The fun, as I have previously commented, never ends!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday

So, yesterday was my birthday, as a result I was far too busy eating cake to think about anything "writerly," which is nice. Everyone needs a vacation even from their pursuits of pleasure. Don't get too bogged down in the writing, just let it happen. That's how I work. Works for me. ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Very little writing as of late

Work has been a pain and it's not going to let up any time soon, so the writing has been slow. During such hiatuses, I like to just think about the next chapter. It gives me a chance to dwell a little longer in that moment before I write the words. Though it may slow my pace, I do love it so, those bare times before the tale is told.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The query shuffle

You know, it never ends, the number of agents one has to contact. It's apparent that the end is nowhere near in sight and that the list is eternal. I can hope all I want, but if one doesn't want my book--there it is.

Frustration has set in, but I remain somewhat stalwart. I had hoped that before I hit the 71 (actually long before that) agents queried that one would want it, but it's just not to be. So I continue, and I hope, that some intrepid, kind, young agent (who will no doubt be intelligent beyond measure) will pick up my book and say "This I can sell!" And we have a happy ending.

The fun, in the mean time, as always, never ends.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The new stuff

Currently, I just finished chapter 13 of my newest exploit. Going well, I have to say the main bad-guy is a total, arrogant, asshole. And for that, I love him. A good bad guy is essential. I hope to make him skin-crawlingly realistic. We'll see.

Until the book is done, it's "Alpha state," and once it's done--but before the grammar and syntax go-through--it's in early Beta. After three or four file folks see it, it'll be in solid Beta, and there it will languish until published. Only then, does it go "Gold."

Gold is the goal, people. Gold is the goal.

A gift

Although I am not yet picked up by an agent, dammit, I decided to give my wife a gift of a printed version of my book. So I hopped over to Lulu.com and paid the fifteen bucks to get a copy printed up. No ISBN, nothing special, but it'll be here as a really early birthday gift for her. Nobody else will have a copy in anything like this form until an agent picks me and decides to support what I've written.

Why did I do this? For her, that's why. It's a gift, a gift that nobody else in the world has--and there will only be one copy with this cover, with this intent, in this form. Ever.

It made her cry happy tears.

Worth. Every. Penny. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not much happening

Right now, just waiting for a few more query replies before I send out a couple more. I remain positive, however, because at this point (and as a matter of fact, all along) it doesn't matter to me financially if I get published--I just want it for me.

Tired of rejection, though. It would be nice if one agent said "send me the manuscript." Just once would be cool.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I joined Absolutewrite

Yes, friends, at the behest of Gretchen McNeil--whose book you need to go pre-order at Amazon--I joined AW in the hope that I will (a) make new friends and contacts, and (b) get me some booklernin' that will help me in my perhaps vain hope of publication.

Worth a shot, eh?

Lookin' for the critiques

Ok, peeps. I'm always looking for people to read my book and tell me what they think. All I ask is that you follow the very simple rules:

Rule #1: Be honest, upfront, and forthright. No lies. Just be honest and real.
Rule #2: If you read it, you must give your honest opinion.

That's it.

Simple, eh?

So, if you're interested...inquire within. And thanks for listening! :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Revised (version 4) query

Here's the latest and hopefully greatest:

Dear XXXXX:

Locarno's death delays Armageddon.


Born long ago, raised by a cabal of sorcerers, he quickly becomes embroiled in a plot overseen by a rogue element of the church against which he must not fail for he is mankind's only hope, and at stake is the loss of all civilization. But he's just a boy, not yet a man; and while he studies his secret sorcery, he soon gains the affections of Juliana, the daughter of one of his grandfather's inner circle, and love blooms. With their passion rising, so too does the danger: compounding the threat that Dies Irae represents is the doubly-troubling sudden appearance of feral vampires. Captured, failed, and finally slain, Locarno rises as a Lord of Death, and his vengeance is truly profound; but for his possessed prowess he may have only forestalled the inevitable.


MEMORIES OF THE DEAD, my first novel, a first-person narrative, is complete at 72,000 words and is aimed at the young-adult market.


Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Kind Regards,


It's got a hook, the mini-synopsis, the info section, ending salutation and close. All the things it should have. I just hope someone bites.

That damn query

Everyone admits it, that your query has to "grab 'em!" but nobody really knows what that entails because each agent is different, and one agent that likes your query is not the same as another who might think your query sucks proverbial ass. What to do?

Periodic changes and updates. In the 60 agents I've queried, I've changed my query 3 times (about one change every 20 agents.) Yes, I've gotten a couple of positive remarks (thank you very much!), but that still is a long-ass way from "I want to see the whole manuscript, if you please," which is where I am trying to get.

It's maddening. Really. My synopsis is pretty good, the story is relatively solid (I think), but it's that damn query--3 to 4 paragraphs that are designed to sell the tale--that's the hard part. Ugh. Not fun. Not fun at all.