Thursday, February 23, 2006

~Querying Chaos~

and ~Marketing Mayhem ~

So in the midst of editing, while I have beaten my muse into tentative submission, I have decided to send out a flurry of flying queries. I still ponder over the first wave of rejections on "Father" and remember kindly those agents and editors who took the time to send me "nice" rejections. Those ones went to the top of the list to recieve queries for "Forgiven".

I have hopefully improved in my marketing/pitching/querying ability in the past year. I have rewritten my basic query letter forms until I practically have them memorized (or would if I had any sort of memory). With the help of a few online classes and chatting with other authors I have made some adjustments that I hope will make a difference.

First I took a hard look at exactly what it is that I write. Just what sub-genre is "Father of the Wolf"? What would an agent call "Forgiven" if they were trying to describe it to an editor? This is when I realized that "Father" is definitely not paranormal romance. In fact it really isn't romance, but it is ROMANTIC. It is PARANORMAL. And I think what ties it together is the suspense. (Though I actually plan to beef up the suspense more in the next edit.) "Forgiven" is more romantic but also fits the name Romantic Paranormal Suspense very well.

Second I rewrote my queries to use better blurbs. The new descriptions are more catchy and more accurate than the previous ones. :)

Third, I rewrote my synopsis for each using the "bare-bones" method which I can't find on the internet now. (I do hope it comes back) I think the synopsis for each is much more clear and easier to follow now even in its short forms.

All this together may not make any difference. Or maybe it will... So far I sent out 5 e-queries to agents and recieved 3 rejections and a request for a full on "Father". Yippy! I queried one Ny editor (Avon) and have a request for a partial for "Forgiven." I also have 5 more paper queries out with no news yet. And another stack of queries waiting to hit the mail. Mostly they are for agents. The only of editor that I will be sending to at this point is for Tor. Last year I received a nice rejection from Anna Genoese for "Father" and she offered to read more of my work, so I will be sending a partial for "Forgiven" at the same time as I send it to Avon.

editing like a loon to "Fall to Pieces"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Compromise~ When to stay true? When to start fresh?

I started off with a premise... a tickle that grew into an idea. Characters formed to fit the story and the characters carried baggage the led to conflict. As a well know writer (Susan Squires) recently pointed out - character plus conflict equals plot. That is how a simple tickle can grow into a successful novel. Sure, there is a lot more to it than that, but broken into its smallest parts- is the basics.

So what happens after you dump your heart and soul on to the pages and reach those beautiful words -The End? What happens is you go back to page one and edit. Editing is more than prrof reading- it is challenging your story to stand up and be perfect or darn close to it. And that takes strength and determination.

As a writer I followed that path with my first completed story which admittedly was not perfect. Still is not perfect. I then sent it out into the world to a publisher that I thought was write for it. Low and behold, the publisher thoughts so too! Yah! pop the cork and celebrate! I did and it passed. I was left to realize that the publisher wanted the story revised to fit with their line and please their customers. Well who am I to argue with that? It makes good marketing sense. So I started workign with the editor to improve my baby and make it into the wonderful story that I knew it could be.

But that wasn't to be. Not that the editor didn't try... Not that I didn't try... But all of that didn't matter a single lick because the new hotter story was wrong for the heroine. She didn't like those words. She didn't want to do those things. Well *shit*. Now what?

Who is more important the readers or the characters? It's not that simple. If the character doesn't fit with the plot and the story something will be out of sinc no matter how many rewrites are done.

Wait a second you say! The writer has control, right? Yes and no. Can I make her do something not in her nature? not easily and usually not smoothly. *BUT* I can change the heroine to fit the story. And that is just what I had to do. So here I am several months into my contract and finally getting a clue. I have started a rewrite that I hope will fix all the problems and make all involved happy. So a story that 2 days ago was 80 pages long went to zero yesterday. That's right, I am starting fresh. After working on the story for about 24 hours I have it back up to about 20 pages. My adjusted heroine is fitting in well and compliments the story and the publishing line very well. (I think...) In a few days when I have the draft hammered out to the end I will send it off once more and hold my breath, hoping the editor feels the same as I do about the new baby...

writing to GNR

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Misplaced Fate

Here is the new cover for Misplaced Fate. I had a great time tinkering to get the red eyes.

It's kind of funny how quickly Misplaced Fate came together. The whole thing was written in less than 2 weeks. Yes, I know that quality is more important than quantity, but it's also nice when the story flows smoothly.

Angel is a character who keeps popping up in other stories, so I was rather happy to see some of her story come out into the light.

A bit of warning... Misplaced Fate is *not* a sweet little romance. Although she and Killian were together for a long time, this story is violent and tragic. As a writer and a reader, I prefer my stories to have nice HEA endings that leave me smiling. Misplaced Fate did not offer me that option.

relaxing to some old G-N-R.