First of all, Happy New Year! Somehow I flaked on posting a friendly New Year message, but please know, I wish you nothing but the best in 2011.
Second, I’ve just started querying again. Weirdly enough, I feel excited about it. Before I get into all that though, let me update you on my last querying effort.
It began last July, after I’d written, revised (and revised again) Loving Max Holden. I’ll be the first to admit, MAX is what most would refer to as a “quiet book.” It’s about relationships and growing up and finding yourself. It’s not hooky or high concept. Still, it garnered several partial requests from some pretty fabulous agents, and even some full requests after that. Then the responses started to come in. I got a lot of “tremendous writing!” and “this flows so well!” and “you are so talented!” BUT that positive stuff was always followed up with something along the lines of “unfortunately, this isn’t right for the competitive market.”
So, I absorbed that (and complained about it, initially) until the light bulb in my head flickered on. I needed to write something bigger. Something that might be more appealing, easier to hook agents, and (hopefully) eventually editors. I thought hard about what I wanted to write throughout August until I started to flesh an idea out. A ghost story. A ghost story that was a flying leap out of my very contemporary comfort zone.
Still, I sat down to begin writing at the beginning of September and spent the next two months typing away, alternately thinking this WIP was the most amazing thing ever, and also the most moronic. I think my CPs thought I was nutty every time I talked to them about it. When I finished, I put it aside for several weeks, then read over it again and ended up kind of loving it. What I’m now calling Where Poppies Bloom needed some work, of course, but when my writing mentor and CPs finally read it, they kind of loved it too.
Now, I’ve taken their feedback to the manuscript and incorporated their thoughts and brilliant ideas, and this baby is finally ready to go. I sent a few queries out this morning, and I feel cautiously optimistic about responses. In fact, I’ve already started checking my inbox obsessively. (What? I’m not the only one who does this, right?)
And in case you’re wondering, I haven’t given up on MAX just yet. Thanks to one of my genius CPs, I’ve some ideas about how I might be able to rewrite that story in a way that’s bigger. The only problem is, I can’t decide if I want to tackle that next, or begin something completely new…