Tag Archives: feng shui

Adventures in Query-Land

Hi, there, Scribe fans. Suze here. By now you’ve probably read Sugar’s post from a few days ago about the process she went through over the last year, ultimately culminating in her getting a fab agent and an even fabber three-book deal. (Click here to read it). Since I’m in the same spot she was a year ago, querying and hoping to land an agent and sell my manuscript, I thought I’d give you a run-down on how things are working for me.

Despite the fact that I completed this manuscript a couple of years ago, I was never satisfied with the opening chapters and so I only submitted it a couple of places, and was summarily rejected. After rewriting Chapter One about eight times and tightening up my timeline this past summer, I finally had it where I thought it was marketable. I wrote a query letter and a synopsis, fixed them both with the help of colleagues/friends, and finally began the query process in earnest in September. As one of my favorite rerun detectives, Adrian Monk, might say, here’s what happened.

September – Queried seven agents/editors (two of these were requests from a conference). Two requests for partials.

October – Queried three agents. Two requests for fulls. Two form rejections. One rejection on a partial, but a very nice one (bummer! She liked it overall, loved aspects of it, but she just didn’t love it enough).

November – Queried four agents. Felt like I needed to get some energy moving on stagnant requests, so embarked on closet-cleaning and clutter-clearing in an effort to feng shui my writing career. Unfortunately, this did not have the desired results: Received one rejection on a full because she wasn’t representing my genre, but suggested I submit to another agent in the office. Then received one rejection on a partial because she wasn’t representing my genre, but she “loved my voice” and would be interested in a YA or contemporary if I ever wrote one of those. 

December – Queried three digital-first presses. One rejection on a full, but she did have nice things to say. Depressed! I really wanted that one.  One form rejection. Two requests for fulls.

So the three-month tally is:

  • 17 submissions
  • 7 rejections (none of them mean!)
  • 2 partials still out there (not counting the partials that were sent pursuant to agents’ submission guidelines)
  • 2 fulls still out there
  • 6 queries that have not been acted on one way or another

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help was reportedly rejected 60 times. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses. I’m not in the depths of despair yet!

Where are you in your writing journey? Where do you want to be?

Waitin’ On A Dream

Hey, all, Suze here. Great to see you again!

Some of you may know that I’ve finally, after a mind-boggling amount of agonizing, started querying agents and editors about my first manuscript, now titled Rest In Greece. (It’s a fun adventure/mystery set in a Greek restaurant in the Thousand Islands area of New York State.) I finally got the first few chapters to a point where I was satisfied they weren’t total doo-doo, had a serviceable synopsis (thanks to the awesome assistance of my sister Scribes and other CTRWA goddesses), and a decent query letter.

So now I’ve got queries out to a bunch of agents and have had requests for a couple of fulls and several partials. And I’m waiting.

And waiting.

Oh, I know this process takes time. Agents and editors have crazy numbers of emails to sift through. And when they do request whatever number of pages, they have to find time to read them, decide on them, and then respond yea or nay.

So what’s a writer to do in the meantime? Well, intellectually I know I should be writing the next book. Makes perfect sense. And I’m working on it, although not at the pace I’d envisioned. But here’s what I’m doing more of:

  1. Obsessively checking e-mails on computer for responses. Yes? No? I’m even hunting through my spam folder and reading Cialis ads (not clicking on links, of course!) in case some agent has a quirky sense of humor and has hidden her/his response in such an unlikely place and wants to reward me for my ingenuity and mystery-solving skills by offering me a contract.
  2. Obsessively checking smart phone for reponses, in case, somehow, a response shows up there but not on the computer.
  3. Obsessively researching the next round of agents to target, assuming Plan A (immediate acceptance and adulation!) does not come to fruition.
  4. Obsessively searching for ever-more-beautiful photos of Joe Manganiello–it’s research, I swear!
  5. Obsessively cleaning closets and drawers and organizing workspace. Because of feng shui and all that. I’ve been through every cupboard in my kitchen and thrown out tons of crap (including a full trashbag of unused plastic stuff). Next step: sorting through clothes for entire family and making donations.
  6. Obsessively checking horoscopes and online oracle sites (click here — you’ll thank me), hoping for a definitive answer to the most important questions: who, when, and how much?

So, keep me company. What do you do while you’re waiting?

Scrabble Withdrawal

Greetings! Suze here. I’ve got a problem. A withdrawal problem. My drug of choice? Online Scrabble.

For months now I’ve been playing online Scrabble, pretty much every day. Now, I’ve been good. Seriously. I’ve limited myself to playing with only a few people–my sister, Aunt Nancy, and a couple of friends. I could easily be playing Scrabble all day long with everybody I know, plus random strangers, and I’d never get anything done. It reminds me of the endless Monopoly and Scrabble games said sister and I would play as kids when our parents would ditch us to go bowling or to play softball. We had our own rules, including double points for dirty words–unfortunately, the online version does not allow for this, and I always feel a litle sad when I have the letters for a particularly choice nugget and don’t get my bonus. Sigh.

Suddenly, there is no more Scrabble. I’ve heard the site was hacked. Hacked? Really? Don’t you computer hackers have anything more important to do, like uncover government conspiracies, expose criminals and bring them to justice, or steal precious artifacts from museums as part of some larger caper? You have to attack an innocent game that brings joy to so many people?

And yet, I can’t help but feel that this may have happened for a reason. A personal reason, that has unfortunately had wide-rippling consequences across the vast sea of Scrabble devotees. (Sorry, everyone!)

Right now I’m working on a story that has me out of my comfort zone. A paranormal romance novella, with zombies and everything. The idea came to me and seemed like so much fun, I couldn’t let it go. So for the time being, I’ve replaced my Scrabble habit with a zombie habit, and it seems to be working. The story is flowing. I’m on track to finish it by my target date. I’ve temporarily feng shuied (sp?) my life, and I rather like the results.

What about you? What’s your online game of choice? If you don’t play (gasp!), have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?