Sunday, April 19, 2015

Twenty Queries

As of today, I have sent 20 queries out to publishers and literary agents. This is an interesting process to me because most of the time it is simply a letter and the first few pages of your manuscript or a letter with a synopsis (which is the most painful thing to write because it is so difficult to describe your novel in such a bland format).

Judging from everything that I have read, these agents get a ridiculous amount of submissions every month. So if I get no response or a simple rejection it will be easy for me not to take it personally because these people really never got a chance to read the story.

I have focused on agents who are looking for women's fiction, Southern fiction, Book club fiction and literary fiction. I am hoping for a stroke of luck but since I am not really Irish I will take whatever....

Last week, I spoke with a man I know through work. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a former editor of a North Carolina based magazine, and a published novelist of two true crime novels, one of which was turned into a movie starring Eric Roberts. He was rejected 19 times. He told me that writing the novel was the actual accomplishment, and while I agree with him 100%, I have decided to send out 20 queries - not 19 - with the hopes that the extra one will say yes. 

I am thinking positive about this entire process because I know that no matter what happens, Scout's Honor will be published. Judging from the feedback I have received so far about the book, I believe that folks who read these genres will not be disappointed, that even if it is nothing special to them, it will move them in a positive way. It is perhaps the most confident I have ever been about anything I have ever done. And that is perhaps the real prize for me...the belief in my own creation. 

I look forward to when I can finally share this piece of work with you all. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

First Draft Complete and Draft Blurb for Scout's Honor

I've finished writing the first draft of my book. So far, I've had two kind souls AKA "beta readers" offer to read it and offer their ideas, criticism and thoughts. Once that is done, I will make adjustments and revisions based upon those suggestions. I've edited the living hell out of it already, so as far as editing is concerned, the only further editing I will have done is a professional, if I go that far.

So with that said, here is the Draft Blurb for my debut novel, Scout's Honor:

"In Haddleboro, North Carolina, Scout Webb is a 14 year old sweet, kind and spirited small town southern girl, just like her namesake, the young narrator from her mother’s favorite book. With both her name and her Christian faith deeply woven into the fabric of her identity, Scout always felt like she had a lot to live up to. She was smart, athletic, hard-working, and honorable, the kind of girl who made her parents proud.  

In August of 1983, Scout is playing on a summer baseball team with her best friend Charlie Porter and looking forward to her last few weeks at Camp Judah, a Christian camp near the Catawba River. She can’t wait to see her big crush “Brother Doug,” the 32 year old camp lifeguard who has watched her grow up each summer since she was 7 years old. But after a fateful few days and one catastrophic event during her last day at the camp, Scout was changed forever.

Written through key character perspectives, this story follows Scout’s personal struggles as a 19 year old freshman at North Carolina State University and as a busy and overworked 34 year old single mother approaching middle age, where she is forced to confront the causes of her own quiet suffering, the consequences of her actions and why even the eternal love and devotion of just one true friend can’t save her from it all.

A story of a self lost, a self loathed and a self rediscovered, it addresses and even examines the harsh and cruel ways in which otherwise well-intentioned, good and decent people treat each other…even those they claim to love…but even more so…ultimately, how we treat our own selves."