What’s Up Wednesday

So I skipped out on last week’s WUW, and for good reason. These past couple of weeks I’ve been pushing myself to get this novel finished. And I mean all the Beta notes incorporated, scenes added, things cut, and then a final read-through to make sure everything flows and there’s no errant punctuation or missing conjunctions. So if you’ve missed me on the blogs and Twitter, that’s where I’ve been. More about that below. For now, here’s what’s happening with me…

What I’m Reading

My edition of WAR AND PEACE is in three volumes. I finished volume one, and I’m not picking up volume two until I’ve got some other necessary reading under my belt. What constitutes “necessary reading”? I’ll tell you: THE MARATHON CONSPIRACY by Gary Corby, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard, and CHARM AND STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn. I have a ton of other books I need to read, but these three are next. In fact, I’ve already started Gary’s book, the fourth in his Athenian Mysteries series, and it’s every bit as good as the others. I’ll post a review when I’m finished, but for those who don’t know, this series revolves around Nicolaos, a young man in ancient Athens, who is hired by Pericles as a private detective. One of the great things about these books is the fact that they are good detective stories, but they also draw in real historical events and people. If you love a good mystery, and you’re interested in Ancient Greece, you’ll love these books.

What I’m Writing

As I mentioned above, I’ve been putting the finishing touches to my novel over the past few weeks. I’m now pleased to say that it is query-ready, and, in fact, I sent out the first few queries just last night. For those who have not yet entered the query trenches, let me just say this is not easy–especially if you do it properly. That means, you research each agent to make sure your work is a fit for his/her list. A lot of agents like you to personalize the query somehow, either by referencing books they’ve represented (and you have read), or by noting something about them that makes you think they’d be the right agent for this project. But there’s more to it than that for me. I’m looking for an agent that can represent me throughout my writing career, so I’m following them on Twitter, reading their blogs, and getting as much of a sense of their personality and approach to work as I can. I really hope this book finds a home, because I’m very pleased with how it has turned out, and I’d love you all to be able to read it. If you want to read my query, it’s HERE.

What Inspires Me Right Now

My novel. Seriously. After the final read-through, I wasn’t at all ashamed of it. I’m very pleased with it. Some of the credit for that goes to Team Awesome (my Beta Readers) and their fantastic notes and observations. I don’t know that it’ll get any interest at all, but it gives me confidence to face the next project knowing I can write novels. And ones that are pretty good, even if I say so myself.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Aside from the above and the usual (family, work, church), nothing notable.

How about you? How’s your week been? If you want to participate in this weekly meme, visit one of the founders’ blogs: Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. There you’ll find details of how to join in, and the link list of other participants.

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20 Responses to What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I wondered where you had disappeared to. I’m glad your happy with your novel, I wish you luck on the agent search and a quick trip on the road to publication!

    • Thanks, Cely! Hopefully I’ll do a better job of getting around the blogs now, though it’s hard not watching my inbox for agent responses… :)

  2. Welcome to the trenches! My first batch of letters goes out this week, too. I’ve got my fingers crossed for both of us :)

  3. Best of luck with the querying! It really isn’t easy. I’ve invested so much time in it, I really hope one of my projects finally wins me an agent who can support my career. Here’s hoping for some luck for both of us! :)

    • Thank you, Emma. It’s so tempting to query every single agent who might like this novel. But I have to think long-term. Which agents are most likely to be good for my career, not just this one book?

  4. I’m so excited about how far you’ve come with your novel, Colin. I feel like I’ve been following its progress for a good long while, and the fact that it’s query-ready now inspires me, too! Best of luck with it! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on CHARM & STRANGE. I still think about that book months after having read it. Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you, Katy. You’re such an encourager. :D It does seem as if I’ve known you, and some others on the WUW list, for as long as I’ve been working on this novel–possibly longer. And you’ve been cheering it on all the way. That just makes it all the more awesome for all of us if it finally makes it to publication. :D

      You can be sure there’ll be a review of Stephanie’s book, either here or on Goodreads. I’m certainly looking forward to it. Have a great week too!

  5. Congrats on entering the query trenches! That’s fantastic, Colin! You are so right about the work that goes into simply querying AN agent, let alone several. I remember spending ages getting to know more about agents, their likes and dislikes, and so on and so forth. Just that little bit of personalization can take forever. Best of luck with all of that and with finding an agent! :D

    So I’m not sure what to think about the fact that you’re catching up to me with WAR AND PEACE lol. I’ve been at it for months now and I’m only a couple books into Vol. II. Though, in the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t picked it up for months now, so… I’ve been taking a break to read other things, too. Honestly, it makes it super hard to pick it back up again. I think you probably have more discipline than I do, though. Enjoy your W&P break! Have a great week, Colin!

    • Thanks, Jaime! Can you imagine what it must be like for the agents, knowing all these writers out there are stalking their blogs, tweets, pinterest pages, etc. looking for ways to connect with them? Either very flattering, or extremely creepy, I think… :)

      I’m seriously considering a re-read of W&P, perhaps next year, and in a different translation. I think this translation is slowing me down right now (it’s not archaic, but old enough), however I’m determined to get to the end, even if it takes me all year. And if my progress helps spur you on, then all the better! :)

  6. Good luck querying! Here’s to your first (of many!) requests :D

  7. Good luck in the query trenches!!! It takes a lot of time researching agents and “getting to know them” and what I find hard sometimes is we writers have big imaginations so we research an agent and then think we know them and then when they reject the book it’s like, “WHAT? But we’re perfect for each other!” Lol.

    • Thank you, Melanie. You’re so right–we have to be very careful not to think we know an “agent” (or anyone for that matter) simply from what we read online. People can manage their online persona a lot more easily than their real-life, in-person persona. Good point. :)

  8. Congrats on getting to the query trenches! Good luck! It’s a great sign that you’re so happy with your book.

  9. Congratulations on finishing revisions and good luck in the trenches! I’ve been in and crawled out a few times since I started writing.

    • Thank you, Rachael. I’m by no means new to the trenches. The waiting is definitely the worst, especially since agent response time is so unpredictable. Some get back to you within days, with others it’s weeks.

  10. Good luck in the trenches! I’m still in them. So I can also say good luck on focusing on anything else :)

    • Thanks, Stephanie! It’s nice having so much friendly company in the trenches. I’m trying to focus on other things, and the books I mentioned above are a good distraction from the inbox… but it’s hard! :)

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