Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Hunt

I have written my first novel.

I have a friend who tells me I should revel in this fact, soak it in, glow a happy glow. After all, as someone who shares a home with a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old, I’m lucky most days just to finish a sentence, let alone a novel.

And yet I have this pesky dream that’s been nagging at me for, oh, a few decades now. I want to be a published children's author. Preferably a world-famous, award-winning, beloved-by-children-everywhere author. But for the moment I’d settle for the simple publishing contract.

“But, you’ve written a book,” my friend says to me. “That’s the hard part. That’s the part so many people talk about doing but never do. And you’ve DONE it. That’s a big deal!”

While I appreciate his enthusiasm, I can’t resist pointing out one simple fact: that until I put my work out into the world where people can read it, it’s simply a really huge Word file on my computer.

So why not put it out there? Why not self-publish, or e-publish?

I’m going to defer this question to Amanda Hocking, the teen fantasy e-publishing sensation who has gotten a good deal of press lately for the large sums of cash she has raked in by self-publishing her own e-books. To paraphrase her blog entry from March 3rd (which I highly recommend you read to get a good, solid handle on this topic), the marketing and promotion of her work takes so much time that she has little left for anything else. Including writing.

Remember those two young people I mentioned who live with me? They’d like to get at least some of my attention. And that husband guy – him, too. So self-publishing isn’t a route I choose to take, for my own sanity and the avoidance of a mutiny when no one has eaten for a week because the groceries really don’t magically restock themselves.

Thus I’ve begun the process of seeking an agent or an editor (preferably both) for my first novel: a young-adult supernatural mystery about a fourteen-year-old boy haunted by the recent death of his brother, and by ghosts long dead from his town who have a dark mystery to reveal – and whose secret history closely intertwines with his own present life.

I’ve been honing this novel for a little over five years. Granted, I didn’t write non-stop for five years. I took large chunks of time off for things like moving houses, birthing babies, earning a master's (still in process) and starting a travel business (which I have since left – what was I thinking?). I was told once by a fellow writer that the first book is the most difficult. I guess he was right, since I finished a draft for my second book in only 3 ½ months – younger audience, shorter book, and only a first draft, but still very promising.

So I’m on the hunt. Eleven queries sent so far. I’ll use this blog to keep you all posted on my progress, as well as to toss out other tales of life in general. I hope you’ll enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your article in today's Post Gazette. Well written (obviously) and touched a personal chord within me.