Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Exclusive Basis

Got another snail mail acceptance. This one was from an agent at an international agency, offices in LA, New York and London. It is interesting if only because this is the first time an agent has asked for the complete manuscript, printed, and on an exclusive basis. Naturally this brings up some problems.

I have sent partials to many agents already so I know that I’ll have to admit that somehow in the letter I write to her. But I have one full manuscript out as well. The agent with the full manuscript right now says she needs 4 weeks. It has been with her since the 8th. I should wait a week and a half more before contacting her.

I’m tempted just to send the full manuscript to this new agent and hope for the best. But what happens if the first agent comes back with a positive response? I’ve decided to go ahead and wait at least one more week, then contact that first agent, see where she’s at, and then send the manuscript to the second (exclusive) agent to read.

On her blog, Janet Reid wrote about how silly and time wasting exclusive readings are, in a posting called Exclusives Stink. I understand the dilemma. Despite her advice and the 50 or so comments from other writers, I’m still left with poor choices.

Still, I’m waiting for that agent to accept my work or ask for more after having read some. I’ve yet to get that type of positive feedback.

Monday, August 24, 2009

RIP is Easy Compared to Your Unit

The blog a Guide to Literary Agents has a series on “How I got my agent.” Its fun to read, gives some insight, and helps me keep motivated.


Today’s author, Billy Coffey, writes about how he found his agent. He mentions that prior to looking for an agent he thought the hard part of getting published would be finishing the novel. Not so. He says the hard part is finding an agent.


This reminds me of the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP). We were told constantly how RIP is easy compared to the work we would be forced to do in our Ranger units. None of us believed it. RIP was three weeks of genuine hell. No food, no sleep, 20 mile forced marches at a sprint pace, early morning runs that left us devastated, constant, continually training, psychological games, an attrition rate above 50%, and running everywhere we went. SMOKER!


However, the Ranger Instructors (RI) were right. All the times they said “RIP is easy compared to what your unit will expect from you” were spot on. My first week in Bravo Company, I think day two or three, I found myself hanging outside a decrepit Huey, with all the gear no one else wanted to hump. My shoelaces were unlaced and I had no hope of getting down there and fixing them for at least two days, lost a good portion of my gear, my back ached from all the gear, a M203 that was a dinosaur compared to what privates use today, and my 1st gen nods, the worst in the squad, actually made the dark harder to walk through. We walked and rested (intermittently) for five days in the field. This was all training for an exercise in Louisiana that started the following week. It was a true trial by fire and by the end of it I was begging to go back to the easy days of RIP.


This is how I see the agent search going. Novel finishing is difficult, so far finding an agent hasn’t been a thrill, but each challenge is preparation for the next. Just like Basic Training, Infantry Training, Airborne and RIP were stair steps up toward a Ranger unit and going to Ranger School.


Good thing I have a history that includes success in these endeavors and now I know what to expect.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grand Accounting

All of the receipts are now ensonced in the Partagas cigar box on my desk. Thus far I've spent a few cents over $135. Not bad I don't think. That's less than a dollar an agent. I spent almost $80 on stamps alone. The rest was for supplies and printer ink. So all in all, I need to budget approximately a dollar an agent.

I suspect as more and more agents begin to accept only email queries even that number will go down. At the moment I'm completely out of stamps and envelopes so will make sure I budget another hundred at least for the remaining 115 agents I plan to query.

Keep in mind, DO NOT use the "Fine Business Paper" envelopes from Office Max. This was the worst purchase of the ordeal. I've had countless SASE's returned with the flap open, and two with missing papers inside. It's embarrassing to write and agent and confess that a cheap envelope ruined their response, and could they please take a minute to let me know if they rejected me. Humbling to say the least.

A New Hope

You'll forgive the plagiarism of the title, but I have found new hope for my afternoons.

When I first began this process, when I first started to walk down to the mailbox each afternoon, 90 pound dog, Killian and 30 pound son, Price in toe, I couldn't find much reason to be hopeful. I'm sure we looked like some sort of outlandish parade, or worse yet a wake, marching to a maibox that provided no hope. If anything the mailbox provided a sense of closure, nothing more. I figured that if an agent liked my work they probably would forgo the SASE, and contact me via email. More direct, quicker, etc. That's what I would do if I were in their shoes.

But this latest pseudo acceptance has shown me that I was in error. This was the first SASE with an acceptance. So the mailbox doesn't just complete the circle and let me know that I have been rejected and by who. Instead it has become a new source of hope. The parade is a bit more lively as it makes its way to the mailbox each evening.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Word Count

Pleasant surprise yesterday, no rejections. No acceptances either, but at this point I'll take even the smallest victories.

Better surprise today, one acceptance. I'm still looking forward to that spectacular day when someone formerly accepts me and takes me on as a writer.

This acceptance was odd. The agent, in Atlanta (point against), marked up my query. First she corrected fiancee. It's a common mistake for me. One would think I'd look it up one day and put the matter to rest. I guess I should feel honored that was the only fault she found.

She also marked next to my word count the word "short". This is something I've had trouble with for the past couple of years. When I first started writing seriously in 2001, my first NaNoWriMo, the thinking was 50,000 words equals a novel. Then, as I did more research, and interacted a bit more I found out that for a first time author 125,000 words or over is impossible to sell. Anything under 50,000 as well, impossible. Uncle John's book was in the 40,000 area. The last Dick Francis I read, based on my investigation, came out to 76,000 words. I find it funny that there is such a high degree of discrimination from 68,000 to say 76,000.

One blog I was reading said that most agents won't touch a new author's book if it is under 70,000. I wonder if that has been a stumbling block for some that I've contacted.

I actually recognized this as a problem several months ago and tried to add to the story. I succeeded by adding about ten thousand more words. Now, thinking about where I might add more, I see one or two places, but no place that would allow me to add 10,000 more. Then, there is the problem of bogging down the story. Plus there is the edit. So many editors chop your work up so it is even less!

It's a pickle. I'd love to know more about it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alibis

One of the biggest problems I find in plotting murder mysteries is coming up with an alibi for the murderer. It's not that easy to come up with a believable one.

I found this article about faking ones own death. Kinda interesting.

http://www.wired.com/vanish/2009/08/gone-forever-what-does-it-take-to-really-disappear/

Yet Another

It's happening more and more regularly. When I started judging this contest I reveled in the fact that Toe the Line was better than most of the stories I read. Now, following the Vegas Story, the time travel and space elevator story, and now a new one about an abusive husband, I'm not so sure. These stories are so good they make me wonder what I'm doing trying to be published.

Thankfully I expected this to some degree. I expected that my story wouldn't be the best and steeled myself against the disappointment. Nevertheless its interesting to feel that worm beginning to crawl in my belly. What I find particularly amazing is that the ones that are exceptional are the ones I would never ordinarily read. The sci-fi stories I would have dismissed quickly if I saw them on the rack, and the abusive husband book is about a woman finding herself in purgatory and a grand war between satan and heaven. Again, no thanks. But after reading the first ten pages I would have gladly read more. I hope Toe the Line is like that.

I read in article in Writers Digest yesterday about an author who only became and author after he worked for years as a reader at an agency. He was amazed by how bad so many of the manuscripts were.

I've read 30 (?) novel starts, and there are 3 maybe 4 that are any good. That's what? 12%. If I am in that top 12% I'd be happy. I've sent 136 queries and had three yes replies? Two are still out. We'll see.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Best Yet

I have read approximately 25 entries. Most of them have earned scores in the 110 to 120 range. The best score a story can receive is a 150. Up until last night I only had two that came close to being top of the heap. They both scored high 130's to low 140's. I read two last night that blew all the rest away.

I'm not usually a sucker for fantasy for sci-fi. I had that era as a child where I read those genres but I grew out of it. Now, if I read fantasy or sci-fi, it has to come with a glowing recommendation from someone I trust. Bill recommended Snow Crash by Stehpenson and I'm glad he did. He also recommended anything by Vernor Vinge. Again, he pegged it. Pryor endorses George R.R. Martin, and now, so do I.

Last night, one author, apparent from the manuscript formatting and the tone, absolutely astounded me. His first work was based on time travel. The pace was a bit pedantic, but otherwise the story was superb. The plot too was outstanding. His second work, about a space elevator was even better. He scored a 142 for the time travel work and a 145 for the space elevator.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him take the whole contest.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Heart Stopping

I had my wife read three of the novel entries. Ostensibly I did this because I wanted to know if she had the same reaction to them that I did. She read them all, and they were three poor ones, poor is being kind. At the end of all three I asked her what she thought of them. She was nice about it, but you could kinda tell she wasn't too impressed. After she critiqued the third one, and she panned the third one the most, I asked her, "Which one was mine?"

Her mouth dropped open, her face fell, and she began to stammer and squeak silently. I immediately let her off the hook and told her none of them were mine.

However, I've already learned some vital aspects of reading novel segments. Those first ten pages are key. They have to be gripping and compelling and well written to a point that is absolutely beyond par. I'm a little worried about comparing my first ten pages to some of these.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Contest Entries

For a moment I hesitated in my decision about whether or not to post that last entry. Is it okay for me to write about someone else's entry, particularly if it is bad? What if that author comes to this blog and recognizes his story? I could end up ostracizing potential fans.

But I considered it this way. If JA Konrath, an author whose blog I frequent, was judging a contest and reported on Toe the Line I would want to read it. Even if he wrote:

"The dialouge is silly, and the relationships between the characters are ridiculous. The worst part is the author thinks I care about racing, but does little to make me care about. He should go back to his day job."

I would want to read that. Seriously. So now, I am going to post my impressions of the entries, relate them to my own experience, and HOPE that the author does eventually recognize his work. I hope it helps them.

Selfish Reasons

I have to admit, part of the reason that I was so eager to help Roger judge the contest entries is that I get to see how other people write and present novels. Basically, as a judge, I'm getting the same view of writing that an agent gets. I receive the first 10 pages and a synopsis. I'm curious to see how Toe the Line's synopsis and first 10 pages might compare.

I read my first entry this morning. With a bit of anticipation I whipped out the manuscript and dived in. Surprisingly, if only because I was hoping for the opposite, the writing was pretty good. The first chapter, very short, dealt with an old farmer in Arkansas, plowing a field. First person POV. He dies. I'm not escpecially interested in paranormal, but hey, I'm a judge, I read on with an open mind. The chapter ends, no conflict, no compelling reason to read on, but decent writing in terms of prose.

Chapter two is equally uncompelling. A woman wakes up in Texas on her ranch, fand for reasons not made clear through the writing, she goes and takes a leak outside. Her dog is far too interested in this action and I find myself screwing up my face in displeasure at the amount of detail the author affords this process. Eventually the lady goes for a long run, the author detailing her spandex running shorts throughout this segment, and eventually runs into of the ranch house guests. The dialogue, the first in the novel, is horrible and strained. It's the dialogue that would force me to drop this book if I had more than 10 pages. It is the last straw.

I read the synopsis. It is the most absurd plot I have ever imagined. Wrestler's training at the ranch, an intervention group hosting a session at the ranch, a guardian angel who helps the main character overcome death by teaching her how to do "ethereal pushups", its complete mush, and worst of all utterly uninteresting.

Were I an agent, I would have been hopeful when I was reading that it would get better, but the lack of conflict and the screw-ball plot would have forced me to pass quickly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Contests

The hint fiction contest made me remember the short story contest I entered. I submitted two stories to the Houston Writer's Guild Fall Contest. I hope I win, I doubt it though. Murder in 213 is hard to read, and Fight for Life is just too gory. Still, fingers crossed.

Roger, the president of the guild, wants my help judging the novel entries. Ergo, Roger has faith in my abilities as a writer and editor and thinks I can do a good job, or he needs any warm body he can find.

Flattered either way.

Hint Fiction

Saw this via JA Konrath's blog . . . Hint Fiction. Stories of 25 words or less. Here are last year's winners.

First place winner:
HOUSE HUNTING by Gary A. Braunbeck
The fence is tall. Good. The mother is typical white-trash, too loud. But the kids … they seem frightened and quiet. Good. Easier that way.

Second place winner:
DEPARTURE by Donora Hillard
The terminal is unkind. You watch me go through security. In six months, you’ll say “Tell me about the nightmare,” and I promise I will.

Third place winner:
PROGRESS by Joe Schreiber
After seventeen days she finally broke down and called him “daddy.”

Honorable Mentions:
PEANUT BUTTER by Camille Esses
He was allergic. She pretended not to know.

THE MALL by Robley Wilson
What he liked best about the affair was not the shopping, but parting the tissue wrap to remove the clothing that had first enticed her.

A SNAP DECISION by Jamie Felton
Her finger tapped against her teeth, “I don’t think it’s going to work.” He sank slowly underneath the surface. She could still see his eyelashes.

Submissions will open August 1 and close at midnight Eastern time August 31. Submit only to this address:
hint.fiction@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death in a Mystery

Notice please the singularity of the title. I didn't write "Deaths in a Mystery." This is a problem i realized I had at about four this morning. I have one death in Toe the Line, and that murder takes place a moment before the book actually begins. This could be problematic.

I always liked the fact that a main character was murdered before page 1. I thought it would be neat for the reader to get to know this main character through the way the others spoke about him. This way the mystery in the novel is not just about who killed him, but who he was.

Well, I realized last night that I only have that one murder! I've just started J.A. Konrath's book, Bloody Mary, and he has already had about eight people dead or dying in the first hundred pages. I have 68,000 words and not a single death.

Toe the Line does have the mystery I described above, as well as the murderer chasing, (hunting rather) the protagonist throughout the Seattle area. Is that enough to sell the book? I don't know. We'll see I suppose. In the mean time I'm going to let my mind chew on the idea that there may need to be two or three other deaths in the book.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First True No

I looked up Firebrand Literary today and saw that they were out of business. What is interesting about that is that one of the agents at Firebrand requested my manuscript a few weeks back.

I thought about writing her to see if the closing of Firebrand affected my manuscript review at all. I didn't write.

She wrote me this evening. Nope! She was hoping for something more fast paced. "It's well done, with clear prose and a nice sense of the characters, but I'm afraid I wanted a slightly faster pace and I just didn't fall in love with the protagonist."

Better that nothing I suppose.

Snail vs eMail

There is only really one moment each day when I get my hopes up, only to have them dashed, regarding snail mail queries. That instance occurs when I walk to the mailbox each afternoon. With some degree of trepidation mixed with expectation I look in the little grey box for my SASE's.

e-Queries are far more insidious. I find myself constantly checking my email to see if I have gotten any mail. It's minor shots of depression stretched out throughout the day. Makes for a very long day.

It is for this reason that I am overwhelmingly happy that I decided to send more snail mail than email queries. At least with snail you get a response and the heart rending only occurs once a day.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Done for the Moment

I made it to 132 queries before the pause. I've decided that since I'm out of envelopes, out of stamps, out of printer ink, and running short on names of agents that I would press pause and wait and see what those 132 queries brings.

Give the mail some time to arrive, give the agents time to read, give the partials time to be read. 132 isn't bad, just 118 more to go before I decide Toe the Line is in serious trouble. Just 118 more before I get an agent? Either way, not a bad first drive. Let's see what it brings.

I'm looking forward to doing a quick audit on the cost of these 132. I've kept all the receipts so that I might be able to deduct it later. I'm interested in seeing how much it all cost to date.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rigid Rules

One aspect of this process I find interesting is the querying rules. Agents all have their own specific sets of rules about how to query, and for the most part I follow them exactly. I believe this comes from my work as a proposal writer. One aspect of that job that I enjoyed was the fact that the format was set in stone. We had to follow the RFP guidelines to the letter, even if it seemed counter intuitive. I find myself doing the same with these queries. I would imagine, having been on both sides of the proposal process, that many writers don’t follow the instructions as precisely. I think I would find that irksome as an agent.

If I, an agent, specifically told a writer to query me in a certain way, it wouldn’t automatically disqualify them, but I would sure begin reading their work with a different mindset.

But what I find interesting is that there is no set standard for query replies. I received to rejections yesterday. One of them came on nice letter head and was typed, TYPED like on a type writer, quite formally. That was the best rejection yet. Surprisingly, on the day that I get my best rejection, I also get my worst. This rejection came from an agent who didn’t even bother to use her own paper. She wrote “Not for us” at the top of my query and placed my own query back into my SASE. Great for recycling and being green, but still, kinda lazy and cheap if you ask me.

If a writer goes through all the trouble that I do, using resume paper, printing out the agents name and address on the letter, printing a nice SASE, stamps on everything, I would at least expect a form letter in response.

Interestingly the best rejection I’ve gotten was a hand written note from an agent in New York. She had scrawled in cursive on the note, “Sadly, not quite right for me. But good luck! Thanks for the query.” Then she signed her name.

Third

I received yet another request for a full manuscript. This is a positive development as I stated before, but still I have yet to hear from any agents who have already read my writing. This is a bit disconcerting.

When I started this process I was sure that Toe the Line was a decent novel. Sure it could have used another edit or two, but still, compared to some of the other novels I have read it wasn’t too bad. Also, I’ve been in some writing groups, and it seemed to me that my novel was as good if not better than some of the material I was reading in those groups. I thought for sure that Toe the Line could hold its own if that was my competition.

Now, a month or so into this query process, and having heard from no agents who have actually read some sample chapters I’m beginning to doubt myself. I find myself wishing I had undergone another re-write. I find myself wishing that Body Count was done so I could sent that around. It’s a funny loss of confidence. It’s taken 5 weeks to lose it, like gravel on a trail rolling down the hill. My trail is now far less substantial than it was back in July.

Still in all, three requests for full manuscript is better than none. I still look forward to hearing more from someone who actually reads my sample chapters and wants to read more.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Center of Gravity

My great uncle, John Hannah, has just published his fourth book, Center of Gravity.

This is a guantlet in my face more than his previous attempts. His first book was Creative Fishing, a collection of short stories about adventures he has had in his fishing career. Apparently it was the first of a series, the second book was More Fishing, or something to that affect.

His third book was historical fiction, The Book of James. It chronicled the life of one of my ancestors when he came over to the U.S. from Scotland.

This book, Center of Gravity, is a murder mystery. I was over at my grandfather's a few weeks ago and he happened to be there as well. I mentioned my own murder mystery, Toe the Line. Two months later a package arrived in the mail for me. Inside was Center of Gravity by John Tweed Hannah and a note that said, "I look forward to reading your own mystery."

Well, that was certainly a kick in the pants to say the least.

The Next One

So, I figure if I'm going to be a successful writer I need to be as productive as possible. That means I have to already get moving on the editing of my next mystery novel.

I wrote Toe the Line during the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2007. I have just now finished editing it. I would like to say that I am now editing the manuscript I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2008, but it is just so bad I can't.

Body Count was written after I wrote a short story about a guy who snipes and tortures his father-in-law. I actually wrote two short stories, one from the pov of the killer, the other from the pov of the investigator.

I wrote the Body Count novel from the pov of the investigators and it is horrible. I think I also wrote it in 3rd person. Now that I'm looking over it again, I've decided I have to do a complete re-write. It's going to be a long process to say the least.

However, I will say this about Body Count; it is a far more intricate and I believe compelling story than Toe the Line is. I'd much rather be selling it than Toe the Line. If I don't find an agent in the next year and a half, I just might be.

Second Request for Full Manuscript

I got my second request for a full manuscript this morning. Waking up to a letter asking for the synopsis and full manuscript is far superior to waking up to a mailbox full of rejections.

This most recent one is from a lady named Christine Witthohn. Her agency is BookCents in Charleston, WV. That's a little disconcerting. There is a running debate about agent location. Many people think you have to have an agent in New York or Los Angeles. It's a good argument. Location and face time is important.

However, beggars can't be choosers. I'll take anyone who likes my writing at this point. I'm just happy that someone is interested in the novel.

Next step, having someone who actually has read my sample request to see more.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rejections

You kinda set yourself up for rejection when you send out so many queries. When reading JA Konrath's blog, he said he sent out almost 250 queries before he got a positive response. I'm at 115. I guess I should get ready for more disappointment. I figure if I get 250 "no's" it's time for a re-edit and another impartial read through for some ideas.

The worst part is waking up I see rejections in my inbox, going to the mailbox, I come away with rejections, sitting at the computer at night, I find a rejection. If nothing else, at the end of this I should have a thicker skin.

Query Shark

I believe that Query Shark (http://queryshark.blogspot.com/) was created and administered by Janet Reid. Miss Reid, an agent, is notorious because just ten minutes ago she became the most recent editor to send me a query rejection. Well, just two minutes ago she should have recieved my query again, this time as a submission to Query Shark.

Query Shark, in the form of Miss Reid, reads and disects queries for writers. I'm wondering if she rejected me for the idea or for the query. We shall soon find out.

Had I known she was responsible for Query Shark (or that Query Shark existed) I would have sent it to Query Shark prior to sending my query to her. Sadly I got the order back-assward.

Best Line

Many agents take advantage of web technology and have writers submit online. They usually ask for quite a bit of information via a web form or email. Although I like the email option more, as it allows me to include what I want, one web form stuck out.

I think it was for an agency with the name "park" in it. As I recall the agency had many pictures of Central Park in it. Sadly my spreadsheet isn't specific enough to help me narrow this down. Nevertheless, one of the questions in the webform was "sample line" or "favorite line".

I knew exactly which line to send. Chapter 1, page 5 of Toe the Line. I was trying to express to the reader how out of sync and confused Wynn, the protagonist was.

"I felt the world flowing past me like a flooded river, caught up in the raging water like a piece of debris, drifting along wherever the current took me."

I hope it strikes the agent as much as it did me.

Query Letter



August 4, 2009



Kevan Lyon
Marsal Lyon Literary Agency LLC
PMB 121, 665 San Rodolfo Dr. 124
Solana Beach, CA 92075



Dear Miss Lyon,

Wynn Johnston, an elite level triathlete who promotes his bike store by racing in other cities with his business partner, Wheeler, finds himself stranded in Seattle following Wheeler’s murder in the Seattle airport. As the police begin to investigate, they find reason to suspect Wynn’s involvement in the murder. The only people Wynn can turn to are his ex-fiancĂ©, Madison and her father.

As Wynn deals with the death of his long time friend, he begins to discover that Wheeler was involved in many illegal plots that put Wynn’s life and livelihood at risk. As he continues to delve into the conspiracy around Wheeler’s death, he is forced to come to terms with Madison and her father as well as evade the murderer who is hunting him through Seattle and the Northwest. Wynn’s investigations yield more questions about Wheeler, fewer answers to clear up the conspiracy, and more and more deadly attempts on his and Madison’s lives.

Toe the Line is a 68,000 word mystery in a mold similar to Dick Francis or Robert B. Parker, but with a theme that revolves around multi-sport racing and fitness. Filled with engaging characters, scenic backgrounds from the Pacific Northwest, and an insider’s look into the life and training of a triathlete this novel provides an intriguing adventure while opening new worlds to readers. The popularity of fitness programs and local racing events has risen in the past several decades and continues to grow as the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and fitness regimes become more apparent. Toe the Line offers readers a mystery woven into this lifestyle and includes a peak into a racer’s life within this community.

Although not published outside the realm of technical manuals, I do attend several writing groups and work with a local editor. I am actively seeking an agent for this book and am contacting several agencies, but I believe this is a good match for your agency and have included a synopsis and sample pages. I look forward to sending you my complete manuscript.

Sincerely,

Dick Hannah

The Novel

So the novel for which I'm trying to find representation is entitled Toe the Line. 68,000 words, light cozy mystery. It's not my best work, but it is the best I got so far. I'm hoping my next novel, Body Count, will be better, but it is still mired in production.

Nevertheless, I'm applying many of the lessons I've learned via the Writer's Market, several different blogs, and other venues to try and find an agent. The novel is complete and edited. At the moment I'm querying.

Thus far I've queried 115 times both through the web and through snail mail. My spreadsheet that tracks my queries is getting quite out of control. I started querying on July 20. I've sent 115 in less than a month. I think that is pretty aggressive.

I have screwed up a few times. I can count on one hand the number of times I've misspelled an agents name (Rubio instead of Rubie) or accidently written to two agents at the same agency, but all in all I've not done too bad.

I've gotten one positive response. 115 queries, about 18 rejections and one request to read the manuscript. Inside I'm thrilled, but tentatively thrilled.

The positive response came from Firebrand Literary Agency, specifically Stacia Decker. I think she is building her client list. I can only hope that I become a brick in that foundation.

First Post - Quick Intro

Please note that the title of this blog is "Hannah Tries to Get Published", or "Publishing Adventures" or any other type of ambiguous pablum. Nope, I'm taking Elana's advice and using a bit of the old power of positive thinking.

I WILL GET PUBLISHED!

(See it's in all-caps so I must really mean it)

Sadly, it might not be this novel, Toe the Line, that opens that door for me, but I will. And it is my intention to update this blog everyday (or atleast every week) until I do.

So check back often, and I'll let you know what it takes to get a mediocre mystery novel published.