Monday, January 12, 2009

The first answer

Spectacular, wonderful, magnificent, incredible news!

Saturday night, I reworked my query letter after reading through a few posts on Query Shark. Of course, after finding Query Shark, I was too excited to revise and THEN email; my brain went into stupid mode and I immediately sent her my query, and afterwards, I rewrote it.

Because after reading a few queries, I had a better idea of what agents want. I read over my query and thought, "This isn't going to excite a sixteen year old - or anyone else. It has all the charm and cheer of a drunk's bar lament. This is going to attract Eeyore and Roast Beef."

So I rewrote the letter by rearranging it and trying to write a hook in the first paragraph. When I was done, I wanted to try out the query letter on someone new.

I went down my list of agencies and grabbed the next two to research. I went through their websites, found a couple of agents, and read through their blogs.

One seemed perfect for the book. I sent her a query and crossed my fingers.

And yesterday afternoon, she replied with a polite "no" - with the caveat that she'd be glad to reread if I changed a few things.

The changes aren't trivial. I need to expand my book from 48,000 words to a minimum of 60,000, preferably 75,000. I need to delete a few things, and I need to rework the opening section so that it grabs the reader.

I can do that. It may take two or three weeks to write and another couple of weeks to revise, but I can hit that goal before I move. It will mean putting the third book on hiatus, but I'm okay with that; I hit the halfway point last Friday and I feel comfortable with taking a break.

I'm excited because I found an agent that caught my eye and who took the time to read through my query / first few pages, give me a few pointers, and suggest revision and resubmitting. And she's right on every point.

Not a form letter, and not an apologetic "this doesn't fit my needs right now."

I was so excited, I could hardly sleep.

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