Let the Querying Begin!

Aug 29, 2012

As of last night at approximately 11:26, The Unhappening of Genesis Lee is DONE. WOOT! And this time, I mean done for real. As in, so done I'm jumping into the querying trenches. At any given moment, this is how I feel about that:


And now, in case you care at all, here are some facts about my book! I was tagged by Melissa Brady King for this meme.

1. What is the name of your book? The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
2. Where did the idea for your book come from? After visiting my mother, who is very nostalgic about certain heirlooms, my husband commented it would be cool if we could store our memories of objects IN those objects. And so the story was born.
3. In what genre would you classify your book? YA science fiction
4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition of your book, who would you choose? Kristin Kreuk as Gena, and Jeremy Sumpter (aged somewhere between Peter Pan and now) as Kalan
5. Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book. A 17-year-old girl who stores her memories in external objects must hunt down a memory thief before she is robbed not only of all her clues, but her entire life.
6. Is your book already published? Not yet. :)
7. How long did it take you to write your book? I wrote the first draft in 6 weeks during June/July of 2011, and revisions took about a year.
8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? (Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?) It's sort of a mix of the mystery in Across the Universe and White Cat.
9. Which authors inspired you to write this book? Ever since I read The Giver by Lois Lowry as a kid, I have been fascinated with memory. I always felt there was a story lurking inside me that would deal with that-- it just took about 20 years to come out. :)
10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book. Well, it involves a society that stores memories in jewelry called Links, because their brains literally can't store them anymore. Also, there's a bouncy-ball-collecting, curly haired cutie of a boy. My main character has a pet snake named Hades. Um...anything else? :)

The Coming of Querying...and Writer Therapy

Aug 23, 2012

Short post this week, because I'm mere days away from finishing The Unhappening of Genesis Lee! Like, REALLY finishing this time. As in, it's been through crit group, a dozen betas, and at least a dozen rewrites. This is the final, nit-picky edit I'm doing now, and then...(gulp) to querying.

Querying always gets me nervous/excited. (Always? What am I saying. This is only my second time querying a manuscript.) Part of me thinks, "I'll get a million requests! They'll see the awesomeness of my book and beg me to send it!" Then I think, "But then they might actually read the book and shake their heads because it ended up stinking up their office." Then I think, "I probably won't get requests anyway. Sea of rejections, here I come."

Ah, the emotional instability of writers. I think I might need therapy.

And speaking of therapy, the wonderful peeps of my critique group have created just that-- Writer Therapy! It's a web series about a zany critique group and their antics preparing for querying. Check out the preview!

So, my friends, have you gone query-crazy before? Do you expect you will someday? How do you handle the crazies?

Deadlines-- Do you have 'em?

Aug 14, 2012

I'm a very type-A kind of person. I thrive on things like schedules, deadlines, and organization. So it's sort of killed me that I missed my personal deadline for finishing The Unhappening of Genesis Lee.

See, I had planned to finish around the first of July. But I was nine months pregnant, had a threat of early labor, and then actually had the baby (though not early-- one day late, in fact). Luckily, a new baby is a wonderful and adorable excuse, so I haven't been too hard on myself. I've been back into the writing groove for a few weeks now, and I've been able to set a new deadline I think I can stick to.

September 1, guys. That's my goal for finishing the ultimate final draft of TUGL. And then, to querying.

Deadlines can be a hugely helpful thing. They help me stay focused, keep my butt in the chair, and (because I'm weird), they actually get me excited as they get closer. They can also be stressful. I've found that the key for reaching my own deadlines with minimal stress is to create a plan for how I'm going to reach it. If I just sort of attack things willy-nilly, it's hard to do that. But if I know how much work I have and how much time I have, I can set out roughly how much time and effort I have to put in per day.

Then I just have to make sure I put that time and effort in. Which can be hard, especially with self-inflicted deadlines. Rewards for hitting deadlines can be a big help with that. I usually prefer it in the form of a new book, or a fun activity.

So, my friends, what about you? Do you set deadlines? Do you meet them? Do you have tricks and tips? And hey, are you hanging around WriteOnCon like me? If so, look me up and say hi! 

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The Uncertainty of Rewrites

Aug 8, 2012

Maybe it's because I'm extra tired from getting up at night with a new baby and chasing my toddler around all day, but I'm feeling rather uncertain about the final revision I'm doing on my book.

Who am I kidding? I ALWAYS feel uncertain when doing certain revisions on my book. Namely, final revisions.

Final revisions are where I try to dig deep. After all the semi-final revisions, I take the advice from my beta readers that I haven't already put into effect and get into things like characterizations and deepening relationships. It makes me a little jittery. Am I making things better-- or destroying them?

I think a lot of is due to the fact that in a FINAL revision, this are likely the last big changes I'll make before querying. And that makes me nervous enough to bite my nails. I still have my crit partners look over any big changes I make, and run ideas by them to see what their reactions are to what I'm doing. That's helpful, but a lot of times that voice comes up again that says, "You're destroying the book. You're making it worse."

I do my best to ignore the inner nag and trust my instincts. And my instincts say I'm not destroying it. I hope.

So, my friends, what do you do when your inner devil says you're making your book worse? How do you know when to trust the voice that says something isn't working or when to ignore it? How do you get your confidence back during rewrites?


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