Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Morning Thoughts

Just sharing my thoughts this morning:

I have completed two rounds of edits on my second book, and I am confident enough now to start sending query letters to agents. Writing this novel - inspired by the other half of my background - took as much emotional toll as writing Shadows of Damascus. But I finally reached the end, and it is so rewarding to pen down the last words.

I plan to pitch the book in person to agents in the upcoming writers’ conference in Houston in April, and another in Austin in June. It would be great to gauge the possible interest in such a story. On the other hand, I dread the immediate feedback, often brutally direct, in face-to-face pitching sessions. The short ten minutes with an agent cannot cover a yearlong work on the book, but it is a skill that must be perfected by any writer. Luckily, I fumbled my way through with the first book, pitching to agents in conferences without really knowing how. Now, I know what it takes, how the process goes, and I’d like to think I’ve developed a little and gotten seasoned in the publishing field to know what to say. Still, it is a daunting process and I dread every second of it.

First things first, I have to do my homework and research everything I can find about the agents I plan to pitch to. Knowing what they are interested in saves energy, and I hate to waste anyone’s time by presenting something totally out of an agent’s circle of interest.

Next, I have to perfect the logline for my book. One sentence that sums up the essence of the story, and makes the agent sit up and take notice. I have that down now.  I’m not totally satisfied, though. More work for me to do in the next ten days.

And then I must have a one-page synopsis of the book, another skill that has to be honed and polished. That’s where I am stuck. Giving a brief summary of the book events is not so easy for someone who wrote every detail of the story. And right now, I am taking a break of working on that to write this post. Procrastination? Escape? Call it what you might, I know I have to get back to the “job” eventually.

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