Thursday, 24 January 2013

Letting Go

I did it! I finally let go. My cast of characters have been loving, killing, fighting, laughing, living and dying inside my head for 10+ years. After shelving my novel for too long my wife encouraged me to drag it out, dust it off and follow my dreams. I haven't looked back.

I gave myself a time frame of six months and worked diligently, in between the noisy parts of my life, editing and creating. And then began my quest for someone to champion my book. And then I became a stalker. A stalker you say? Uhhh ya. Ok, I'm not proud. But isn't that how you track down and find out every intimate detail of those elusive little characters known as literary agents?

So the first step was to create the perfect query letter, a letter that summarizes your work and your attributes in one well-crafted page. It's a writer's resume, so to speak, that little nugget of gold that makes your dream agent jump up and shout, "OMG, I've gotta have her!" The obsessing began and I'm not one to obsess (Yes, that was sarcasm) but finally I thought I had a pretty good query letter.

Not being a writer, number one son, just home from college, asked, "What's a query letter, Mom?" To which number four son replied, "It's just a regular letter for everyone else but for Mom it's called a QUEERY letter." Funny, funny guy.

Well, the rejection letters started pinging on my phone like the gentle patter of rain on a barn roof. There were a few exciting moments though. Like when Russ Galen (Diana Gabaldon's agent) responded to my query in 15 minutes. He asked about my characters and ultimately turned me down as he thought my main character was too young. As I chatted with him - my sweaty fingertips leaving wet little circles on my keyboard - I turned to number four son and said, "Russ Galen just typed M-E-G-A-N on his keyboard in New York!! How cool is that?" To which darling offspring quipped, "Ya, but he probably thought it was pronounced Magen." Since my name is pronounced Meegan, and I've spent my entire life correcting people, this was actually pretty funny. After a brief hysterical laugh, I found my way back to reality and the task at hand. Comments from agents ranged from "This is a tough call for me but I'm going to have to decline." (Russ Galen) to "Your prose have a hypnotic fairy-tale like quality...but this is a pass for me, albeit a reluctant one." (a lovely agent from the agency that represents author, Dan Brown) to "This sounded so promising but I found your prose style a bit over the top." (an agency in England).

After six months of good and bad, my impatience got the better of me and I published "A Thistle in the Mist", a story largely inspired by my feisty little Scottish grandmother, on Amazon Kindle. So, now begins my journey of maniacally checking my sales, promoting myself and chatting with other writers (an exciting prospect!)

But today I will relish the peace and quiet, enjoy the funny moments and create another world inside my head that I will endeavor to spit out in the form of a sequel. And hopefully I will not be interrupted by my two-year-old daughter while she is supposed to be taking her nap. Yesterday went something like this...Type, type, type, check Kindle sales, check FB, type, type, type..."Mama!...Mama!" Ahhh...the lyrical sound of my daughter's voice. I opened her door and a wall of stench smacked me across the face. Me: "Uh-oh, Liv did you poop?" Olivia: "No Mama, my diaper have a crap."

Now that's funny.

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