I am sure followers of #PitMad and those who post on Twitter caught the errors in my last post. I had to go through the school of hard knocks to learn what was wrong.
Twitter is 280 characters, not words. Here I had these quality, page-long descriptions of Silent Thunder and all I could use was a sentence or two. What was worse was #PitMad was Thursday, not Saturday, so I missed the whole thing anyway. I was so bummed. I spent Saturday refining 280 words to 280 characters and made my own posts on Twitter! I’m sure they were seen by few.
I also spent the rest of the weekend working on queries and researching agents and I sent off my first query letter! A query is like a reverse inquiry; it’s a letter to prospective agents or book publishers asking for representation and introducing your work them. In short, it’s the Hook, (getting the attention the agent,) the Book, (telling about your novel,) and the Cook, (telling about you.) On Monday, I got my first rejection!
I am sure it is the first of many because it is so hard to communicate the vision of power of your work in 280 words, much less characters. It takes a lot of knocking to find the door that opens for you. The process is helpful in itself as it helps to perfect the pitch for what your book is all about, both for sales and for just explaining it to people. I am advancing from the awkward, “Well, it’s about a spy mystery, but it’s about Idaho, but it’s about …” to the more smooth, “Silent Thunder is a 96,000-word spy mystery where super secret agent Lisa Cunningham is tasked with saving the world and in the process saves herself.”
I am continually discovering new themes of the story, which I am amazed are there because I didn’t set out to write them! I wrote a fun spy story. I shouldn’t be surprised that my personal philosophies on life creep into my writing, but I am. It’s mind-blowing to me to find them in my writing. One aspect I wanted to include in the book was the culture of Idaho and a big part of that is our love and stewardship of the land. In the story Lisa and Chance’s conversation touches on climate change and Lisa sums up Chance’s position by asking, “So, Nature is bigger man?” She pokes him with that a few more times later in the story. This last weekend I realized that is the story: No matter how stone hard your soul is (Lisa), no matter how broken and empty your life (Chance), nature is bigger and will rebuild you if you choose to heal and move on.
The “if” of course is the pivotal point – if they choose. Will they? Can they?
Enjoy the read and find out … if I get an agent … and a publisher. TC Robinson