Thursday, August 27, 2009

Iowa Book Doctors Rx

"Grace is a very engaging character due to her passion and loyalty to Worth [her brother] and the memories of Jack and Buddy. She is also on the cusp of womanhood, and the tensions of this transformation are subtly brought into view." ---Iowa Book Doctors

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Text on screen

The synopsis en plein air.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Horoscope Today

From Washington Post:
"In order to complete a cycle and move on to a new one, you must let go. You will do this with great ease when you focus on the wonderful things that are likely to happen once you move on."

The stars have spoken. The book is on the move!

Still Rewriting Synopsis

Other blogs have illustrations. Here is my outside office. Where I am herding words into new configurations again. Like dumb beasts yoked to the covered wagon of the query, my words long to graze and wander willy-nilly over the prairie instead of being force-marched down a dirt track to Oregon.

The Oregon of representation.

Gee. Haw.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Can a 35-Year-Old Letter Help GRACE?

Thanks to a letter from a (still very active) NY publisher, I wrote my first novel, WOUNDS. The publisher wrote to me on May 29, 1974, about my short story, "Then the Lieutenant Busted Up the Party," that had appeared in the NY Times. In subsequent correspondence he asked to see my novel. That first novel never found a home, but I didn't mention that when I queried him today. (Yes, he is still at the helm.) In my cover letter I did mention his letter, my NY Times story, and my continued passion for the effects of war on families of veterans, one of the main themes of GRACE AT WAR.

Oh and in the bio, I mentioned meeting Anais Nin in person. Through a fiction course at the New School. In that class I was too shy to read a word aloud but at one point the teacher said, "Susan looks like a great writer."

I didn't put that in the query.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making a Bed

The query process is like making a bed. Make sure you have a solid foundation to work with (mattress), smooth out any wrinkles, fluff pillows, and align the coverlet(ter) perfectly with what's underneath. No short sheeting or short changing.
Like making a bed, easier said than done.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Lull

Perfected query, researched agent, hit send, opened speedy reply:
"I'm not reading queries in August, resend in fall."
Undaunted. On to the next!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Art of Selling

Squeezing lemons, sweetening the juice, adding water, pouring over crushed ice into just the right cup would be easy in August, compared to querying agents on behalf of my novel. But I'm offering them the equivalent of lemonade on a hot day--a book to quench readers' thirst, wake up their taste buds, and refresh their spirits.

The graves of two brothers, buried side by side in an upstate New York cemetery. The older brother died in Vietnam and his teenage brother committed suicide upon hearing the news.

Their story inspired two of my characters in GRACE AT WAR.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August Push

So here it is August 3rd and I am preparing the synopsis--again!--as part of a renewed campaign to query agents who haven't yet expressed interest. The jury is still out on three who did request samples. I will account for myself here, in writing, so you and I can see if I'm on track.

Last night I had a surge of confidence in Grace and my ability to distill the novel into a form to immediately attract the positive attention of an agent. I will keep you posted on the campaign. Some of my readers are slogging along the same path; your comments are most welcome!