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Monday, June 4, 2012

Because Moo

This post was supposed to be titled, The Query Process, which is a good and proper title for a writing blog and is appropriate since that is what this post was going to be about. But then I started thinking about all the things I needed to do instead of writing a blog editing my query, and editing my book, and starting the next book and writing a play, and prepping for a Quidditch game, and I have a 5th grade reading group in a half hour and cleaning this house up and swimming, because "moo."

And there you have it. The blog title. Moo.

Anyway, I need to talk about the query, since I am writing one. Or editing one. Or getting really frustrated with one. And my friends are tired of hearing about it. So, I must write to the universe about it. Because the universe's eyes never glaze over when I talk. I think.

Here's the sordid tale. I write the query...which is basically a two paragraph summary of the book but with wit and spark and pizzazz and that special something that makes agents stand up and shout, "Hell Yes!" And after I write it, I read it over and say, "bleah" and I go to the internet and read queries by successful authors. And after every one I sit up and exclaim, I want to read that book! Because it is an incredible query and, likely, an incredible book. Then I go back to my query and it sounds like a steaming pile of boring crap. Which leads me to reflect that, compared to the brilliance of my examples, my book is probably a steaming pile of stupid drivel and why am I trying to get it published in the first place?

This could lead down the spiral of self-loathing, but, since I read mainstream fiction, I know that there are heaps and heaps of steaming piles of crap on the bookstore shelves. And my book isn't even that crappy. Actually, it's pretty good. So...I'm back to writing a query. but I can't say, "my book is as good as any of the terrible stuff you've already published," because that's a one way ticket to the cyber garbage can

So, I guess what I really need is a website with queries from mediocre books that were published.

Just. Out. Of. Reach.

So, I spent two weeks putting together a very specific Query for an agent. I definitely owe my editor a nice dinner. Finally, I had everything together and e-mailed it to her...only to have it bounce back...twice. Probably because her e-mail is already overflowing with Queries. Groan. Now you see why I self-publish.

It's not that I don't believe in the traditional publishing process. It makes sense that th

Whose voice is it anyway?

I listen to audiobooks in my car constantly.  I'm not sure I could get from one place to the other without someone blabbing at me. It's a good thing.

What is interesting is that if I am listening to a dark, suspenseful book, I find that I come home and write in a dark and suspenseful style.  And when I listen to a lighthearted chick book, that's how my voice comes out when I write.  I suppose that could mean that, over the years that it takes me to write and edit a book, what the end product ends up an inconsistent mish mash of styles. I'd like to think that it all evens out, but I have to wonder. I might not even notice! 

I also wonder who is really writing this book.  I suppose we take our inspiration from all things around us, but it just seems disingenuous. On the other hand, maybe taking the best of what I'm exposed to makes me better...or at least my writing better  We can hope.