Today I opened the files for my fourth novel for the first time in two months. It’s a little like reconnecting with old friends on Facebook. In other words, who the heck are these people and what the heck is going on in their lives?
For the past two months, I was finalizing (researching, rewriting and polishing) my third novel, Honorable Lies, which is now in Queryland with 13 agents. Well, I sent letters to 13 agents (because that number has always been lucky for me), but two have already said they are so proud of me, and pleased that I would give them the chance, but that they are unfortunately unable to represent my work. Hmmm. That’s okay, I only need one, and he/she is still out there.
You know the sage advice, “Write every day”? That’s so you don’t forget your own children characters. I had written 20,000 words of A Reasonable Price before I went back to finish up my last novel, and it’s going to take a while for me to remember exactly what these peoples’ demons and goals are. Fortunately, I have this novel outlined, start to finish, and I have copious notes to use as reference. This is the first time I’ve been so thorough on the outline, and I’m very glad to have all these notes to suck me right back into the tempest I have brewing in my hard drive. If you’re one who’s not able to write every day, this might be exactly the tack to take so you can re-immerse yourself at a moment’s notice.
Or maybe I’ll switch things up a bit now that I’m older and wiser. Either way, it’s good to be back.
I recently blogged about Steve Jobs’ influence on my life. Now how about Vincent Van Gogh?
J.D. Salinger is famous for publishing four books, then disappearing for forty-some years. Can I do that? Or do I have to become famous first? Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, and that was to his brother. Hell, I could sell a hundred books to family members if that counts.
There’s a famous adage that everyone wants to have written a book, but few want to actually write it. Well I’m the opposite. I mean, sure I’d like to sell a novel, but I LOVE the writing part. Creating people and problems and scenes so vivid that you feel like you’re there with the characters—that’s my favorite part. In four years I’ve completed three novels, and my next is well underway. At this rate, I will fill my bookshelf in a couple more years. Who wants to slow down for the publishing process?
Full disclosure: Today I emailed several query letters to carefully chosen agents. I know the percentage of being chosen from a “slush pile” is about one in a million, but hey, I have 4 sons. What are the odds of that? Four of a kind is a pretty good hand. In any case, my novel Honorable Lies is complete, polished, and ready to go.
Now on to A Reasonable Price.
There’s a first for everything. Is that true?
Yesterday I had to scrap 18,000+ words on my current novel due to information I learned when interviewing my experts. Yesterday was a taste of Hell: Square One. (Thankfully no fire or men in red suits carrying pitchforks).
I have just written a preliminary synopsis for my NEW novel. (It has been highly recommended by many to know how the book ends before you actually begin. Thank you Larry Brooks @storyfix for one.) I actually got to the end of the synopsis and NO ONE got murdered or hit by a car or even went to jail.
Am I slipping? Losing my nerve? I think not. This is crafty. I like it!
But I won’t change my bio yet. You all know how these characters can surprise you before it’s over.