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09 August 2006

I'm going traditional

After much consideration (read: angst), I've decided to shop out the Draven series. Once I finish the final edits, I'm going to start sending out query letters to agents. "What made you decide to do this?" you ask. Well, it was five things:

1) Earlier this year, I took an online YA Teenchicklit class taught by published YA author, Lauren Barnholdt and got some really great feedback. I'm normally superstitious when it comes to letting other people see my work before it's done. But for the 4 weeks I took this class, our assignments were, among other things, turning in 10 pages of our WIP (work in progress). She had nothing but good things to say about the pages I'd turned in, including the query letter.

2) Encouragement from my editor, Jennifer Page.

3) Meeting local YA author, Stephenie Meyer (Twilight). Last night, I attended a "How to Write a Children's Book" workshop at a local indie bookstore and she was one of the panelists. She writes a vampire series and is published by Little Brown. The audience was given a chance to ask questions--which I did--but I was able to talk to her for a few minute afterwards, too, and was given a little insight from the POV of a newbie.

4) I wanted to make sure my niece wouldn't give her Auntie the silent treatment for making this decision so close to the original release date set by Gemini Mojo Press. She's bummed, but she'll live. For those that didn't know, I was going to use her face on the covers. She was pretty stoked about that, and personally, so was I. I've always wanted to do a cover like that ever since I saw Francine Pascal's Fearless series and now her new Fearless FBI series. And I've come to the realization that yes, I'm going to have very little, if any, say when it comes to the book cover. But I can fight for it and hopefully make some suggestions. I told her that she inspired me to write this series. Well, her and Sydney (Alias) and Buffy (y'know, the Vampire Slayer?), and the fact there is no series out there with a strong, African-American female lead. Even though her face won't be on the covers, I want her to be able to read this series and know that it's based off of her. Besides, the merchandise will still be there. A new T-Shirt with her likeness will be created for each book, whether it sells traditionally or independently.

5) The online encouragement and utterly amazing support from the Teenchicklit forum in which I am a member. Almost very day, someone is posting a "Sold" or an "I got an agent" notice. I can ask all sorts of questions about agents, publishers, writing in general and know that these men and women will email back with their advice/ideas/suggestions/support/pat on the back, etc.

I will, of course, report back here during my ongoing journey of finding representation and obtaining that elusive book deal. I'm pretty sure this process will give me plenty of reasons to post. I'm scared out of my mind, but I really won't know unless I try. If all else fails, I can self-publish.

So, cross your fingers everyone and throw some good luck vibes my way, wouldja?
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 7:20 PM |


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