Monday, January 23, 2012

Agent Queries

So after sending out about 30 emails to various literary agents, I have one rejection and one request for the first 50 pages.

The rejection was pretty comical. It was like we don't want you, but hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea right? Keep trying.

The request for the first 50 pages was really exciting. It was from the Liv Blumer agency. She found my letter intriguing and wanted to know more. So I printed off the 50 pages and am off to the Post office. Then it will be another waiting game.  Has it really only been less than a month since I wrote the book?  It feels like a year,

This week I am also going to mail the full manuscripts to Cedar Fort, Deseret Book, and Covenant. But there is this whole process and author questionnaire thing that I have to include.  not to mention the annotated table of contents. I thought the hard part was writing a good book.  Seems like that was only the beginning.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Editing a chapter at a time

So Caleb is doen editing my book...and he loves it. Hallelujah!  He only had a few minor fixes and pointed out that my use of commas "sucks". But aside from that he gives it two thumbs up!

So now what? My next assignment was to write a query letter to submit to agents.  He thinks I should have an agent. SQEE! (yes that's the literal sound I just made. I think he may be smoking crack, but still it's a nice compliment.

I tried really, really hard to write a nice professional query letter. But Caleb poo-pooed on everything I gave him. So he gave up and wrote on for me, mining from my first chapter to come up with a hook and brief synopsis.
Here is the fabulous letter he came up with.

“Somehow I gained ten pounds this month,” I sniffled.
My husband stared pointedly at my nightstand and the ever growing collection of pop cans, wrappers, and pizza crusts.

     This is not a weight loss book. If you bought this book because you wanted to learn the secret to losing seventy-five pounds in a year, then let me stop you right here. There’s no magic pill -- just eat less and run more.
      In my quest to wish away the spare tire around my tummy, I accidentally changed my life. My name is Betsy Schow and I’m a stay-at-home mom of two, former fat person, and now, I’m a finisher.
      I really should have seen the pattern ages ago. Inside my house, you couldn’t go five feet without running smack dab into one of my grand plans. My house was a monument to all the businesses, crafts, hobbies, and self-help programs I’d started over the years. I was addicted to starting. But once that initial high faded -- and things got hard or boring -- I would quit and start something else to get my next fix. 
      Like any addiction, the high I got from beginning another project got shorter and less intense. Along with businesses, hobbies, and self-help, I had tried and failed diets so many times it was nearly impossible to maintain that burning fever of purpose for more than a week. I thought I was tired. Tired of being fat, tired of being bored. I thought drastic measures were required.
    Today, I know I wasn’t just tired. I was unhappy. Yes, unhappy with the way I looked. But also the heaviness I felt was the weight of all the things I’d started but failed to finish hanging around my neck.
    “Philosophy of Finishing” is the 50,000-word true story about what I learned on the way to losing seventy-five pounds, running a marathon, and climbing a mountain that changed my life, my marriage, and the way I raise my children.

        Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Betsy Schow

 I added a few things to the last paragraph, but still I can't thank him enough. I could not have asked for a better mentor teacher or friend than Caleb Warnock. If my book ever gets published I promise to include him on the acknowlement page and swell his head even more.

Now to spend a few hours emailing agents

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hurry up and Wait

So Caleb has had my manuscript for a week now. But he still hasn't read it.  I know he's super SUPER busy.  He is after all the best selling author of "Forgotten Skills of Self Suffience Used by the Mormon Pioneers.
(you're welcome for the plug)

But still I was hoping he wouldn't be able to stop himself from staying up all night to read it. I have to remind myself that sometimes the wheels of life turn slowly. Whats a few extra days or weeks? It won't change what I wrote.  But the suspense is freakin killing me!! Will he like it? Will he hate it? Will he unfriend me on facebook?

So no news yet, but here's hoping he does like it. But what should I do with my time now that I am not frantically trying to write my manuscript. Maybe I should enter another marathon? Or start work on a fiction novel? To be honest, both sound equally insane to me right now.