Querying, Revising, Drafting in the New Year
I still haven't updated my 2013 reading list or started my 2014 reading list, but I swear I'm getting to it!
I spent my winter holiday in the Adirondacks (where we did our critique group writers' retreat in early November). The house is made of magical qualities for writing. I wrote 34,000+ words there in five days, basically taking my draft from "tiny" to "nearly done". Even though I was so close to the end, I put that draft aside when I got home and tackled the final polishing revisions on the NA contemporary romance I wrote in 2013 and wanted to pitch during #pitmad.
My CPs are gung-ho about this book (currently titled SERENADE since its original title is the same as a book that just got a lovely deal recently, actually by an agent I'm querying!). They've loved all my characters, but these two, Zed and Aly, really struck home with the entire group.
I pitched SERENADE (named for the Balanchine ballet!) on January 8th during the contest. I got 7 agent requests, and 5 small press/imprint requests. I sent to all seven agents and two imprints whom I felt were the best fits for this book. That was a banner day for my pitches.
For those interested, the pitches that worked the best were:
Not all pas de deux are danced en pointe.2 dancers must overcome the weight of mental illness&grief to rekindle their romance. NA
Aly’s pirouetted into pieces.Zed’s been there, done that. 4yrs after an accident tore these dancers apart,they get a 2nd chance. NA
The longer and less concise story here is that 4 years ago, ballet dancers Aly & Zed were best of friends, and one-time lovers resulting in a pregnancy. A horrendous car accident ended Zed's career when his left leg had to be amputated. Aly miscarried in the accident, but escaped physically unscathed. Mentally, not so much. She has a breakdown in the middle of a rehearsal and takes a mental health leave of absence. By chance, she and Zed run into each other in a DC coffee shop and strike up their friendship, and a very tentative romance. Zed's reluctant to lose the Aly he's finally seeing after all these years: one who isn't so absorbed by ballet that she loses her grip on reality, but she's unhappy without dance. Aly begins to keep secrets from Zed. The secrets and the burden of guilt spirals out of control and threatens to separate them again.
I swear my query's a little more concise than that ;)
So. There's that book out there in the world. Super exciting to send that one out there. I love this book so hard.
Meanwhile, I'm revising THE KILLING MISTS 1 & 2. YA light fantasy for the win! I loved writing the second book, even though it had a lot more kissing in it. For someone who loves to read kissing, I sure don't like writing it. I'm still working on #magicballoonbook. That book feels like it's going to be in revisions forever, but every round feels a little closer to getting it right. At least I have that!
First Draft wise, I'm bouncing between a New Adult contemporary romance, a YA contemporary, and an adult spec fic/science thriller thing that has been marinating in the back of my head for a long time. You can blame the movie CONTAGION for that one. And for bad puns like, "When a weaponized flu goes viral". No? Too soon?
You should SEE all the ballet puns I can come up with as a result of SERENADE.
So. That's where we are. Clearly I'm procrastinating by blogging. I'll get back to writing now.
And I promise ;) Cat photos will be making a return to the blog soon!