Thursday, March 14, 2024


Where are my querying writers at? We need to talk. Are you okay?
If you are not a querying writer but know someone who is, maybe you should check on them.

Querying... it's so... hard. I've done this off and on a couple of times over the years until life, you know, got in the way. And I have friends who have braved all of this ahead of me. I follow tons of authors, agents, and other querying authors online, so I know how it all works. I'm not shocked by rejections or no response at all. It doesn't bother me to see other authors posting online about signing with their dream agent, signing a three-book deal, or the popular posting about something "vague." If anything, it's encouraging to see that it's still happening and that more books will be out in the world. It gives me hope that there will still be room for me.


It is a roller coaster, my friends.... if you know me, you know I HATE rollercoasters. I've been querying for about a month now, and I've noticed some things.

·       You are anxiety-ridden every time you send out a query because you need to make sure you are explicitly following the instructions for every agent. (See examples of requirements below.)

o   Query letter and first five pages

o   Query letter and synopsis

o   Query letter, synopsis, pitch, and mood board

o   Query letter, synopsis, pitch, link to playlist if you have one (agents – please ask for more of these!)

o   Email query

o   Only use the Query Manager form

o   Query only one agent at the agency at a time (only query another agent after the first one passes)

o   We take 8-10 weeks to respond (if we respond)

o   A no from one agent is a no from all

o   Please submit a blood sample…okay, that last one is made up, but who knows, it may be out there somewhere.)

·       As soon as you hit send, you get a new idea for how you could have made the query better, or you find something specific to that agent that you could have pointed out in the letter.

·       An agent will post online that they are looking for something that matches EXACTLY what your book is about. You submit it, and within an hour, they reject it, saying it’s not exactly what they were looking for.

·       You get a rejection that sounds like it might be personalized, and you take their kindness to heart. Then you go on Query Tracker and see multiple comments from people who also queried the agent, and they get the same response word for word.

·       You get a query response, and for a moment, you are at the top of the rollercoaster – I loved your story concept; it’s clear you have talent, your voice is perfect, and the story is on trend…. And then you are in a free fall – I just didn’t connect 100%. I didn’t fall in love with it the way I needed to fully take this on.

·       You’ll see a random post from another author about the book they’re querying or the story they’re working on, and your heart will stop because something about it sounds so similar to yours… but it starts beating again when you realize no one can write the story the way that you can.

And maybe that is the point – millions of people (yes, millions) are out there writing a book, but only they can tell the actual story. And that is true for all of us. We can only tell our story and know that somewhere out there is the right person to help find its way into the world.


If you’re querying, please take this as your sign to keep going… and come say hello!




Monday, February 12, 2024

New Version

In 27 days, it will be one year since my mom passed away. 

One year since anything in my life felt the slightest bit normal. 

Since 2015, the early months of each year have started with an extreme medical diagnosis for someone close to me or a death. This year was no different...the only difference is in how I am trying to deal with it.

Writing has always been an escape for me, but when the days become incredibly heavy, my mind typically stops me where I am. Journaling, blog posts, and any actual writing stop altogether. The time when I most need words and the act of writing is when the ability leaves me. Maybe I can't stand seeing the reality of what has happened laid out in words. So, all those years have resulted in a series of stops and starts.

Sometime after my mom passed away, I found my way back to a story that I had stopped working on months before. I wish I could tell you the exact moment, what it was that helped me sit down and start. I don't know what, if anything, was different about this story. Why was I able to sit in front of it and add words, sentences, and paragraphs that I couldn't before? But I did. In between paperwork, phone calls to vendors, and emails to lawyers and realtors, I managed to put together sentences. One after another. In November, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) to push myself toward the finish line of a first draft. While I didn't complete it, that finish line is actually in sight. 

During that time, I received critique notes on an earlier book that had been left waiting patiently for me to come back to it. Those notes and a fresh look at the story pushed me to keep going and finalize it. Last week, I started the official querying process for it. 

I still don't know what's changed things. It could be the realization that every year brings terrible along with good and that I'm not the only one it happens to. I can't keep waiting for things to be easier because they never are. Maybe it's that I needed something that was just mine, something good that was moving the time forward, something that would give me distance from the pain. 

Time is short - it's such a cliche, but it's true. 

All I know is that the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. I started journaling again. Some days, I can only manage to write notes: three things I'm grateful for or what would have made a day better. Sometimes, it's full pages of whatever is crowding my mind. But either way, it is moving me forward. I can't believe it's almost a year since one of the worst things happened. It still feels like yesterday. It feels like someone flipped a bunch of pages on the calendar by mistake. I can't slow it down any more than I can stop it.

I can only write one word after the other... for today, that is enough.