Friday, July 9, 2010

A Pretty Good Writing Week

It's been a pretty decent week on the writing front. Back on Monday, as I was standing in line at Foxwoods with my wife waiting to check in on our little two-day mini-vacation, I received an email from one of the top-tier literary agents on my wish-list. I had queried her a couple of months ago regarding my thriller, THE LONELY MILE, and she got back to me requesting a synopsis and a partial!

In this particular case, she wants to see the first 75 pages of the manuscript and if she likes what she sees - meaning she believes the writing is solid, the story is good, the characters are real, the suspense is sustainable and the book is sellable in today's market (Wow, the odds really are stacked against me) - if all that happens, then her next step would be to request the entire manuscript.

Then, if she still believes all of the above is true, and if the story is not too similar to a book from an author she already represents, an offer of representation would follow.

I'm not going to name names unless and until she offers to represent me. Obviously, this is only the first step in a long process and, realistically, representation remains a longshot for this relatively unknown author, but this agent is the real deal, repping more than one household name in the thriller genre, and it would be less than accurate to say I wasn't excited beyond belief that she wants to read a partial of THE LONELY MILE, which I believe is my best work to date.

Then this morning, within the span of a couple of hours, I received two happy emails:

The first was from the editor of Twisted Dreams Magazine, a quarterly dark fiction publication offering both print and electronic issues. My short story, "Under an October Moon" has been accepted for publication in the Fall 2010 issue, which will be available in October. One of my previous stories, "The Bridal Veil," was featured in the Summer 2009 issue and I absolutely loved the magazine, both for the quality of its fiction and the circulation it has achieved. I'm very excited to see this story in print!

The second was from the acquisitions editor of Dark Quest Books, a small, independent publisher of horror, among other things, located in New Jersey. Dark Quest publishes in both print and electronic formats, and I had queried them a couple of months ago regarding my paranormal horror novel, PASKAGANKEE. Dark Quest has requested a full synopsis and a partial, in this case the first five chapters!

The process with Dark Quest would more or less mirror the process with the literary agent I mentioned above. If they like what they read in the synopsis, and believe the sample I send is high quality and would fit their list of titles, then they would request the entire manuscript. If after that they still believe the novel would sell, they would offer a contract. So, this is the beginning of a lengthy process as well, but you can't finish the trip unless you take the first step, right?

Things seem to happen in bunches, and this week was really a good example of that.


DarcĂ­a Helle said...

Congratulations on all 3 of your giant steps forward! Just getting beyond a query letter with any agent is huge. Sounds like this is your year to soar!

Al Leverone said...

Hi Darcia and thanks a lot! As an author, you know how hard it is sometimes to get ANY good news to hang your hat on, so I was very excited, to say the least, but a partial is still a long way from an offer of representation...we'll see what happens; in the meatime, keep writing!