Belated happy new year everyone! Though it had five months since my last update on my blog on the latest, here’s where I am on querying Venom, Chain Reaction and Diplomatic Immunity. I’m still hoping to make this year memorable by making my writing dreams come true, one step at a time for either of them. Like October’s blog post, this post is going to be short and sweet and broken down to a couple of paragraphs since not much is going on, but things are moving up and forward. Yet again, I’ve been busy writing, especially my Nano 2016 manuscript, the Scent of Evil, my first romantic thriller. I hope to finish writing and outlining it as I go along by Camp Nano this spring, eight weeks from here. At this point, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, whether it’ll be part two to my political thriller trilogy, a new idea, or to revamp an old idea or finish my Nano ms with a mininal set goal of 5-15 K. I’ve been also editing my manuscripts and querying a lot to them, while I’ve entered contests for Diplomatic Immunity only and placed Chain Reaction on hold until a later date.
As for the contests, I struck out in Nightmare on Query Street, Dear Lucky Agent for thrillers, while I was short-listed by one editor in Pit2pub16 for Diplomatic Immunity. I’ve also received feedback from two out of four editors and an ediitng offer by the same editor who liked my novel. That was the highlight of the year last fall. Both editors wanted more personalization and emotional depth, which is the same issue I’ve been working on with Venom for over two years, on and off. I’ve also had no luck with #pitmad either and skipped the December contests. All except one, which was a Twitter contest to win a free query critique from an agent (Agent R, I’ll call him), just by tweeting and retweeting his tweet. Not sure if anyone else have done it last month, but I’ve won small victory! (As of this week, I’ve sent it to him and wait for his feedback. It could help me with future contests and queries somewhere along the road. With help from one of my betas who gave me confidence and feedback, I’ve revamped my opening by tweaking it in time for Sun Vs Snow. Once again, I’ve gotten snubbed. So that’s where I am so far with contests as #pitmad in toward the end of the month.
Though conference season have started and yet upon us, I’ll be going to the same one last year to live pitch to agents—two of the same agents I’ve already queried in advance and waiting to hear from them—and try my new manuscript with new agents there. If I finish Chain Reaction’s edits in time, I might do that as well.
As for requests, Agent A who’s been considering Venom for over a year with no further word on the status, I’ve heard back from her after I’ve nudged her from various sources. Overall, I’ve gotten closure from her on Venom and Chain Reaction, since Double Exposure is excluded and put on hold, until I hear back from one of my betas. Though she would’ve given me a R&R back in July 2015 and then passed, (she also passed on CR as well, since she didn’t connect with the former version I suppose), I do have hope with her. Another agent at her agency (Agent X) is reading and reviewing Venom as we speak as I’m waiitng to hear from her this week. I’ve told Agent A in my thankful email, that I would be happy to receive a R&R from Agent X, like she first gave me way back when. I’ve already implemented the changes in chapter one and have done chapter 2 afterwards. Since then, I’ve been starting to work on Agent P’s R&R (self-editing alone with help from my online crit list and not with an editor now), I’ve also received a R&R from a small pub I would call Publisher 3, who’ve upgraded my partial last summer to a full last fall. Though they’ve loved the storyline, they wanted me to work on characterization and dialogue. So that’s what I’ve been working on lately for the past month or so. I also haven’t heard back from Agent M and Agent E yet on my nudge and receiving crickets, even when I’ve nudged them twice. So I’ll keep waiting to hear from them and nudge them in the spring.
As for Chain Reaction, I did lose my partial from Agent N, when she said it wasn’t strong enough or keen enough, and the story felt small. No word yet from Agent W on my partial, not since I’ve nudged her. I’m still working on my soon-to-be belated #pitmad full request for Publisher 7 and hope to send it in to the editor by late spring/early summer and via the queue. I have two betas to help me get through the edits this winter and spring season. Lastly, I’ve received only one full request for Diplomatic Immunity in late fall from Agent R. I haven’t heard from him yet and will be nudging him soon. Nothing yet on that end. With my newest beta for my newest ms, she said it has potential, but due to some storyline flaws, I have to do some tweaks to make it better, like changing locations for part of the story. I hope to finish by late spring and enter it into #pitmad and other contests this spring. Depending on how it does, maybe it could be a bona fide winner for Pitch Wars in September! (My new Nano won’t be ready yet, depending on how I do with edits after I finish writing—it’s over 150K so far.)
That’s it so far. I’ll keep dreaming about my future book cover designs for this year!