Queries, Self Publishing, Writing

The Query Experiment

At the end of 2021, I was talking to a good friend. She’s been a huge supporter of my writing and did a full creative edit on my very first book, Set It Free. We go way back… about 25 years ago (Yikes!) we did dinner theater together and we’ve stayed good friends ever since. When I first told her I wanted to write, we had a long conversation about how I wanted to publish. Would I pursue an agent, or would I publish independently? I chose to go the Indie route. Not because I didn’t want to face the expected rejections until I find the right agent, I chose it for a few reasons.

  • I wanted full control of my book
  • I wanted to write and publish it ASAP
  • I didn’t want to have wait years to hold it in my hands

There are other reasons, but of course I can’t think of them right now. I’ll add them in as they come to me.

Since I decided to self-publish, I’ve published 5 books, and my 6th book will be out on March 23, 2022. (In all honesty, I’ve published 6 books and my 7th book will be out in March. There was a collaboration in there that isn’t to be spoken of.) It’s been quite a ride! There have been many moments of frustration, impatience, work overload, and of course tears. Lots and lots of tears. At this point I’ve just accepted that it’s all part of the process. Even though I’ve been proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished, there has always been a part of me that wants to be represented by an agent and have my work picked up by a major publishing house. Well, just like I remember in my acting years that the parts weren’t going to come to me, I had to go find them, I am now telling myself the same thing about an agent. It’s time to go find one.

My plan was to start sending out queries at the beginning of 2022. As I’m writing this, it’s now March 2, 2022, and I haven’t done anything yet. Another friend of mine has frequently asked where I am in this process. I told her nowhere. I’m procrastinating, because it’s what I do best as a writer. She challenged me to set aside time every Wednesday to work on it and send at least one a month. I like that idea. It seems doable. Yet here I am, on the first Wednesday of March and instead of querying, I’m blogging.

The thing is, sending a query is not only daunting, but queries are also hard. It’s not like a job resume that you update and upload to Indeed and put it out there into cyberspace and hope for offers. No. You have to tailor each letter to the specifics that each agent wants. It’s a lot of work. It feels like editing. I loathe editing.

I know rejections are part of the process and as my creative editor/dinner theater actor friend likes to say, “The person with the most rejections wins!” Meaning, I can’t get rejected if I’m not trying. Those rejections are badges of honor that I’m putting myself out there in the hopes to find my agent.

So, here we go. Today begins what I’m calling, my “Exquerience”. I’m going to document this journey as I search for an agent and I’m going to share it all. The good, the bad, the ugly, and those rejections. Wish me luck!

Writing

It’s Been Awhile…

I haven’t written much lately… well, let me rephrase that. I haven’t written a blog lately. I know in the past, I’ve chronicled my writing journey, as well as my job interview experience. I don’t think I have the energy to get into what life is like in the job world. Let’s just say I’ve been unemployed since April 2020. More on that later.

I’ve been writing, a lot. If you read my books, you’ll know that I published book 3 in the Heart & Soul series. Through The Storm follows Alexandra Lorraine and Slater Heart as they navigate the scandal of a lifetime. They’re finally together, making up for lost time, and dealing with a media frenzy. I truly love Alexandra and Slater, but I haven’t been writing in the Heart & Soul series lately. More books are to come that follow them through life and introduce new characters, but it’s been put on pause for now. I’m really getting inspired to write other stories. Stand alone novels that have happy endings. My very first novel that is not part of a series is releasing on 2/14/2021. The Art of Zen. It’s an opposites attract love story.

So, what have I been working on for the last year? Well, I finished Zen last February. For a year, it’s been through editing and having people read it who I know I can trust to give me honest feedback. Now I’m ready to share that with you. I’m excited about this one. Like I do with all my books, I fell in love with these characters, and I hope you do, too! Up next is Where We Belong. It’s a friends to lovers story. Two people are brought together by a family tragedy. Through their grief, they rebuild their lives and fall in love.

When I finished writing Where We Belong, I felt like their story wasn’t completely over. In my heart, I knew there was more to it. So, this is now book one in a trilogy. I’m almost finished writing the second book in this trilogy titled, Coming Home. The second book tells the story of a man who returns home and falls in love with someone he knew from the past. They’re both coming out of troubled relationships and form a friendship that turns into love.

I also co-wrote a novella! My first collaboration, and my first novella. It was an interesting experience to learn another writer’s process. It is a holiday story that starts on New Year’s Eve. It’s called The Wish. We’ve gotten some good feedback on it and I’ve learned that people like fast reads. My books are long. The kind that can take either a few weeks, or a snowed-in weekend, to get through. To write something this short was a challenge for me. I’m glad I did it and grateful for the experience.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m finishing up Coming Home, then I need to check in with Alex and Slater and get the fourth book from the Heart & Soul series published so you can all enjoy their journey. It’s titled, Meant To Be. Thanks for reading this post, and make sure to spread the word if you’ve read and liked any of my books!

Until next time,

Brooke