Novel, Published Author, Queries, Self Publishing, Writing

Query Time… Take Two!

Welcome to the third blog post that chronicles my query experience… or as I like to call it, My Exquerience! Last time I posted, I wrote about how I was feeling twitchy just thinking about the possibility of sending a query letter. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there no matter what you’re doing! I take those nerves as a good sign. Back in the day… yes, I just said back in the day… when I was doing theater, I was always a bundle of nerves before I got on stage. I would pace, my hands would tremble, and I’d feel sick to my stomach. I’m surprised I never actually got sick before I performed, because that’s how badly the nerves would get me. But every time I stepped on that stage, all those nerves melted away and turned into energy for a good performance. Over time, I took those nerves to be a good thing. The rare times I felt chill before I went on stage, it wasn’t a stellar performance. So, I’m embracing my twitchiness.

Ok, I know I just recapped my last post, so I’ll move on. The book I was going to query was The Art of Zen. My first standalone novel. Well, I started looking at the query form, and it requests word count. In my research, all agents request word count. I got twitchy again. Zen is a long novel. Really long. Research says that a debut novel should only be 80,000 to 100,000 words. Well, even though Zen is not my debut novel, it would probably be considered a debut because I’ve never been traditionally published.

I pondered the situation and reached out to a few friends. Should I fudge the wordcount in the hopes that an agent will request the entire manuscript and fall in love with it? Outright lie? Or should I tell them the honest truth and hope they give me a chance? I knew what the right thing was, and that’s what I was told. Tell the truth. There’s no sense in lying when you’re trying to build a potential relationship with someone. I get it… and I felt guilty for even thinking of lying. So, if you happen to be reading this and you’re a literary agent, I apologize. I’m only human.

The dilemma is that Zen is over 200,000 words. Yup, you read that right. I write big books, and I cannot lie! (You rapped that, didn’t you?) After a long discussion with my editor, here’s what I came up with. I’m going to reread The Art of Zen and turn it into two books. Yay! More time with Tia and Spencer. I’m also going to re-edit my baby, Set It Free, and put that on my “To Query” list. In the meantime, I’m going to query Where We Belong, since it’s about half the size of Zen. It’s also releasing on March 23rd, so make sure to check it out!

Yesterday, I was supposed to work on my query for Where We Belong, but I hit a snag uploading the cover. I finally got it uploaded last night and it should be good to go. Now I can focus on shouting it out, and on reworking my query letter.

It’s a lot of work, and a total labor of love. But guess what? I love it! I’m in the midst of writing the third book in the Where We Belong trilogy. I just love this group of characters and I can’t wait to share them with all of you!

Thanks for reading, and for joining me on My Exquerience!

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