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This just in

I was in the middle of writing a completely different blog post for today, but then


(Translation for non-writers: A literary agent asked to see a synopsis and the first 3 chapters of Twenty-Somewhere. This is a good thing. A very, very good thing.)

Andy’s reply to my ecstatic email:


You are more successful at writing than fishing

Fortunately, that appears to be true.

Man, I feel like someone shot me full of adrenaline. Which would probably be fine if I hadn’t just downed a can of Pepsi too. Now I’m going to be jittery all afternoon…

Jittery and grinning like an idiot.


Things are moving. Up, down, sideways, I don’t know. But they’re going, and that’s exciting!

The evidence:

  1. I am Kiersten’s first Query Week victim guinea pig winner! (Er, no, it wasn’t actually a contest… but whatever.) Today both Kiersten and her agent Michelle Wolfson — and several helpful readers! — gave me feedback on a query letter I’ve been sending out for Twenty-Somewhere. Overall verdict: well-written but vague. So I’ve already taken that feedback, revised the query, and will send it to a few more agents. It’ll be great to see how responses compare to the Before and After versions.
  2. I finished my outline!!! That means I’m ready to start writing my WIP! Well, almost ready. See, I’m going to start writing it — today! today! — but I’ll have to stop at Chapter 3 if I can’t think of a name for one of my male characters. I mean, I guess I can put {Insert Name Here} as a placeholder and do a Find & Replace later. But somehow I think that’s not as fun.
  3. Okay, there is no 3… yet! But hey, how about those Olympics?

No really, how about those Olympics? Is anyone else watching? Who are you rooting for? Do you like how the media turned the Chinese pair skaters Shen and Zhao into a fairytale? I actually did enjoy that, and I cried for them a little when they won gold. (Yes, I am a sap.)

Whas happenin’

Things that are happening:

  1. LOVING Erin Danehy’s young adult steampunk-ish fantasy manuscript. I don’t want to jinx it with any crazy predictions, but it’s good, y’all. Really good. Definitely shelf-worthy, if you catch my drift.
  2. Querying, and thus rejection. Yes, I got my first rejection from an agent today. I was disappointed because she seems like a great agent, but I didn’t take it personally or anything. I just turned around and sent 3 more queries out. That makes a total of 10, which I think is a good “resting place” for now.
  3. Drinking Airborne. Yesterday my lymph nodes started to feel swollen and uncomfortable, so I think I might be battling a cold or something. No fun.
  4. Itching to write! (Note: This is a totally different kind of disease, which I never try to fight.) Last night I took the prologue and first chapter of my young adult supernatural manuscript to my writing group, and they were extremely complimentary and encouraging. It’s such a great feeling, that high you get when you realize that something you’ve written has really pleased people. But! I already put that book aside to work on a different book. And then I put that book aside to work on this new one. And this new one is still in the planning stages! So: I want to write, but it’s not time yet. Boo. Hopefully this weekend I can scratch the itch…

Things that are not happening:

  1. Planning the new book. I mean, it was happening, but I hit a snag. Last night as I was falling asleep, I thought of a huge problem with my new world, and I have yet to solve it. Grr.
  2. Thinking of good blog ideas. Obviously. I keep wanting to talk about the progress I’m making on my new book, but oh yeah, see #1 above. Sigh. Instead I may post the last of the short pieces that I wrote at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, since I haven’t managed to place it into any magazines for publication.
  3. Your face.

All part of the process

Long story short: after a lot of stress and not nearly enough sleep, I turned in the full manuscript of Twenty-Somewhere to St. Martin’s Press on Saturday.

Thus, on Sunday I did nothing but lie on the couch and watch TV. Both on my laptop and on the actual television. Occasionally at the same time. Man, I am such a good bum.

(Side note: I really like the new show Life Unexpected! Well, I’m predisposed to like it because it stars Shiri Appleby from my beloved Roswell. But still, it’s a cute show with lots of potential.)

(Also, Fushigi Yugi is still my favorite anime ever. Mmm, Tamahome…)


I can’t really explain what I felt when I finished preparing the full, and then sent it. Not sadness or emptiness, and not pure joy either, but definitely something… big. Something so big I had a hard time sleeping, and let me tell you, I am a champion sleeper.

I also sent the manuscript to my mom, who said she loved it, and even teared up while reading the last chapter. Folks, that means something. Because my mom? She is not one of those warm fuzzy I-love-everything-you-do moms. She is not afraid to tell me when she thinks something I’m writing is crap. (Which is often.) So, that “big” feeling that kept me up? Yeah, that got even bigger when I realized that I had pleased not only myself, but also my toughest critic.

While I wait to hear back from St. Martin’s, I think I’m going to query agents about Twenty-Somewhere and see if anyone’s interested. I wasn’t planning to originally, since it started as a web series and is thus (a) highly unconventional, and (b) already available online (well, 2/3 of it). But SMP’s interest has me thinking that querying might be worth a shot.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the querying process, it’s like this:

  1. Writer writes Book.
  2. Writer writes query letter about Book, and sends query to agents to see if they want to represent Book (and thus Writer).
  3. Agent says yes.
  4. Agent writes to Editors to see if they want to buy & publish Book.
  5. Editor says yes.
  6. A bunch of stuff happens at the Editor’s publishing house (typesetting, cover design, marketing, etc.) and then VOILA! Book is published. Writer becomes Author. Author, Agent, & Editor make a gabillion dollars off Book and never have to work a day in their lives again! Escalades dipped in gold for everyone!

Or something like that. (Or more likely, this. But even this? Not so likely.)

Okay fine, in reality that almost never happens. And even when it does, it can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 (or 20) years. And there is the potential for failure/rejection at every step. As in, Steps 1-4. And 5. And oh yeah, 6. But still. Doesn’t it sound fun?!

Hello? Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, welcome to the life of a writer. Can you believe this is what I’ve dreamed about since I was 9? Oh silly, silly Kristan.

Are you that somebody?

Note: New Twenty-Somewhere episode on Tuesday. Between my repetitive stress injury, my poopy puppy, and ABNA, it just didn’t happen today.

# # #

Today’s post is brought to you by Aaliyah, and literary agent Nathan Bransford, who asked (and answered): “Can you query if you are an unpublished novelist and your manuscript isn’t finished yet?”

The “correct” answer is of course, no. But I can’t help wondering if the answer for somebody who is very confident, very talented, and very focused, is actually yes.

Because in theory, That Somebody could submit a good query with just an idea. And if a partial were requested from the query, That Somebody could then write the first 30 pages and submit. And if a full were requested from the partial, That Somebody could then write the rest of the manuscript and submit.

It would be rough as heck, but doable.

Then regardless of what happens, That Somebody hasn’t wasted time on an idea and/or manuscript that nobody’s interested in, because That Somebody didn’t write it until an agent was interested. And even if things don’t work out with that agent, it’s likely that another agent will be interested too, so That Somebody can keep querying (and revising in the meantime) until That Somebody gets a contract.

Of all the wannabe writers out there, probably only one in a million could do this successfully, but hey, think of all the time That Somebody could save!

Are you That Somebody?

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