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Query deadline update

Published September 23, 2017 by authorbebedora

After careful deliberations, I have decided to extend my query letter deadline to October 16th. I hemmed and hawed, mad at myself for not sticking to the original plan, but in the end, I knew it needed to happen.

This final edit has been painstakingly slow, and I’ll admit that I’m picking this thing apart waaaaay more than I should be. Second-guessing every little detail has become second nature to me. The moment when you spend LITERALLY six hours trying to decide whether or not a list of somethings should be capitalized or not is the moment you realize things have spiraled out of control and you need to step back. (I walked away, did a twitter poll, asked my trusted friend, and finally came up with an answer. It was to NOT capitalize.)

After this final edit and format is finished, I still have to research my list of agents and cut-and-polish my query letter–which will then be torn apart and put back together again to tailor it to each agent’s specs.

While I’m disappointed in myself for amending the deadline, at least I can say I gave it a try, and was a big enough lady to know when I needed to surrender…for now. I was running out of time, and I didn’t want to send anything that wasn’t completely ready just for the sake of sending it by self-imposed deadline.

Off to edit chapter nine of 38 (plus two interludes and an epilogue), and begin the new countdown to query.

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Query’s Gettin’ Close!

Published September 20, 2017 by authorbebedora

My self-imposed query deadline is October 1st.

That’s the date that I have to send ONE LETTER by.  If another letter doesn’t leave by November, that’s ok.  Will I actually make said deadline?  We’ll see.  If I don’t, I won’t beat myself up over it.  After all, it’s a self-imposed deadline.  I don’t want to send a letter just to send it, especially if I’m not ready with one or more of the components.

I have finished formatting my manuscript for query–side note: that was one of the most stressful things I have ever done.  Putting headers in on MS Word, anyone?  It’s a wonder I still have hair left.  Today I began the final readthrough before I put my manuscript aside and fight the urge to mess with it any more.  After that, I need to research my list of 43 agents/agencies for exact info on what they want in query.

I think I might be insane for trying to make this deadline.

I can honestly admit that this query process absolutely terrifies me.  I know rejection is a real–and expected–thing.  I’m prepared for that.  What’s throwing me is the opposite:  what if I get accepted?  What then?  Contracts.  Compromises.  Publisher’s deadlines.

That last one scares me the most.  I wouldn’t say I’m a turtle writer, but there are times during the year (summer vacation, for the most part) where I get little to no writing done.  My son is home, and before I’m a writer, I’m Mom…and he gets my attention from June to September. It has taken me a little less than two years from first sentence written to cut-and-polished manuscript.  That’s a long time.  That’s four drafts, countless edits, and eight weeks of sitting on my hands waiting for test reader feedback to return.  I’m really worried that if I get picked up, a publisher will want the second and third books to be totally completed much quicker.  It’s just not something I think I can do–and have the end result be what I need it to be.  The other two books in the trilogy are heavily outlined, but I still don’t think I could ever crank one out in a year-ish.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  I have to get picked up first!

So, here’s to all of us who are terrified of querying, spend weeks agonizing over their letters (starting to do that here), and who (hopefully) eventually see success in their adventures.

Did I mention I’m terrified?

Deadlines, schmedlines…

Published December 4, 2016 by authorbebedora

December 31st.

That’s in twenty-eight days, people.  Less than a month to complete the first draft of my novel.  I have (maybe) four chapters and an epilogue left to tackle.  I’m hopeful I can get them all written, but with the holidays and some other stuff going on, it’ll be a photo-finish for sure.  But, I’m up for a challenge any day.

I’ve never given myself a deadline before.  I was hesitant to do it this time around.  But, I realized that if I didn’t, I’d be piddling around on this thing forever with no end in sight.  I  needed something to work for, and once I set that date, it was game on.  There were times where I thought for sure I’d fail and miss the deadline.  (One of those times was just last week when the shit hit the fan in our family.)  But, we persevere, recover and take life by the horns and hang on for dear life.

I’m confident I’ll finish on time.  I’m excited (and terrified) to finish on time.  When it’s done, that means that there’s still a bazillion things left to do.  Edit.  Edit some more.  Edit again.  Send it to my beta.  Edit again.  Then–publish?  OMG I can’t even.  But I’m nothing if not determined.  Bring it on.

Twenty-eight days.

 

 

Inspiration

Published October 14, 2016 by authorbebedora

What inspires you?

For me and my story at-large, it’s the world around me.  I watch television shows about far-off lands and can see my environment unfold before my eyes.  I attended my brother’s wedding, and decided that one of my characters needed to tie the knot.  Walking through a hedge maze this last summer gave me a great idea for a perilous situation for my heroes.

When I was writing fanfic, it was the existing stories and canon.  Don’t like a situation a character was placed in?  Change it and call it AU!  Want to give them a new adventure? Go for it!  Kill someone?  Well…we won’t discuss what I’ve done.  It’s between me and my readers.  *looks innocent*

But what inspired me to write in the first place?

When I was young, I always had my nose in a book.  First it was Ramona and Superfudge.  Then I graduated to Star Wars and Star Trek novels I’d get at my favorite store, Waldenbooks.  Remember that one?  Ahhh…the memories.  By the time I was ten, I had amassed a book collection that rivaled some adults, I’m sure.  My mother always said she never minded spending  money on books, a mantra that I have adopted all through life and continue on with my son.  (Seriously, this kid has a library that would boggle your mind and he’s only eight.)

One day, I decided to go down the fantasy aisle at good ‘ol Waldenbooks and what did I stumble upon?  A book series that would change my life, of course.  I picked up a blue book with a young man, and old monk and an electrified greenish-yellow sword on the cover.  Forging the Darksword became my instant favorite.  I finished it in record time and ran (well, not literally–it was miles away) back to the mall to get the second in the series.  Repeat again with the third.  I couldn’t get enough.  When I was finished with that series, I clamored for more from my new favorite authors, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  I wasn’t disappointed with the selection.  My next conquest would be The Deathgate Cycle, a seven-book series that captured my entire imagination–and then some.  Then came all the Dragonlance novels, and all the incredible off-shoots that it spawned.

I’d like to thank Margaret and Tracy right now for being my ultimate inspiration for becoming a writer.  Even if I didn’t know it at the time, reading their works forged a life-long love of writing.  I’d like to think that, even if I wasn’t realizing it aright then and there, that all the while when I was writing fanfic, it  was because of those fantastic books I had read as a teen and adult.  I saw that I could become a successful writer and bring my ideas to life.  No plotline was too fantastical.  No character was too quirky, no monster too horrible.

When I decided that writing a novel was what I really wanted to do and put my mind to, my husband encouraged me with all his might.  He even said I didn’t have to go back to work if I was going to really do this!  (What a guy!)  I told him once, as we were at the bookstore looking at the fantasy shelves that I hoped to be here one day, looking at my own book.  I even pointed to the space, right next to Margaret Weis’ books, where I hoped mine would be some day.  (Our last names are close alphabetically!)  He smiled and said it would happen.  Then our son farted and ruined the moment.  (Thanks, kid.)

Reading brings out the best in you and your imagination.  It allows you to leave the real world (and let’s face it, right now there’s a lot about it that SUCKS) and enter into a new realm where you can live vicariously through incredible characters and awe-inspiring stories.  When you’re the author, you have control over your environment and, even if it’s just for a while, can leave reality and make the world how you want it to be.  Characters do what you tell them, say what you want them to say.

I watch my son read some of my old fantasy novels, worn and tattered, and I see the wonder in his eyes.  He finishes a chapter and immediately wants to discuss it.  He hogs my computer so he can write his own works.  He tells me he’s proud of me for trying to write a book.

Who knows, maybe something I create will inspire a nerdy teen out there someday to swallow their fear and go for it–just like I did.