To query or not to query, that is the question

Back when I decided to look into self-publishing, it wasn’t just about maintaining complete control over what I produced. It was to avoid that one, crucial step in obtaining representation in the wild world of publishing.

I hated query letters. Hated them with a passion. One of the biggest things that held me back wasn’t the technical aspect of a query letter. I’ve written a few of them over the years. It was selling myself to the agent. As writers, we expose our very souls each and every time we offer up our writing to the public. To some, this is on par with being forced onstage without any clothes on. To others, it’s a chance to browbeat show others what our story is made of. It’s a precarious balancing act, one that comes with lots and lots of closed doors before one opens. This is the bottom line for publishing. Some just get tired of waiting, or maybe he/she begins to believe hey, maybe his/her skill isn’t worth banking.

My reasons could be distilled to a distinct lack of pride in what I produced. How could I be expected to sell something that a few people enjoyed but couldn’t tell me why? There was also a time when even I had trouble answering that question. Maybe that’s why I clung on to my fanfiction writing; there, I was receiving praise, and praise is like ambrosia to the gods for a writer. All creative types feed off recognition. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with actor Ty Olsson at a paranormal convention in September of 2013. He said that to him, there wasn’t anything greater than hearing people cheer after a play, or meeting fans at cons in order to get that ambrosia in his veins. It’s also somewhat addictive. Then again, who doesn’t enjoy knowing something they created/did touched another person? Isn’t that why we create? To develop a connection with others?

Why am I talking about querying agents now, when I have set myself up as (I think, anyway) an indie publisher? I admit, I haven’t done much in the way of promoting Renegade. I could cite recent life-changing events, my focus turning to other things, my belief that the story isn’t as good as it can be, or lack of know-how, not when I have self-publishing resources at my fingertips. The reason here is I don’t believe I’ve given up on wanting to be traditionally published. Not entirely, anyway. I’m not the same person who excitedly carted off an 800 page plus story to DAW Publishing Group back in 2003, or the one who fired off a few queries for Renegade over the years. I’m not afraid of query letters anymore. I have way more faith in my talent and skill level than ever. I’ve adopted the belief that whether or not I make it in traditional or indie publishing, it’s worth trying. And I do so enjoy a challenge.

This doesn’t mean I am shelving any future plans for Renegade. I am taking a step back from improving on its content (it was driving me batty, and one of the reasons for my hiatus), but it is still available online for the interested. If sci fi isn’t your thing, check out my Scribd.com page. I have recently added a tragic romance piece entitled ‘To Be With You’ to my collection. The synopsis is as follows:

3,000 years ago, Pharaoh Menmaatre lost his beloved wife, Aurelia. Unable to cope with her loss, he makes a bargain with Osiris to be reunited with her in another life. Now reborn as Dante Taylor, the heartsick pharaoh’s search continues. Just as Dante feels he will never find peace, Celia Rourke walks into his life. But now he must decide if he wants Celia for herself, or because she was Aurelia in her past life.

Celia has been haunted by dreams of a man from a time and place not her own. The feelings her dreams inspired find life in Dante. Even as she is drawn to him by some inexplicable force, she questions if her feelings for him are her own or a product of those dreams.

As always, thanks for stopping by! Happy writing!

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