I have finished the revision of my latest novel. I've made changes; I've tweaked it; I've slashed and rewritten. I think it's ready.
Grace proofread it for me and kept nudging me to finish. On Sunday, I spent the day at Caribou Coffee revising before handing over the final pages. Grace plopped on her bed and read the rest. She came to me with a big hug and pronounced it "Good."
Finishing the manuscript and the editing is the easy part compared to what comes next. Now, I must begin sending it out to agents, in hopes that someone will say, "Yes! I love this story." And then, if an agent says yes, that agent will need to convince a publishing company "This is just what I need." It will be edited and formatted. Someone will design a cover and I'll get to write a page of acknowledgements and thank yous. And someday in a year or so, I'll find it on a shelf in a book store or find it on Amazon so I can download it.
Right now, I feel hopeful. I love the concept of the book and I've worked on my writing.
Sending this book off feels like the long ago memory of falling in love, that hopeful rise in my chest, but the fear that my hopes might be dashed. It's like raising a toddler and then dropping him off for his first day of kindergarten. Once he walks away, he's on his own. I can't be there to coach him or cheer for him.
I feel like I'll jinx myself if I'm overconfident. But all the positive thinking books remind me to imagine what I want to happen. I want my book to get published. I'm envisioning it.
I created this book cover to print out and post on my dream board.
I've spent the past few days thinking about how to describe the book to agents. It doesn't matter how good the book is if I can't hook the agent with my query letter.
I haven't sent out any letters yet, Grace and Earl are mulling over my crucial paragraph. But I have sent my website designer a blurb and an excerpt to the novel That you can read here. Take a look.
So far, here's the paragraph for my query letter.
Jobless but optimistic, Fia Randolph spends her days in Columbus, Ohio, wishing away the steadily increasing pile of bills on the kitchen table. She fills her days corralling her 14-year-old boy-girl twins and appeasing her husband Grayson until a crackly, trans-Atlantic call from her great Uncle Martin in France breaks the monotony. He begs her to relieve him and his French wife Lucie from the hassle of running their bed & breakfast in Provence. Left without instructions and limited language skills, Fia works to keep the bed & breakfast afloat until she discovers the 60-year old secret that has haunted her uncle since WWII. Swept into a world of mystery and intrigue, Fia must find a way to clear her uncle’s guilty conscience, while keeping herself and her family safe from those who would steal the secret for themselves – at any cost.
What do you think? Suggestions? Confusion? I'd love your input.
Maybe soon you'll see my book on First Paragraph Tuesdays because someone is reading and reviewing it.