Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Week in Writing #95

On Saturday, sat down to send some queries, deciding to go with agents using Online forms. Not sure why, but those seem to be the most forgiving. However, I managed to make the cardinal sin of querying, a mistake. I reused a query letter I had already written in one of the online forms, but didn't realize that it mentioned embedding five pages, when that's not what I was doing. Oops! Sent a follow up form email to the agent who has a contact me form, apologizing for the amateurish error, so we'll see. All the comments I read about him made it sound like he was a super agent, so I guess I'm putting that to the test.

Querying is a process I really hate, since I figure one mistake and I'm toast. Not sure if that's true or not, but I'm sure they're looking for any excuse not to read a query. "Why he's not embedding five pages" might be enough. You never know. We'll see if I get a response.

Started using a different query letter. One agency asked for specific items in their form, so I started to use that query letter. Honestly, I feel like, even though there is help out there, that I'm flying blind when it comes to query letters. I don't have enough time to personalize each one and I haven't read enough books to say "I'm a big fan of _________ __________ whom you represent". Sorry I can't make them feel better about themselves (see prior blog entry for reference.)

Found out two agents I've been thinking about querying were not right. To begin with, one that QueryTracker shows as General Fiction is in fact looking for Children's Fiction, sort of a big difference. Not really right for the murder mystery of Public and Private, so he's off my list. The other seemed to disappear. Not only is she no longer on QueryTracker, but she's no longer on the agency's website. I guess she decided that agenting wasn't the right business for her. Not enough feel good queries I guess.

I'm also giving a couple of agents who never responded to previous queries a second chance. One has ignored me twice as a matter of fact, but hey I'm a glutton for pain or else I wouldn't want to write. I hope they're giving me the same second or third opportunity I'm giving them. Make the most of it, please.

So, the count and the amount. I've not sent out six queries for Public and Private with five active, no rejections, but one Did Not Respond (DNR).

In other writing, the comic book is still moving forward. The colorist is up to page 13, the letterer is up to page 7 and the artist is just about done with his work. Signed the letterer to a contract this week, to make it all official and worked on an addendum to the artist agreement for the cover, though I haven't sent it yet. The reason is our artist sort of disappeared on us for about a week, that is we didn't hear from him after raising the concept, so I didn't want to send it to him without hearing from him. He did reappear Saturday night, so we're getting closer to wrapping that up as well.

I find that the most frustrating thing about the project is the not hearing back from people in a timely manner. I guess that's the part of the whole writing process I find frustrating; when you work with someone else, be it an agent query, or an editor, or a artist, writing to someone and not hearing back within a reasonable amount of time. Love it or hate it, but write me back.

Another case in point is the project I pitched to Comic-Con HQ, back in November. All the communication has been me writing them and then getting a response back with a vague reason why we're not talking. The last flurry was about a month ago and then the promise was after the beta launch we'll talk. Launch made, still no communication. I decided to try and different tact and called the development guy on Friday morning and left him a voicemail as a follow up and trying to set up some more definitive time to meet, even if it's after SDCC, which I'm assuming is the next hurdle to cross for them; the actual launch of the site as a paying SVOD channel. Naturally, there was no response by the end of the day. And I'm sure there are about a million reasons why I didn't, but still isn't it polite business etiquette to return calls?

Managed to get some more editing done on Simple Sins. The end is sort of in sight. I think I've got about 100 pages still to go before I sit down behind the computer with the manuscript. I try to work on it when I get a free moment.

Posted a Saturday morning review on Trophy Unlocked of Up The River (1930) an early John Ford sound film, starring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart in their first credited film performances. I had written this after "Movie Day," my family's unofficial name for the day after Christmas, when we watch four to five movies. I was spurred on to finally publish it when I learned last weekend that the woman who cut my hair was the great granddaughter of the director. Small world. Also wrote a review of Finding Dory, which we saw as a family on Father's Day. Don't want to let an opportunity go by.

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