Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Week in Writing #348 - Query Form Questions

Hope this finds everyone writing and staying safe.

I want to start off by giving myself credit for sending out a new query this week. I know it doesn't sound like much but it is my least favorite part of the writing process. So that's five out and so far no rejections but that doesn't mean anything anymore. Rejections are now less an email but the time running out, so maybe I've been rejected already and just don't know it.

The big trend now is to do your queries online using a form. I've found that with some minor changes the form doesn't change much between agencies. In the boxes on the form, they want to know the basic information, such as contact info, the name of your book, the genre, the word count, a short synopsis, a bio, and maybe some pages. These are the basics of a query letter. What gets me, is that one of the buckets they want you to fill in is the "query letter." I'm not sure what to put in this part. Do I put in the letter I would have sent through email, which would include the name of the book, the genre, a word count, a short synopsis, a bio, and my contact information? That sort of seems like overkill. I want to say it's like a musical artist repeating a song in the encore of the show. I did put in a really condensed version of what would have been my query letter but it seemed sort of gutless if you know what I mean. Well, we'll find out, maybe, if it was the right thing or not. There is no way to know that for sure unless an agent points it out specifically.

Well, that wasn't the only thing I worked on this week, so I think it's enough about that.

Last week, I wrote wondering how we were going to follow our interview of John Barber on OAPS. Well, we decided to get back to our roots and did a deep dive on one page of the upcoming issue, #11, What's in a Name? Part 2. While it may seem like we ad-lib the show, it was all scripted out and the images had to be picked out individually ahead of time. That's sort of what I worked on Wednesday night. It was about 1000+ words so that was my writing goal for the day. Paul reviewed and edited the script on Thursday. You can watch how we did for the next two weeks on or you can listen to it at

I purposefully avoided writing a review this week. I honestly didn't feel I had the energy on Saturday night to do one. Also, I thought it was a good idea to break things up. So, instead of drain the DVR Saturday, we watched MST3K's take on Invasion USA and a good time was had by all. Except for the Mystery Science Theater 3000's movie, I wouldn't know how to review one of their send-ups.

But there were other reviews on Trophy Unlocked. On Wednesday, it was a review of the video game Fuse by Trevor and on Saturday, it was the film Tomb Raider written by Paul. Sunday, we had a special review of Mortal Kombat (2021), which came out on Friday. That review was written by Paul.

Somewhere in the mix, I did manage to do some work on Skylar but as always, it never seems to be enough. I don't mean to ever downplay that work but it always seems like the one thing I fit into the mix rather than the main focus of the week.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Week in Writing #347 - What Next?

Hope everyone is staying safe and writing.

Have you ever had a moment when you've done something really big and then realize you're going to have to think of something to do next week? On the Air with Powers Squared, we had the biggest guest we've had on the show, John Barber, the Editor-in-Chief at IDW, and our longest show clocking in at about 90 minutes.

John is someone we've known for about a decade, mostly through conventions, but he was nice enough to give us the opportunity to be on our show. We didn't think we'd have another chance so we asked him everything we could about his career. He started out doing webcomics and has worked at Marvel as well as IDW. He was very gracious with his time. I encourage you to check it out. Currently, the audio is available on several platforms, but you can listen to it on our website,

Now, we have to come up with something for next Friday. Can't top that but we'll do the best we can. I'm guessing we'll do something closer to the original intention of the show, which was to provide a behind-the-scenes look at Powers Squared. Stay tuned.

While we're on the subject of Powers Squared, please allow me to discuss a promotion we're running. One of the platforms we have it on is GlobalComix. Unlike other digital platforms like ComiXology there is no app to download. Well, anyway, on GlobalComix, we're offering the first three issues of Powers Squared for FREE! If you've been dragging your feet about reading it, now is the time. You can check out the offer at The hope is after the first three you'll want to read more and we might make some money. Talk about pipedream.

We're still waiting to hear back from ComiXology on Issue #11, so we haven't set a release date just yet.

I had another review go up on Trophy Unlocked this Saturday, Tomorrow is Forever (1946). The week prior was Hitman week #2 with Paul's reviews running Monday through Friday in this order: Hitman: Codename 47Hitman 2: Silent AssassinHitman: ContractsHitman: Blood Money; and Hitman: AbsolutionI did write a new one this weekend, Wife vs. Secretary (1936). No idea when it will go up but as always, I'll let you know when it does.

I did do a new query this week for Broken People. I decided to mix things up and sent it to an agent in England. I know, long shot but if I am rejected it will be interesting to compare ones from there to ones from here. I'll try to do a new one this week. I still need to write a new hook, I guess, based on my last rejection. You really hope they go on the writing but I think it's any excuse not to actually read them. But hey that's just my opinion.

In between everything, I have been doing more writing on Skylar. I'm still going through my routine of editing to get back to where I left off. I'm starting to think about making a change in the plotting of the story itself, something to raise the stakes.

I'm not sure where you are with the COVID vaccine but I'm scheduled to get my first shot on Tuesday morning. Last time I got a vaccine shot, about a year or so ago, it wiped me out the next day. So we'll see and hope for the best. But I'm encouraging you if you get a chance to get one that you do it. We all want to continue writing, don't we?

Well, that does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

A Week in Writing #346 - Rejection Comes at All Hours

Hope everyone is staying safe and writing.

Has this happened to you? I was sort of feeling really tired on Monday night. After realizing that I wasn't going to be able to do any deep thinking on the review for The Guardsman (1931) that I was writing I happened to take a look at social media and finally my email. There, I found a rejection for Broken People from the agent I queried about three weeks before. Not a great way to finish the evening. It came in at 9:24 pm my time which means the agent either stayed up late to ruin my night or scheduled the email; I'm thinking the latter.

It should come as no surprise that the email seems like a form with BROKEN PEOPLE inserted in all CAPS, as it was about the hook rather than the writing. I will work on the hook before I send the next query. While this was a disappointment it is also why I didn't want to wallpaper all the agents with my query at one time. Better to try to learn from one mistake before moving forward.

If you're concerned, I did finish that review of The Guardsman, as well as one for Mank and another for The Last Flight (1931). The first and last of these have not been scheduled but Mank was released earlier today. While we're on the subject of Trophy Unlocked, this was Resistance Week on the blog with Trevor's review of Resistance: Fall of Man on Monday, Resistance 2 on Wednesday, and Resistance 3 on Friday. For a change of pace, my review of Rationing (1944) was the Saturday Morning Review.

On this week's On the Air with Powers Squared podcast, we had the entire creative team on the show. It was great to catch up with everyone and to let them know what we had been working on. One of them was, after talking to Eric Tapper at GlobalComix, we made the first three issues of Powers Squared free on their service. If you've been hesitating about reading it, you can't beat free. Check it out at

Our guest next week is scheduled to be John Barber, the Editor-in-Chief at IDW. It's a long story that we'll get to on the show but you're invited to watch at at 6 pm PDT next Friday.

In other Powers Squared news, we submitted Issue #11 to ComiXology, so the release is coming soon. We also did an unboxing video on Twitch this morning. You can watch us unbox proofs of Issue #11 and #12 at Upon reviewing of the proofs we did have some comments for one of the suppliers, so I had to write to them as well.

With Skylar, I made some more changes, which I hope will move the plot along a little faster. I was inspired to rewrite the first meeting between the title character and protagonist J.D. Barrister, a P.I. I'm setting it in a post-COVID world which means I may have to adjust the timeline as things unfold. Right now I picture it being Fall but I hope it's sooner than that.

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

A Week in Writing #345 - When Things Don't Go As Planned

Hope everyone is staying safe and writing.

Let's start with what didn't go as planned. I did not send out a new query this week, even though I said I would. Now, I don't have a great, that is a meaningful, excuse for not doing it. I watched a movie that night, Godzilla vs. Kong, at home, and wrote a review for it instead of sending out a query. When I wrote out my plan for the week, I didn't take this into account.

The next day, I actually had the day off from work and we watched another movie, Zack Snyder's Justice League, and then The Peanuts Movie that night. Friday night is not really a writing night for me anyway. I'm hoping to make good this week, though I am planning on watching Mank on Thursday night, so no promises.

This leads nicely into Trophy Unlocked. During the week we were leading up to the Godzilla movie with a couple of reviews, including Paul's review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Trevor's April Fool's but very real review of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) (American Cut). My review of Godzilla vs. Kong was the Saturday Morning review and Paul's review of the four-hour Justice League went up today.

We watched a movie last night, The Guardman (1931) but I haven't started a review of it yet. I was too tired to do it and had other work to do today to get to it.

So, I didn't send my query for Broken People but I did do some work on Skylar. Currently, I'm still going back through it, making changes as a sort of running start to continue writing the story. A couple of changes here and there. I'm liking having changed the description of the Skylar character. I think it makes it better. I did get through a couple of chapters this week, so I am making progress there.

On Powers Squared, we did receive new pencils from our artist, new completed pages from our letterer, and newly colored pages as well. So a lot of reviewing and comments. Funny how busy things can get with the book all at once. We did discover one thing that needed to be changed. We didn't catch it until after the letterer finished, so sort of a re-do for everyone. Something minor but it's the little things sometimes that seem to matter the most.

This week, we had a new guest on On the Air with Powers Squared, Jon Dexter contacted us about being on the show, the first one to ask, so we couldn't say no. He has a Kickstarter going on right now. You can listen to the podcast at And you can support his Kickstarter if you want at

Well, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.