Summer on the deck.

Whew!  That was a long break.  But I had a lot to do, and I hate summers in general, so if I had posted anything, it would have come off as grumpy and verbally itchy, and that doesn’t do anyone any good.  Oh, also, there’s a new dog.

But I digress.

So, a lot has happened, I have a lot to announce, and frankly, as I sat down this morning, I was lost as to how to begin.  So, let me focus this post on where we left off, to wit, my new novel.

In short, The Lost City of the Metal Men is complete, and I’ve been querying agents for about four weeks.  Out of my initial five queries, I received one request for a partial manuscript, which is cause for some celebration, since I don’t expect responses for up to three months.

Last week, I sent out five more queries and received one outright rejection.  So, the tally so far, ten queries, one request for a partial, one rejection.  Not too shabby.  I am holding myself to five queries a month, if for no other reason, I don’t want to discover a glaring error in my letter, correct it, and have no one left to send it to.  Also, July and August is a wonky time to query; a lot of people on vacation or whatnot.

I think I mentioned before that my last novel, Solomon’s Archivist, was rejected (or ignored) by forty-two agents over two years.  It was rough laying that book aside and starting something new, but I was determined to make it a learning experience.  Out of those forty-two agents, a handful were interested enough to start up a bit of an e-mail dialogue.  So my first five agents are basically that handful.  A couple moved on to other agencies.  One isn’t accepting any science fiction at the moment, but someone else at the same agency is.

My second set of five agents are the result of research.  A few were mentioned in the blogs of the first five agents.  A few represent authors that I like.  That research gave me more than five agents, but as I said, I’m holding myself to five queries a month.

All of this is to say, I’m being extremely methodical in how I sell my book.  Not that I wasn’t, the last time around, but I feel like the rejections of the last few years have made me smarter.  Hopefully, that’s a trend that will continue (and not just with writing).

I’ll wrap this up by thanking my beta readers: Nate Brown, Derek Noonburg, Maureen Kilkeary, Bob and Jennifer Fritz, and Mark Knight.  I should also thank all my fellow novelists at the Liars Club for listening to me read my query letter and offering me useful advice.  In case you care how it turned out, you can read my pitch under the “Novels” section of this website.