Writing

I write Middle Grade mostly, but also Young Adult here and there. My favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary. Here is a list of the manuscripts I have written, a little about them, and the stages they’re in:

MS #1

  • My very first book
  • YA contemporary
  • I wrote mostly to see if I could do it
  • I could
  • Now we won’t speak of it again :P

THE BELIEVER (#2)

  • The first book I wrote that I felt could actually be published
  • Started as a YA, but I eventually changed to MG
  • A fantasy about a non-magical girl living in a wizard’s world
  • This is the first book I queried (as a YA, but never as a MG), but got zero bites
  • 71,000 words (too long for MG, I know, that’s one reason I never queried it as a MG)
  • Shelved

THE MYSTIC ROAD (#3)

  • Another one that started as YA and became MG
  • The fist book in an intended trilogy
  • A fantasy about an orphan girl who finds her way at a magical school (it sounds Harry Potter-ish, I know, but it’s really not)
  • 60,000 words
  • Never queried/currently shelved

THE SOURCE CRYSTAL (#4)

  • The first draft of a sequel to THE MYSTIC ROAD
  • 99,000 words (needs massive editing)
  • Also shelved (book 3 in this intended trilogy is on hold until I figure out what to do with this project)

TIME GUARDIAN (#5)

  • YA Science Fiction/Romance (a little steampunk-ish)
  • The genre is hard to nail down on this one, which is probably one reason I had so much trouble when I queried it
  • It’s a retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, about a young clock worker enamored with her co-worker. She just wants to work on clocks, but is instead pulled into the task of uncovering time crimes
  • 78,000 words
  • The second book I queried. This one generated more interest than my first, but was still ultimately rejected
  • Shelved

MESSY (#6)

  • MG contemporary about a girl whose mother is a hoarder
  • This is the third book I queried and the one I got my agent with :)
  • 47,000 words
  • On submission

NO ONE LEFT ON EARTH (#7)

  • MG Science Fiction about a girl on earth who contacts a girl on the moon for help. The problem is there isn’t supposed to be anyone left on earth
  • Previously titled STARLING
  • Epistolary
  • The word count is in major flux because it’s being heavily revised (approximately 55,000-65,000)

SILAS AND THE CYBORG (#8)

  • YA Science Fiction, a gender swapped Beauty and the Beast retelling in space
  • 70,000 words
  • Still being revised

The road is publishing takes a lot of work. Notice I didn’t just write a book and *boom* get published! I’ve written eight books…still not published. The one I have on submission has been in that state for about two years.

I don’t say this to discourage, only to point out that it takes A LOT OF WORK and PATIENCE to get there.

Some query stats that might interest you: I queried three books before getting an agent. I sent out over 90 queries total. My request rate for the first book I queried was 0% (that’s right…nothing). The second book’s request rate was about 10%. The third was about 20%. So you see, I improved over time. The point is the whole process is a learning experience.

The biggest thing I have learned on this journey is no matter what–KEEP WRITING. The more I write, the better I get at it. When I compared my first MS to my latest MS, there is a huge difference in quality. Dreaming is great, but improve by doing.

Lastly, get involved in a writing community of some kind, whether it’s a writing group or on Twitter, etc. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting feedback on your work from beta readers and critique partners. And give back. Be an engaged beta reader and critique partner. There’s a lot that can be learned by reading the work of others.

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