42 years ago astronomers on the most remote human colonies observed a growing dark spot at the edge of the galaxy.
The void initially appeared to be a black hole, of such an immense scale it blocked out the light of an entire sector of space.
This theory held until the exploration vessel Indomitable was dispatched to observe the black hole in person. The Indomitable’s final transmission was received nearly 20 years after humanity’s discovery of the void, but Indomitable never reached the expected location of the void.
They reached it nearly a year early.
Halfway down the galactic spiral the Indomitable experienced a loss of navigation due to a lack of necessary visible stars to plot a course. Their final message, sent hours later as they realized that the void had grown to encompass thousands of light years. Rather than finding a black hole with an immense gravitational pull, they found nothing…
The Indomitable’s final words were a warning to humanity.
The message amounted to a single terror filled word, “Run!”
The Indomitable along with countless stars and planets have simply been swallowed in the spreading darkness. The void is growing faster than the speed of light, and in a matter of years it will reach the outer human colonies in our spiral of the Milky Way galaxy.
In the face of despair, a spark of hope ignited. At the far edge of the galaxy a previously dormant area of space has suddenly awoken.
A pulsing signal is beaming across the galaxy from the once dormant area. There is no data, only the rhythmic pulse of a navigational beacon beckoning all who can hear it away from the void.
Anamnesis © By Kurt DeManche all rights reserved.
1: This weekend a new batch of queries are headed out into the void.
2: I’m working on the second chapter in my new project.
3: Said new project will be getting posted HERE on the blog/on the works page.
4: I’m moving next month so going to be a little spotty for the next couple months.
Going to take a moment to talk about the R word. If you have ever submitted anything for publication and you’re not Steven King you can probably relate.
I attended a Thriller/Mystery writers’ conference this year, Killer Nashville. While I was there I had some great one-on-one time with agents, editors, and other writers. There was one agent that I really clicked with, and after pitching her she was pretty excited about the Liberty series.
I went through all the polish to query her, and with more confidence than usual I sent For Liberty… off for her consideration.
I got back the nicest rejection I have ever gotten. Keep in mind when I wrote my first novel back in college I queried A LOT. So this is by no means my first time getting shot down, but this one was different. This was an agent I know, and someone that I know was interested in the project.
So what went wrong?
The short answer is I pitched the wrong agent. I pitched something out of the agent’s genre interest, and I pitched something a little off-beat. Nothing wrong with any of that, but It’s like asking her to take a chance three times over. Take a chance on a new author with no proven history. Take a chance on representing something in a genre you don’t work in, and to top it all off it’s off-beat so some people will love it and some will hate it.
What did I learn from this?
I learned there is no such thing as a sure-thing in writing. If there was everyone who wants to be a writer would simply use that formula and get their book out there. Writing is deeply personal, and not ever story connect with every reader. PITCH THE RIGHT AGENT THE RIGHT WAY.
There was a solid 24 hour pity-party at the DeManche house, and then I dusted myself off and sat down and went back to work. I wrote. I wanted to let myself be expressive and not weighed down by the recent failure. I wrote the pitch, prologue, and first chapter of a new project, and then I took a break.
For Liberty… is about to go through a whole round of queries, and it’s going to find a home in time. In the mean time, I’m a writer, and I will write. I don’t do it to sell books I do it to give these stories a home and a voice.
So Query Letters are a topic I feel I know a fair amount about.
Back when I was pushing my first novel (It wasn’t good and I don’t blame the agents for the rejections) I thought it was just a matter of getting the query right. Basically I had this crazy idea that if your query was good enough that meant the book would get sold.
It’s not that easy…
You do need a good query. You need it to have the magic-
- Strong hook
- Engaging characters & plot
- Fascinating setting
- Well researched pitch
BUT– you also need to have pages that reflect this AMAZING query you just wrote.
What I mean is if you tell an agent it’s ready for them, and their is a basic typo on page 2… or a name misspelled… or the formatting sucks. What you’re really communicating is that you rushed it, and it don’t care enough to polish it up.
Here is why that matters. The agent needs to love your book as much as you do. They need to be willing to invest their time and energy into selling, promoting, and pushing your book out into the world. They will want a partnership with you to care for this literary love child you’re having together. They will want you to care as much/more than they do about it. THAT CARE IS SHOWN IN THE QUALITY OF THE WORK.
So as you can guess by now I’m polishing, and this post is the latest attempt to procrastinate away from my literary love child.
Back to editing!
It would be impossible to sum up all the lessons learned at Killer Nashville, but I’m going to give it an old college try.
1: There are a lot of different kinds of writers…
- I had the pleasure of meeting a great many writers who were drawing heavily on their own life experience to form the basis of their books. On the flip-side I met a number of writers who have a truly amazing ability to put themselves into the consciousness of another person (Their character) and to channel it like it was their own world.
2: Do what you’re good at…
- From comedy/action/romance/horror there are people who can write it well, and there are those that struggle. The great thing about being in a large group of writers is you learn that there is room for each person to write what they are good at. When you need to branch out there are talented people out there who are more than happy to help!
3: Sometimes you just have to start writing.
- There are ALWAYS reasons not to write. Work, family, distractions, and dare I saw the internet… You can to remember that the magic can’t flow until you start putting letters/words onto the page.
More to come…