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Welcome to another Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! To sign up for the Group yourself, join in on the fun and receive all the wonderful support, go here. The awesome co-hosts for the February 5 posting of the IWSG are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes, Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson! Stop by their blogs and offer a thank-you for today.

The optional question for today was: has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it? I can’t say a single work of art has inspired one specific story for me, so today I’m going to REBEL and go OFF TANGENT and float OUT TO SEA.

This month my biggest insecurity is the Query Ship, as it sets sail again. In batches of three, my latest begging letter will be heading out to places unknown, trying to lure me in an agent. In honor of the maiden voyage of my completed manuscript, I have decided to start the journey with a nautical theme. Because why not?

This will be the fifth completed book I query. As of now I’m sitting at a 50-60% rejection rate (I like to think of them as ‘ships sunk while in pursuit of glory’). My voyages so far:

  • 40K word historical romance, my first effort, rejected over and over for being too boring. That one’s back in the bin waiting for me to add *excitement*.
  • 20K taboo romance novella, accepted by small eBook publisher eXtasy Books, published 2018
  • 60K new adult romance with paranormal elements, rejected without even one manuscript request. Also binned until I can get a professional editor look at it and point out what I’m doing wrong.
  • 30K taboo romance novella, accepted by eXtasy Books & published 2018.
here be monsters

Here be monsters (if you define monsters as a vicious cycle of hope and rejection, which I totally do.)

This latest effort sits at about 60K and it’s a bit of an enemies to lovers with a secret cinnamon roll supervillain (Bane) and a quietly heroic sidekick (Michaela). It’s already been through one round of professional edits, which were gently and expertly delivered by the wonderful Jen Graybeal. Seriously, she caught so many issues, saved me from so much embarrassment, and had fantastically useful ideas. Go see her if you’re looking for an editor.

The good ship That Wind is the Sound of Your Ego Deflating will be my home for the voyage.

mark watney gif

Yeah, querying a finished book feels a lot like this

Captain Optimism will be navigating, with First Mate Butareyou’Sure at the helm. Various crew members will come and go, I’m sure, including Self Doubt, Confidence, Fear, Hope, Stubborn, Anguish, and Bob. (Bob is there for the comic relief, and we are going to need him.) If things go according to plan, Self Doubt and Anguish will jump ship in the Bermudas and live on the beach making straw bags for tourists while I sail on to success.

I anticipate smooth sailing for about two months, after which the agents will have had time to actually read my query letter. After that six to eight weeks I will hit Rejections Reef and be stranded for a while. 

We’ll be stuck on the Reef for months but don’t worry, I don’t anticipate any desperate drinking of urine, or cannibalism. I’ve had lots of time to store up the provisions of grit just so that doesn’t happen. The onboard menu will include equal amounts baseless enthusiasm, stubbornness, profanity, revisions, and alcohol.

Although I’m hitting this with a healthy dose of sarcasm, I really am excited (and nervous) to launch. In a way, it’s exhilarating. Getting rejected makes me want to work that much harder so I don’t get rejected next time. I don’t intend to live on Rejections Reef forever.

If you’re in the process of querying, make sure to leave me a comment about how it’s going! We’re on this daunting voyage together.

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