Saturday, September 18, 2010

Writer's Market

My aunt used to be a big-time editor in New York City. Unfortunately, it was so long ago that she doesn't have too many contacts left, and the contacts she does have are mostly for nonfiction books. However, she does have lots of good advice. Last time I saw her she suggested joining Writer's Market. Writer's Market is an online resource that you can subscribe to that will give you access to thousands of agents and publishers. It also helps you keep track of the submissions you've sent, gives helpful articles and updates on how to get published, write the best query letter, etc. Last year I bought this HUGE book of agents and publishers for 2009, but of course, print material gets outdated each year. I'm excited about Writer's Market because--as an online resource--gets updated frequently. I'm now in the process of updating my submission list. It'll be nice to have that kind of information all online instead of having to flip through my ratty notebook for all my agent information! Yay for technology!! Now to start all that work of sending out another wave of queries... oh the joy of rejection ( : haha.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Query Revamped

At the suggestion of Albert Strickland, I've significantly shortened my query. Although dear Professor Dooling suggested a long, extended 3 pg. query, Albert said it would be much better to shorten things, as agents and publishers are short on time and probably wouldn't read anything lengthy. I thought that sounded like pretty good advice, especially considering the advice came from one of Albert's "people" who is definitely "in the know." So acting on this advice, I've produced for you my most recent (hopefully) "eye-catching" query....

Dear Agent:

I recently completed my first novel, Keepers of the Flame, the first of three in a trilogy I hope to complete.

In 2008, I graduated from Brigham Young University as a History Major, where my capstone project was Colonial Women: Debunking the Myth of “Oppressed” and “Unrepresented.” I am now a third year law student at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where I am President of the J. Rueben Clark Law Society.

Keepers of the Flame, is an intense political thriller. It follows the lives of the Halls, a powerful U.S. government family, as they are torn apart by politic turmoil rippling through the government. At the heart of the conflict is Elias Clymer, an expert politician with a powerful sway in Congress. Facing little resistance, Elias and other corrupt congressmen scheme to overthrow the United States government; only a few are willing to stand against him. Senator Thomas Hall is one such person. But despite Thomas Hall’s efforts to restore justice in Congress, his efforts are in vain.

Unbeknownst to Thomas, the problem is much closer to home. His oldest son, Marcus Hall, is seeking to establish a place in Elias's new regime. But Marcus’s siblings, Ethan and Vanessa ("Essie") Hall are fighting back. They seek to join a nation-wide, underground movement called the Constitutionalists, whose primary focus is to restore the fundamental values of freedom and liberty. Amidst mysterious deaths and suspicious rumors, the two siblings discover Elias's shocking plan to murder thousands of American lives. In a desperate fight to stop the plan, Ethan and Essie become involved in a fight that will change the very fabric of their lives forever. Like George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, or Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, Keepers of the Flame explores the potential demise of a nation, as a few brave individuals struggle to right the wrongs of a power-hungry government.

In our current political climate, Keepers of the Flame will appeal to a large audience. Unlike many political thrillers, this novel originates in what’s happening today in Washington D.C., where upheaval and scandal are all-too-familiar occurrences. My extensive background in history combined with my current legal education makes a powerfully lethal combination for a political thriller. With my ability to weave history and politics into an exhilarating storyline, Keepers of the Flame will reach past the normal boundaries of genre to every type of booklover.

Enclosed are the first three chapters for your review. The completed work is approximately 100,000 words. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you further.

Most Sincerely,

Julie Tuovi
December 2010 J.D. Candidate
University of Nebraska College of Law

So... what do you think? Would you want to read this book?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Random tid bit

So I like to stress myself out. I do, really! But its not like I do it on purpose... no... its much more sneaky than that. What happens is I fool myself into thinking I can take on the world, Superman style. I basically try to do everything, I mean, life is a buffet baby and I load up my plate! You'd think I would have learned after high school--or college at the very least--that I can't do it all, but no, I still haven't quite got the message. So unfortunately, sometimes trying to find time to write can be difficult. Recently I have zealously guarded Thursday and Friday mornings as my "creative therapy." I don't have class until the afternoon, so I have a couple hours each morning of uninterrupted writing time! Its divine! The hustle and bustle of starting a new semester is finally starting to wind down, so I'm hoping to find more blocks of time to fill with book writing "stuff," but until then, I'm impatiently looking forward to tomorrow morning!!