…here, to be quite honest. Here being, of course, New York. I haven’t really gone anywhere this summer; I spent a handful of days at the beach, and an incredible weekend in Cape Cod, but as far as summer adventures go, it doesn’t get much more exciting than watching Stranger Things in just one sitting. I’m not complaining, mind you; summer has never been my season, and I have been having a great time.
None of this is to say I haven’t been busy. Between work and extracurricular obligations, I haven’t been this swamped since….well, the last time I was this swamped. And yes, unfortunately that means I’ve been terribly neglectful of my dear readers. I haven’t really had much time to blog, which I’ve been kicking myself for, but as I mentioned on my Facebook Author page, it’s not from lack of productivity. I’ve been writing up a storm this summer–it’s just taken me a while to get to a place where I’m finally ready to update people about it.
So, where am I?
The biggest question people have about my writing is my query letter. The ominous shadow that’s been hanging over me through fourteen months and almost fourteen different drafts. This is the letter, as you’ve all heard too many times by now, that is going to convince an agent that my book–the book–is going to be a “thing” one day. A medium “thing” would be nice enough, but a big “thing” would be even better. This letter has to convince my future agent that my book is going to be a big thing. It’s my first, and in many cases, my only impression, and that right there is what’s made these 500 words infinitely harder than the 102,000 words I’m trying to sell.
I’m proud (and incredibly relieveD) to say that, after countless revisions, peer reviews, professional reviews, rewrites, dry spells, and self-inflicted bald spots, that I’m finally finished with my letter. Finally! The 500 (okay, 600, but hopefully no one but me is counting) words are complete, and I’ve finally learned how to talk about my book in a way that I think can get it sold. This is where I stop providing updates, because I’m superstitious, and this part of the process can get tedious (as if it wasn’t already), but I’m excited to let you all know that I can finally, honestly say that I am actively querying agents.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
But 600 words don’t take an entire summer to write (that’s a lie: it’s taken me more than a year to write them), so what else could have possibly kept me away from my followers for so long?
Well, a new book could keep me away, and in fact, that’s exactly what is. I’ve been working on the book for so long that I haven’t really gotten a chance to flex my creative muscles elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book–I love my characters, and I love inhabiting their world with them–but any writer who stays with a protagonist for over a decade is going to want to punch said protagonist in the throat a few times.
I’ve been working on a side project now that is beginning to grow some legs, and I’m really excited about where I’m going to take it. It’s not a continuation of the series I have planned for the book; it’s a completely new story that presents its own challenges and gives me completely new characters to play with.
I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was working on a new novel and will be revealing more sometime soon. This isn’t that revelation–I expect to be sharing a lot of cool details with you all in the coming weeks. But for now, I’ll say that this new book falls into my genre–contemporary urban horror/fantasy–but at the same time, it gives me the opportunity to do things I’ve never done before.
I plan to be finished with this book in the fall, and unlike the book, this one I will not be publishing via the traditional route. Instead, I plan to self-publish online, both to introduce myself to a wider audience, and to whet my appetite for publication. I’m beyond excited by the idea of potentially being published online by my birthday, and I hope that when the time comes, everyone who’s been following my work thus far will read it–and share the shit out of it.
So, there you have it. Being busy isn’t much of an excuse for letting my website go to seed, and I know that if I’m going to be ramping up my efforts, I need to learn how to balance things better. That includes posting more consistently, and it includes, at long last, getting on Twitter (which I actually did! Follow me @StephanWrites). I won’t make any grand proclamations that you’ll be hearing from me on my blog three times a week–I can’t promise that. But I can promise that I’ll do my best. And I can also promise that, whether it’s the announcement of a book deal, or the self-publication of another book, you will be hearing from me soon.