Dec. 19th, 2007 05:39 pm
cathschaffstump: (substance)
I may yet write tonight, but for a day that was supposed to be my first day of vacation, I've had an EKG, a blood test, a CT scan, and an ultrasound. I am certified blood clot free, however. If you want more boring details of this, and other testing, you can come over to [ profile] awelkin. So, I'd like to rest up a bit from my hectic day, and then hop on the writing express. Tomorrow I have a HIBA scan (more guts checking) and around that, I'll probably hang out at coffee shops and write.


Meanwhile, I'm weighing in to log my two newest rejections: Caitlin Blasdell of Liz Dawson and Kate Menick of Howard Morheim. While Caitlin's letter was impersonal, it was polite. Kate's was similar, although personal.

Regrettably, no new progress to report today.



Dec. 18th, 2007 10:36 am
cathschaffstump: (isis)
It's been a while, since I've been wrapped up in rewriting land, and won't be actively circulating until that's done (with the exception of getting a story out to Wheatland AFTER I get my Grammar Class ready to go for next semester.), but just received a rejection from Firebrand Literary.

Yeah! I feel part of the writerverse again. :)

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Well, Mistoreth's Eyes came back rejected from Apex and Abyss.

The comments are fun.

I wish you the best success in placing your story elsewhere, and hope to
see more of your work.

The first few sentences are quite lyrical, but the last sentence of the
first paragraph is unfortunately hilarious and breaks that illusion
(forget for a moment that The Farmer's Wife is an inn, and read the
sentence with the title as regular words).

After that, the feel of the piece changes -- it's no longer the poetic
piece it started as, so this needs some revision.

I did go back and read that, and yup, the name of the inn will have to change. Oh dear.

You know, when I wrote the first piece, it was a river. Then, I revised it into something else. Sometimes if you try to turn a piece into something it isn't, you can break the original spirit of the piece.

Well. Won't be coming back to that one anytime soon. I've got a lot to do before I'll have time to play with that again.


As to Substance, I've whacked out about 7000 words. Some of that hurt, but it wasn't exactly related to the main story. No more Welkins Menagerie scene. No more Hamwich family scene. No more warm and fuzzy Klarion family scenes. I liked them, but I don't think they need to be in there. Missing them doesn't detract from the story. You still get the idea of the piece with all those scenes off camera, and the characters still exhibit those qualities.

What this does mean, though, is I probably will go a little further with my original source material, and rewrite the Stephan unbound scenes. Stay tuned. Because I've whacked 7000 words out of the first six chapters, and I don't know how much more I'll whack out of the remaining ones.

At any rate, I've whacked through chapter six. I'll continue whacking, add a couple more relevant scenes for the ending, and then read things with a roller coaster meter to make sure the action is rising.

And if it's rejected again, well, we're no farther behind than we were before.

Time for Christmas decorating.

cathschaffstump: (substance)

Tried to send Sister Night, Sister Moon to Drollerie Press, but their submission address and their webmaster address do not work. Any intelligence out there?

SNSM may have to wait for the Polyphony submission only...


ETA: I found their live journal address, and their address there seems to not bounce. That address is

editor @ drolleriepress. com

So, that's off. One more submission to send out for it in December.

ETA: Received rejection from Tamar Ellen Rydzinski of Laura Dail. Just keeping track.
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
And now...

Rejection from Denise Shannon.

[ profile] sonyamsipes is sending a contract soon for Hulk Hercules.

And this:

I read 130 pages or so of your book. There is definitely something compelling about these two boys who are children, but speak like grown men. as well as the curse, demons in the form of animals, and the dark tone that pervades the whole story. But for me, it was a bit plodding, and I'm afraid young readers would find it even more so. Unless you can move things along a bit more quickly, I'm afraid it's a pass.

Followed by this from me:

I usually don't ask this question, but, given the unless statement in
your message about the pacing, I wonder if you would be interested in
seeing a faster paced rewrite of it? If you are, I'd be happy to send
it again after tweaking it a bit.

Followed by this:

I am definitely open to reading a revised version. As I said, there were
certain aspects to the book that I found compelling. So, feel free to send
it to me when you are finished.


This changes a lot. I'll finish and send off Sister Night, Sister Moon, then get back in the saddle with Substance of Shadows. This agent is worth courting, given her agency and connections. This is VERY good news. Not necessarily the easiest or the best news, but good news. I think it may sound familiar to many of you who have landed an agent, especially [ profile] frost_light. I consider this a rock moving up the furthest I've ever had it up the hill. At any rate, good news I think.

At the same time, there's the Hulk Hercules book, so soon it may look like I have plenty of writing to do in my spare time.

I'm putting off plans to send out more queries until after the revision of Substance is done and I've sent it back to Agent A. Agent B is still out there with a partial.

Keep taking rice cakes and sake to the gods of publishing. It seems to be working. And send me A LOT of caffeine, 'cause I still gots the day job, so I'll need energy.


PS Will talk about Fantasy Matters some too. It was very, very good, and I got to see some cool people. I could go to conferences like that every weekend, but I would turn into a well-educated sleepy zeppelin.
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Today out to William Reiss of John Hawkins and Associates, Jenoyne Adams and James Levine of Levine Greenberg (online form, so you get everyone), and Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson, and Lerner. Now, must finish getting partial out to Agent B.

Next week, I begin the round of AAR agents who disprefer email.

Tonight: actual writing. Be there or be square. I'll be there and be square.


ETA: Already rejected from William Reiss!
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Just received rejection from Daniel Lazar via his assistant.

Sent out another 5 queries: Ted Malawer of Firebrand, Tamar Ellman Rydzinski of Laura Dail, Kate Menik of Howard Morhaim, Shana Cohen of Stuart Krichevsky, and Russell Galen of Scovil Chichak Galen.

Whew. What a day. Work. 'Nuf said.

cathschaffstump: (Default)
Good night, Jessica Regel. Thank you for the fast reply. Added Diane Shannon to the list of out there.

[ profile] ilona_andrews, thank you also for the fast reply.

Tonight: planning and plotting something new.

Good luck, NaNoers on NaNo Eve! Don't forget to leave your stockings out for data sticks!

cathschaffstump: (substance)
I wrote to Nathan Bransford just to get it out of the way. I had my rejection in hand in five minutes. As I mentioned, I expected one from him, and one from Ellenberg, if I get a reply from Ellenberg in two weeks at all. BTW, [ profile] manzabar, I forgot to mention that Ellenberg is John Scalzi's agent. I know how you feel about him!

I don't necessarily expect a rejection from my next query, Kathleen Bransford, who is both a fantasy and a young adult agent. I feel my chances are more on an even keel there. Those who have corresponded with her have good things to say.


You know, what is interesting about using a tool like Query Tracker is that you really can research agents thoroughly, and since I'm not approaching this from a desperation angle (I'm determined to find an agent with a good fit) I've easily ruled out agents that have been rude to others often, weird, philosophically unaligned (can you see Substance being represented by a fundamentalist Christian?), or who aren't shopping for my genre.

I would like an agent, but not at any cost. It's like considering a hire from this angle as well. If I get a bad vibe, or a place doesn't feel suitable, I'm not hooking up.


The slush pile is hardly a reality yet. I've searched and found 216 agents. Thirty of them do not accept unreferred writers. That gives me 186, of which I've discarded 5 and queried 9. Two are still out there. Seven are nos. That gives me a whole 172 agents left to query. That could keep me busy for a bit.

So, the plan is first AAR/email agents. Then AAR/snail mail. Why? Ease, pretty much. I'd also like an ecologically friendly work place if I can get it. Then nonAAR/email. Then nonAAR/snail mail. Pretty straightforward.

Will I do the slush pile if all this comes to naught? Realistically, all could come to naught. I probably will. I could sit on the manuscript, or I could try for the longshot. I'll have the rest of my life to sit on the manuscript, and if I have a book deal in hand, it might leverage an agent.

All right. Enough of this for today. Back to the students, the emails, and the planning.


(to quote Donkey from Shrek: Pick me! Pick me!)
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Good bye to Stephen Barbara, who thought I had a good query letter, but that the project was wrong.

Hello to Ethan Ellenberg. I will wait until Halloween for Mr. Ellenberg, because if I haven't heard in that 2 week period, I won't.

Next up: Nathan Bransford.

Earnestly, I don't expect Ellenberg or Bransford. They are very popular and get a ton of submissions. But, you gotta knock on the doors, right?

Ooookay. Dinner, papers for tomorrow, and a chapter of actual editing. Seriously.

BTW, this:

has pretty much eliminated my need to do a big list of agents. While I'll still look through Agent Query and Preditors and Editors, this service found me 216 agents to research AND helps me keep track of my queries. I will, as soon as I get the chance, send them $25 dollars to support the site. I could do it for free, but then I'd be a lowlife, and that wouldn't be cool.

At least email makes the whole query/rejection process so much faster. Remember kids, just because it's getting rejected doesn't mean it's not good. It means a lot of things, but it doesn't mean that.

cathschaffstump: (Default)
Fast turn over on the rejection. She did not feel it was the right project for her. I'll get this out again to someone else shortly, maybe this afternoon.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Received rejection from Kristen Nelson of the Nelson Agency. That's 3. Two requests for partial.

Next up: Maya Rock of Writer's House. Maya is very well affiliated, even if she's not in AAR yet. However, most of the agents she works with are, and I'm convinced it's a matter of time for her.

More about Maya here:

Just gotta keep going! It stings, and I can sure see why people quit. Rejection is no fun as a lifestyle, is it? :D

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
[ profile] anyabast, you posted somewhere in response to me, and mindless girl (yours truly) deleted lj's notification message in gmail quite by mistake. Can you point me in the right direction?


Rachel Vater sent me a very courteous not interested. That was fast! She did help me to find a mistake in my submission process: she thought the story was high fantasy, which she's not interested in. Now my query includes the words "contemporary fantasy" to avoid future confusion.

Just sent a query off to Kristen Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency in Denver. If this rate of return keeps up, I should get my rejection from her before the week's out. :P

Here's my favorite nice thing from Rachel's letter. I think it's good enough to be encouraging to all you fledlings out there!

Just because a project isn’t quite right for me doesn’t mean the right agent isn’t just around the corner. I wish you the best of luck with all your writing endeavors and in the querying and submission process. Persistence pays off, so don’t give up!

Agents are nice people, aren't they?

Don't give up out there, guys!!!

cathschaffstump: (substance)
So, to avoid being coy.

Like so many people, I sent chapters of my novel Substance of Shadows to [ profile] nephele during the back to school YA offer in her livejournal.

I made the first cut. I was asked to submit three chapters. I wanted to wait for the rest of the story and be discreet before I told all of you what was up.

Today I found out that she wishes to pursue the novel no further. To be expected. Come on, she was the first agent I applied to immediately after finishing the novel. THAT was highly unlikely.

Good things? "You have an interesting premise and an eye for detail." However, she didn't love it enough to pursue it for her list. And that's what it's like out there. :) Nice comments, but not quite there.

Undaunted, we continue, still working on step one of a long journey. But tonight, I think I'll check papers and clean my kitchen. My pace has been pretty mad as of late, and I'm going to take a mental break.

I owe the contest. I made many strides in a short time, just in case she wanted the rest. Now, I can finish my oral read through, put in a few more of Team Proofread's suggestions, and get on to the next agents on the list. Soon. Just not tonight.

Bucking up,
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Mistoreth's Eyes has been returned by Cat Scratch Press.

Positive feedback: Your tale definitely had the darker feel that I was looking for, but it lacked the classic elements that make a story into a Gothic Romance. Keep subbing this one, though -- there is a home for it out there, I am confident of that.

Only Blood is Thicker Than Water remains alive in the Wiscon submission pool. I don't think I'll be hearing on that one anytime soon, as David is doing some editing, so it will sit in a slush pile for a while. That's pretty much my submissions since May accounted for, then.

I will need to find a market for Mistoreth's Eyes eventually. It's a novella, so I'll have to keep my eyes open. If any of YOU know of anything, ping me.

Meanwhile, I continue to make Substance of Shadows ready for its rounds. I am a novelist firstly and foremostly, so may as well concentrate on my strengths.

Teaching in 18 minutes...

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Today received a rejection from for the junior auxiliary story.

Two out there still!

One being worked on in the pipeline.

Substance progresses. Persistance is key.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
This time, the rejection was because the story was not dark enough for the anthology. The story worked for the editor until the ending, and I can buy that. I became antsy about getting it done, rather than letting the thing take some time and letting my subconscious puzzle it out, which is ALWAYS my best strategy. (Watch the Type A personality fight the inner artist. Go on! You know you want to!)

Again, encouraging words:

Read more... )

What have we learned, author buddies? Both the take home message for me with this rejection and with Delirium has been, "this is good, but it's not what we want." So...with careful work, we get the good work to the right person. Your market research, when you can do it, is essential.

Both Cat Scratch and Delirium still each have one. We're still a contender. :)

cathschaffstump: (Default)
Why you have to live in the moment...

Substance is too fantasy for Delirium, which makes sense. (See, [personal profile] tapestrymlp, you know your genres.) They still have Blood, and it's not like my wellbeing and future self regard depend on them taking Blood on. It would be nice to catch a break, but what will be, will be. However, goooooo Blood!

This still doesn't change the fact that I was invited to send something, and that I'm a good writer. I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised. David said something really great. He said that he wants to read the book when it is published. It's a good story. It's just not what they do.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we want to hear in rejection-ville.

So, now that I have some sample chapters and a treatment, who has ideas on where I should send Substance next? 

ETA: Boy, am I working on that!



cathschaffstump: (Default)

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