Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The BIG announcement!

Okay, well maybe it's not  that big, but still. And I've actually already announced it on my Facebook page, so the secret is out.

I'm getting published!!!!

No wait, I'm kidding. Sort of. Let me rephrase that, I'm self-publishing through Amazon. I finally decided that enough was enough with the queries. I was losing my mind daily and the rejections were making me miserable. My intention all along was to e-publish anyway, so it's not like I'm missing out. There was only a really teeny percentage of my brain that actually believed I would get published the traditional way. It's just way too competitive out there, especially if you're not writing to what's popular right now. And I'm not.

So with that in mind I started to looking into different websites that off free e-publishing. Of course I ended up settling on Amazon. I really feel like that's my best chance to get my book "out there". My goal is not to make a bunch of money, but to hopefully build an audience. My first novel, "London Escape" will hopefully be released early June. I'm not counting on it doing fantastic, but I'm excited to finally let all my friends read it! The second novel, and sequel, will be released in October (or at least that's my goal).

I didn't realize how much work I would have to be doing to get ready to e-pub. But there is a lot of formatting that has to going into your Word doc to get it to transfer properly to an e-book. I spent about four hours last Friday doing just that, and another 1-2 over the weekend. Fortunately it looks perfect now. For the time being I'm proofreading it yet again (though it's already been edited), and making some last minute changes. I wouldn't hesitate to say it will probably take me most of May to slog through this, just because it's quite painstaking.

Also, I'm in the middle of designing the cover art with a friend who is a graphic designer. Can I just say I'm super excited to see a visual representation of my novel? If it comes off the way I envision it, it should be super cool.

So, exciting stuff. I'm more excited and less disappointed than I thought I would. Stay tuned and I will let you all know as soon as my book is officially available.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The F-Word...

No, not that f-word, the other f-word.


Its been on my mind a lot lately. Admittedly I've been going through a bit of a crisis this week with my publishing attempts. To be honest I'm floundering a little. I'm not an idiot, I knew it would be long, arduous process. But I honestly did not think I would have had this much of a negative response to deal with. I've sent out sixty queries in total, and haven't received a single positive response. Well, that's not entirely true, I did have one agent ask me to send them ten pages. This week I heard back that she wasn't interested. I didn't think I would feel like calling it quits this early in the game. I didn't think I would let these almost-daily rejections get to me the way the do. But it is what it is.

I'm not saying I'm giving up, yet. But I'm quickly coming to terms with the fact that publishing may not happen for me. At least not in the way I wanted it. And it's okay, I guess. I'm so tired of having my own view of success wrapped up in the opinions of literary agents. True, only my closest friends and family have read my novel, and I know I'm not the next big thing. But surely I'm good enough? Or not.

Apparently not. I don't want to give up, but it gets a little old hearing how you can't cut it almost every single day. Am I doing everything I can? I don't know. There's probably a lot more I can be doing, but at what cost? Everything I do now is always secondary to my family, which is the way it should be. And should I really keep perusing this whole publishing thing when it's given me nothing but unhappiness so far?

I'm happy when I'm writing. End of story. So I'm going to keep writing. I'll finish the trilogy I began, because I love the characters and the story line, even if it's not quite good enough to be published. I suppose if there is still interest I'll still e-publish. After that, who knows.

I'm not saying I'm done. I'm just saying I think I need a mental-health break. That's all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Going nowhere fast...

Sorry I've been a little MIA from the blogging world of late. Real life is busy, yo! The weather has been so nice here and I've been pretty occupied with school, church activities and other things.

I've been getting a few questions lately about how the whole querying thing is going lately. Um, read the post title, please! Yeah, nowhere...fast. I've sent out ten new queries in the past two weeks with my new title and tweaked query. I have yet to hear back from any of those agents, so we'll just have to keep waiting.

Now that it's been a full four months since I've started this process, I've had a lot of time to reflect upon what it feels like to not make it. To not have your dreams come true. What can I say? Some days are hard, some aren't. Part of me knows that if this book doesn't make it, I will try again. I probably will never stop trying. Simply because I love writing too much to not try and publish. But then again, if it doesn't happen, I haven't failed. There are so many other things in my life that are just as important, okay, more important than publishing.

Being a good wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. All of these things are things I should be focusing on as well. Rather than getting caught up in who I am not, I need to be happy with who I am right now. And if that means being Cacey Hopper, unpublished, stay-at-home-mom, then so be it.

Besides, I love writing. I hate this whole querying process. Sometimes I think I'd be much happier without it. But then again, I can't not try. So this leaves me and impasse, I guess.

There are so many days where I feel like it's one rejection after another. On those days it's good to remind myself of how lucky I already am. 99% of my life is already everything I ever wanted it to be. I can't complain.

"And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know that I am
I am, I am the luckiest" - Ben Folds Five, the Luckiest

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An update...of sorts

I guess I've been pretty bad about blogging lately, huh? I've just been a little busier than usual these past few weeks. Also, I've been suffering a little through trying to re-do my entire query letter. I figured after fifty queries and no bites it was time to re-evaluate things a little to see if there was anything I could do to improve.

First up was the main bulk of the query letter, which consists of my synopsis. My good bloggy friend and fellow avid reader, Jenn, offered to help me out. So I re-wrote the synopsis, then sent her the old one as well. And we came to the same conclusions, nope, not the synopsis, the synopsis was good. She then broached a very sensitive topic with me...a tittle change. Yup, I knew it was coming. Several people pointed out to me the difficulty behind a title like "London Rendezvous", hard to spell, could be mis-construed as more of a romance than an action story. I reluctantly agreed to at least attempt to come up with a better title. See, I can be persuaded, I'm not THAT stubborn. Okay, it only takes about ten people to tell me I'm wrong first!

Thus began the harrowing process of renaming my very first novel, aka my third child. SO not easy. You can ask anyone I asked for input, I was losing my damn mind! My mom, Matthew, more blog friends and beta readers, Laura, Jenn and Lindsay. All had great ideas and the nerve to tell me just plain "No" if it was a sucky title. It took me literally FIVE days sitting on the couch ever night with a thesaurus and a dictionary, I swear I was completely mental. Sunday night I went to bed and just thought about it. I thought about all the things I liked about my original title, the fact that it had the name London in it because that is where most of the story takes place. I thought about what I needed to add to it, something that implied action and adventure and mystery...so BOOM! "London Escape".

That's the thing about writing sometimes, you can't force inspiration, you have to let it come to you. Well, something like that anyway. So there's that. One more thing taken care of. The other thing I've decided to do was write a prologue. Despite the fact that my novel is fairly fast-paced, I think it starts off slow. When I send out query letters I'm often asked to also send the first ten pages or first chapter. I want something up there in the front that represents the more exciting part of the book. So I'm adding a prologue, which will basically be a flash-forward to a more exciting moment in the book.

See? Busy busy! Not to mention all the regular life stuff going on around here! We have company at the end of the week, I'm organizing the church Easter egg hunt, as well as my little hair cutting side business has been blowing up lately. I've already done three haircuts last week and have...four more booked over the next week.

One last thing....my synopsis! Please let me know what you think!

Secrets and lies: all will be revealed and nothing will ever be the same…

Kit Hawthorn has been waiting for this moment all of her seventeen years: The moment when she can finally break free from her ordinary and neatly-ordered life. The moment when she can defy her overprotective father and change the way everyone sees her.
It was the message that started it. A jumbled, frantic text message sent in haste from her friend Jason. In the end it was clear, he was in trouble. Armed with only one small clue, Kit recklessly sets off for London in search of her missing friend and the missing jewels he is suspected of stealing.            
What she finds in London is not what she expects and the plot she uncovers will haunt her long after it is over. In a desperate chase against time and a dangerous enemy, Kit will use every resource she can to follow the trail of clues that will lead to Jason’s salvation. With only the help of a mysterious old man and her own intuition, she will follow the path that is laid out in front of her, to whatever end.
Countless secrets will be revealed, including the face of a long hidden enemy, and Kit will learn the stunning truth about those closest to her. In the end, she will discover her true self and realize that even ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.