Thursday, October 6, 2011

From There to Here

Today I was in reminiscence mode. I went back through my folder of query letters and found the first one I sent off. And I felt like banging my head against a wall or laughing hysterically. Both on a good day. It was terrible. Not only did I mention that I'd seen good reviews of their agency on P&E and Absolute Write, but I also only had a one paragraph summary of the plot. Then I didn't include contact information. Ahhhh so painful.

Then I looked back at an early draft of GRIFFIN'S SONG, back when it had a different name. Not only was there only one point of view, but the punctuation was off and there were holes in the plot.

And then to make myself feel better I looked at my current query letter and ms. It was like seeing the sun for the first time. I realized today that over the past year I have learned so much about writing and publishing. I had no idea going into this that there was such a large community of writers out there. And now I feel like I'm part of a family.

I know to be impressed if something is taken on by Curtis Brown Ltd. or gets a book deal with Random House. I know to avoid PublishersAmerica and to check P&E and Absolute Write to learn about different agencies. I know how to navigate QueryTracker and AgentQuery. And I enjoy the witticisms of Slush Pile Hell.

I love this community. For several years I considered becoming a teacher, and writing on the side. And one day I might do that. But what I've learned about myself over this past year is essentially this: I love the book world, and I want to be a part of it. Either at a publishing house or literary agency, as a published author or editor, I want to live and breathe books.

Which I suppose I've known since I was in grade school and would be the only kid on the playground with a book. Or when I was even younger and scared my dad by reciting The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

When did you discover your love of reading/writing?

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