One of the agents who was supposed to attend the conference had been unable to due to an illness or family emergency. Later, she was still unable to take our pitches via email, so the writer's institute had another agent take the email pitches in her place.
I'd forgotten all about those submissions until yesterday when the agent emailed me. She said she appreciated my pitch and my patience. She ended the short email message by saying she'd love to take a look at the first 50 pages of my manuscript.
I'm sure she's taking the pages to be polite, so it'll make it easier for me not to send them. (Keep in mind she does not (according to her agency's site) represent YA...which is what all of my manuscripts are. And I was clear about that in my pitch and brief description that I sent her.) However, I need some advice.
The reason I'm not sending the pages is because since pitching that particular novel (You may remember the one--Solstice.), I put it in a drawer--where it belongs. This past summer (after spending a year or so writing, rewriting and rewriting it again), I decided that since it was my very first novel ever, it just wasn't going to be good enough, marketable enough, publishable enough. Plus, after my final rewriting, I left it with about three plot holes, and when I decided to put it in the drawer, I just left those plot holes laying there (lying there?) without filling them in.
I have since decided to make it (Solstice--(no longer the title btw)) a family saga. Only now I've begun my newest manuscript two generations before the "Solstice generation" (with the "backstory" of Solstice). What was Solstice will be a brand new ms (with the same general characters and plot) and will take place 60 some years in the future--the book after the one I'm currently writing. (You know, if all goes well with this one.) Anyways, I'm only 30 pages into my WIP (entitled HIDDEN CHARMS).
Do I tell the agent all of this? (You know, it'd be a shame to put to waste the chance to put 50 pages of my writing in an agent's hands....) (There's always the spin that she may be reading it in case another agent at her agency would like it. There are several who rep YA at her agency.)
I could offer to send 50 pages of my YA Contemporary that I'm about to query now.
Or should I simply tell her I apprecieate her response, but that I I decided to table that novel to work on another one?
I'd love to know what you advise I do.
While I'm laying all my tales out there for you. Last week, Suzie Towsend held a query contest. She agreed to respond to queries (if sent between 9 and 10 on Tuesday morning) via email with her honest thoughts. I'll admit, I'd hoped for more of a critique of FIXING SHELBY's query than anything else. I hadn't really looked at it like I was submitting it to her as much as I just wanted to get an agent's view of my query. Dumb of me, I know. Obviously I should have considered it a submission. I mean, I personlized it for her and everything, but I wanted to know what she thought of the writing in the query, the hook, the paragraphs, the layout, the information, etc. Instead, I got this:
So the news. I'm going to pass on FIXING SHELBY.
The main reason--contemporary YA is a really tough market right now. There have been a lot of them and books that are paranormal are selling better. Nothing about this one seems to say that it would stand out in an overcrowded genre.
Good luck with your submissions.
So that leaves me wondering if I need to change my query, my novel, or both. And, well, take that confession and do with it whatever you want. I'll think on it for a while. But you should know, I really, really hate query writing!
HAVE A WONDERFUL MONDAY!!!
(I miss erica who's still in Vegas. And now my husband has joined her there. So I miss him too. Well, he hasn't joined her there, but he is also in Vegas, for work. For the whole week. Just me. 8 months pregnant. Me and two little boys. And a dog who takes trips around the neighborhood every time I let him out. (Naughty, naughty boy.) So, what I'm asking for is this: Wish me luck!)