Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ISWG! Caught You Just In Time




Phew! And I almost missed it again! This week's confession: Dear Blog, it's been two weeks since I last thought of you...

But alas, I am abuzz with energy to write my first post of the year for ISWG, hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. So...what to write, what to write. The post is on our insecurities and I have a few big ones. I just finished my novel, SNOW DOLLS over the break. And I couldn't be more proud. But there is so much more work left and it seems that it won't really ever end. There is research to be done on the agents I want to query, the query itself, the synopsis, and of course a few more rounds of editing before I even begin querying. I guess the insecurity is more or less just plain old fear for the mountain of work still ahead.

I'll approach it as I have all the other tasks: taking it one at a time. :)

Here's a portion of my query draft for those curious to learn more about SNOW DOLLS. Still a work-in-progress, more tweaking needed to tighten and strengthen it a bit. Any suggestions are more than welcome!
If the concept of Stepford Wives became a religion in another time and place, this is what it might look like.  
Illumera is an idyllic, prosperous utopia. A far cry from the slum it had once been before Emperor Sinmitar Blackwood took the throne almost seventy-five years ago. Sustained by their faith and traditions, Illumerians continue the practice of Purification to safeguard their wealth. To do so, every woman over the age of sixteen is purified, their future set upon two possible outcomes: to be transformed into a doll, a forever-happy servant of the Gods, or to be made into a surrogate, mother’s to the children of Illumera.

SNOW DOLLS follows the adventure of three young lives and the challenges of living in a world of dolls. Enna is seventeen and a stringless. In a moment of panic and fear, Enna takes the cowards way and fakes her Purification ceremony, stealing her doll-markings to complete her ruse. A year later and her lies are finally catching up to her. Seoryl is the General’s son. His fortune offers him the privilege of owning a very special doll, a Snow Doll--secret dolls that exist to please their masters in every way. But an unfortunate thing happens when he selects his future Snow Doll: he falls in love with her, presenting a problem that might expose the well-kept secret of the underworld lying quietly beneath Illumera. Prince Sin was named after his grandfather and is first in line to the throne. The kingdom is flourishing but even more so when he becomes emperor. He promises three dolls to every man. But will he still feel the same when a certain stringless unveils the darker side of Illumera’s precious tradition?

Did you have a good New Years? Big hugs to you all. Missed you guys! And the cats say hello too!

I think he knows he's a pretty cat. 

Happy found a squirrel!

Check out this mountain lion who was so chill! JK, it's not a mountain lion. Please don't go off in search of one thinking they will allow you take selfies... :) 

25 comments:

  1. your query sounds great to me, very intriguing! I love the Snow Dolls title. The only suggestion I can think would be to reword the last sentence so it's not a question (from what I've heard, questions in queries can be a turn-off? But I know a few people who've had luck with it regardless so who knows lol) and I get so excited when you post b/c I love seeing Happy and Fitz!! they're so cute I can't deal!!

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    1. Oooh, that's such a great point, Beth! I will rework so it doesn't have that question. :) Thank you for stopping by. And the kitties certainly love the love! <3

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  2. Oooh, I SO can't wait to read Snow Dolls! Love getting some more details on it! I'm miserable with queries, so all I can say is that I think your opening like could be re-worded a bit to be more of a hook :) (Also, selfies with mountain lions, oh my I laughed at that!!)

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    1. Yes! Great feedback! I will definitely work on it. :)

      And yah, that cat...I realized later that I shouldn't encourage people into thinking mountain lions could be so...social. Haha!

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  3. Whoa, what kind of cat IS that, and where did you get a picture of it? It's gorgeous! And don't worry, I won't go hunting mountains lions, LOL.

    I agree with Meradeth - the opening is a great concept that needs to be rephrased into a hook. Oh, and I don't think there should be an apostrophe in 'mothers' in the second para :)

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    1. Doh! I missed that! Yes, I totally agree, I can work on tightening the opening for sure!

      That cat was so sweet, popping up on a path while I was walking. He's someone pet for sure!

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  4. OMG it looks like a mountain kitty!
    Your black cat is beautiful!
    And Snow Dolls sounds like an intriguing read. Love the title and the concept. You go, girl!

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    1. It certainly does look just like a mountain kitty! LOL

      Thanks for the support, Sandra!! I'm so excited to see where it all goes!

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  5. Wait... it just popped up? It really does not look like a normal house cat! I thought you were visiting a bob cat preserve or something, heh. I love the premise for Snow Dolls, so intriguing! I'm so excited to see what happens with it this year for you. Start stalking #mswl. =)

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    1. LOL it totally did! We saw it on the side of the path, called to it, and it came!! I'll check out #mswl Thanks for the pro tip ;)

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  6. Love your synopsis'! Good luck! I too too several weeks off from blogging and enjoyed the holidays being offline. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Donna, thank you!! Happy New Year to you as well. :)

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  8. Oh I love the premise of Snow Dolls! I also love that it follows the lives of multiple characters so we readers get to see more of the world than if we were limited to one perspective :)

    On a very small critical note, I think that this "To do so, every woman over the age of sixteen is purified, their future set upon two possible outcomes" is grammatically incorrect. "Every woman" is singular (even though it seems like it should be plural) and "their" is plural. Just change "their" to "her" and then it'll be right.

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    1. Thanks Genissa!! That's exactly the help I need. LOL I am reworking as we speak. Queries are a tough beast! >_<

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  9. It looks awesome! Aren't queries terrifying? I've found the best way to get over those submitting fears is to "just do it!"

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! And YES...they are incredibly daunting. They seem to require a whole other level of talent that I just don't have (at the moment). Ahhh, great advice though. Just do it! Best way to learn.

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  10. Anna, best wishes with the query. I'm in the same boat and its hard to be satisfied with the letter. But it looks really good. Move forward and if you need to tweak it as you go along then so be it.

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    1. Thanks Stephen! Yes, I agree. One can only learn by forging ahead. :) Best of luck on your querying as well!!

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  11. Hope you got your internet issues squared away.
    Happy is beautiful.....

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    1. Hah, it was my phone but yes...after a "brief" half hour later, it was resolved. Happy thanks you! :) I think he knows he's adorable.

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  12. That is a catchy premise! Best of luck to you and more requests than you can handle. :)

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  13. Yikes! What a concept... I'm not so sure I'd want to be a part of that society. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd bring the Gatling gun to that party. ;)

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    1. Thanks Crystal! LOL I like your defensive plan ;)

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