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Monday, August 29, 2005

It's Monday, So That Means...

Two agents, two rejections, same book.

The first one, Mr. Big Agent, had the requested full manuscript since November 12, 2004. Here's what Mr. Big's assistant wrote to me via e-mail today:

Thank you for your patience. I know you have been waiting quite a while for a response. MR. BIG AGENT just took a vacation so he finally got a chance to read everything that needed catching up on.

He enjoyed YOUR BOOK and felt you had created a clever plot with lively characters. Unfortunately he is taking on less and less fantasy lately, and ultimately decided that YOUR BOOK is not right for him.

If you have not already, I would suggest that you continue your search for an agent by contacting the Association of Author's Representatives. The AAR is a professional organization that could help you to find an agent. You may view information about this Association at the website, www.aar-online.org or contact them via written letter at P.O. Box 237201, Ansonia Station, New York, NY 10023. Their phone number is (212) 252-3695.

Best,
Big Agent's Assistant

* * *

Now, this would be quite lovely, if the assistant hadn't sent the EXACT SAME MESSAGE to another writer buddy of mine today. Okay, not exactly the same. The name of the book was different. And whereas I had "created" a clever plot, etc., my buddy had "sculpted" a clever plot, etc.

Although, I will say that the AAR information is useful. Not to me; I already had it. But if any writers out there are thinking about researching agents, the AAR is a good place to start. You should also look at Agent Query, which I believe is http://www.agentquery.com/

Here's the second rejection, which came in my very own SASE today. Some authors have said that they've gotten good news through the postal mail. That's never happened to me. Anyway, after six weeks with the partial, here's what this agent said:

First, many apologies for the length of time we've held onto YOUR BOOK. We've had an unusually heavy flow of manuscripts, and yours had been set aside after an initial favorable reading. Despite the strength of your work, I'm afraid we didn't respond strongly enough to be able to offer representation.

((Standard form disclaimer follows about being increasingly selective, etc))

* * *

So I guess this is a close, but no cigar form letter.

Where's the ice cream? Two rejections on real material in one day? Gah.

To top it all off, I just mentioned to my mother that I received two rejections today. In her Mother Knows All Voice, she responded without missing a beat, "So it goes. It's all par for the course. That's what the industry is all about. It has nothing to do with talent. And if you get accepted, that's a fluke."

Er. Thanks, Mom.

Forget the ice cream. Where's the booze?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Updated Web Listing

I just updated my Publishers Marketplace web page. Check it out, if you're so inclined:

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/dragonjax/ (see link at right)

Wow. Starting to feel like a Real Author. Now all I need is an agent, an editor, a juicy deal, and a posse of loyal fans...


In Other News
I've officially started Book Three. Actually, Book Four. Book Three is a middle-grade fantasy novel, but I'll swing back to that one in a little bit. Book Four is a magical chick-lit novel. So far, I've got roughly 2,000 words. Off and running...just 78,000 words to go...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

As Marv Would Say, "YEEEESSSS!"

Angels are singing.

The sun is a little brighter.

That's right: I scored my first-ever pro-rate fantasy sale! Wendy Bradley, editor of the new science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine Farthing (see link at right) has accepted my short story for publication! Wendy had requested a rewrite last month, and after seeking critiques from a number of trusted friends (much thanks to Patti, Faith, Chris, Sue, and Joan!!!), the final bit of fabulous feedback came from Carina Gonzolez, owner of The Zen Pen (yep, link at right).

I've previously mentioned that Carina Gives Good Crit. I'm going to say it again: She Gives Good Crit. It was her feedback that got me to seriously rethink certain elements in my story. And I'm positive that this is what helped me rewrite the story into a winner. So a HUGE thanks to Carina!


Book Buzz of the Day
Confessions of Super Mom, Melanie Lynne Hauser. Yeah, I know that I already buzzed this novel. But now I have a copy in my sweaty li'l hands. As I purchased it today at Borders, the clerk commented on how terrific the cover was. And she was right! I can't wait to dive into this book.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Latest issue of WILD CHILD

The latest issue of WILD CHILD PUBLISHING is up and running! Here's the URL: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/

You'll see my mainstream short story, "The Compromise." (This story was accepted for publication before I came on board as the associate editor of science fiction and fantasy.) Hope you enjoy!


Book Buzz of the Day
Hunting Fear, by Kay Hooper. Kay is a Backspace member as well as a bestselling novelist. This was my first Hooper read...and it won't be my last. If you like a little psychic ability thrown in with your detective stories, this one's for you.


ANNOUNCEMENT
Another Backspace member, Melanie Lynne Hauser, gets to see her book on the shelves! Run out right now and pick up a copy of Confessions of Super Mom. Go on, scoot!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And Now For Something Completely Different

And now, without further ado, a song by the talented writer, Amanda M. Hayes:

THE SPEC WRITER SONG
(With all due apologies to Monty Python and their lumberjack.)

WRITER:
I'm a spec writer, and I'm okay;
I write all night and I sleep all day.

EDITORS:
She's a spec writer, and she's okay;
She writes all night and she sleeps all day.

WRITER:
I check my mail, I write through lunch,
I go to the lavatory.
I review my rejections,
And burn those from MZB.

EDITORS:
She checks her mail, she writes through lunch,
She goes to to the lavatory.
She reviews her rejections
And burns those from MZB.

She's a spec writer, and she's okay.
She writes all night and she sleeps all day.

WRITER:
I write of a sweet princess fair
Who travels through deep space
'Til she meets up with a werewolf
And he bites off her face.

EDITORS:
She writes of a sweet princess fair
Who travels through deep space...?
'Til she meets up with a werewolf
And he bites off her face?!

She's a spec writer, and she's okay.
She writes all night and she sleeps all day.

WRITER:
I write fanfic about Star Trek!
Delicious Spock/Kirk slash!
But paying 'zines won't buy it,
So they can kiss my--ahem.

WRITER AND EDITORS:
I (She) write(s) fanfic about Star Trek,
Delicious... Spock/Kirk slash?!?

WRITER:
But paying 'zines won't buy it,
So they can kiss my ash!

(Note: No actual MZB rejection slips were harmed in the making of this filk.)

* * *

A round of applause for Amanda! ((clap clap clap))

For more of Amanda's work, go buy the debut issue of Farthing which was unveiled at WorldCon. Go on, scoot! Amanda's work will also be appearing in an upcoming issue of Peridot Books. Congratulations, Amanda!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor

Sunday isn't usually a holy day for someone who's Jewish. But yesterday, I had concrete proof that God truly has a sense of humor. And I'm not talking about the platypus, the only animal out there made up of spare parts.

Top Five Pieces of Evidence That God Has a Sense of Humor:

No. 5: Bacteria. Specifically, when I was running late to pack a picnic lunch for me and the Tax Deductions, I made all three PB&Js and got them into their baggies before I noticed a nasty creeper of green on the bottom of the bread. Ick.

No. 4: Gas. Still running late, the TDs and I got into the car and onto the highway for a 35 minute drive...and I noticed we needed gas about two minutes after I passed our local station. (Tax Deduction the Elder was kind enough to point out to me that I had passed the gas station.) So I got off at the next exit and pulled into a gas station only to find the price there a full dime more per gallon than by us. So I doubled back, filled up, and 25 minutes after the initial starting time, got back onto the highway.

No. 3: Tiny airlines. Loving Husband, in Virginia visiting one of his best friends, was stranded at the airport because the pilot simply didn't show up for work. After waiting for two hours to see whether the flight was going to be cancelled, the airline was still trying to find a co-pilot.

No. 2: A toddler's joy of bookstores. When the boys and I went to a local bookstore, Tax Deduction the Elder took off in one direction while Tax Deduction the Younger sprinted off in the other. Forty minutes later, I was exhausted from chasing them all around the store (including under tables), but it was more exercise than I had gotten in ages.

And the No. 1 Piece of Evidence That God Has a Sense of Humor:
Computers. Case in point, yesterday I turned my computer on only to find the screen almost completely black. After trying a few things and inventing a few new choice curse words, I shut it down, convinced that my computer's occasional hiccough had finally evolved into a silicon epidemic. Loving Husband, freshly returned from Virginia (only eight hours later than planned), figured it out immediately: the brightness needed to be adjusted. Duh.

Can you say "ha-ha-lelujah"?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Suddenly Last Summer

August? August? When did that happen?

(Yeah, yeah. Just today. Okay, wiseguy. That's enough out of you.)


Jackie's Submission Report
After about a month of planning and a feverish three days of writing, I finally finished a short story for submission to a humorous fantasy anthology. Deadline was today, but the editor was kind enough to confirm that a postmark of August 1 would be fine. Let's hear it for stalling!