Big news! I had an agent request a partial manuscript. I sent off the first hundred pages to his assistant a couple weeks ago. And now I wait.
I also have collected 25 rejections and closed out five more, so I'm halfway through my list of 60. That's more than I originally planned to send out, but hey. A lot of the interviews I've read have said somewhere after 50 was their magical number. Me, I'm hoping 24 is still mine. I really, really want this agent to represent this book. Like, more than anything. And I can finally admit that. I was trying to play it cool, but I am not cool. I am freaking out.
Anyway. Finger crossing and positive vibes my way are much appreciated.
I have fairly little news outside of the query quest, though.
ConQuest was fun. We hung out with Jonathan Maberry. He is a fantastic human being. He tried to convince me gin is tasty by inviting me to try his gin martini. I still remain unconvinced, but hey, I got to take a sip out of Jonathan Maberry's drink. I also won Story-in-a-Bag for science fiction. That was a pleasant surprise. I've now won once in all categories. I feel like I can retire, now. Plus, I may have outgrown it at this point. I did it this year because I decided to revert back to fan rather than participant for one last year, with the idea that maybe next year I'd have a book published or close to published or something. I dunno. Until I have something to promote, I'd really rather attend cons as a fan. Since I do not have the credentials to sit with some of the folks on editing panels. At this point, my only contribution is hire a good editor. Just not me.
I published my Cafe story, but I'm not writing one this month.
I should be editing a novella for Rachel this week or next.
I did some edits on the first Druid Wars book. I'm excited for that one! Jack is, too. He's been doing a bunch of druid research, so the timing on this is about perfect. I have no clue what I'm doing for book two, but hey. Book one is awesome. If a bit lean. It was only 64k words. It's only 67k words now, so I'm hoping Jack can tell me where it needs more. I have two scenes I want to expand after this most recent read-through, so that should bump me up to 70k. I'd like to see it at 75k at the least, but anything about 70k is within industry standard.
And this whole update is a TL;DR: I have not been working on book three.
I think I'm ready though. I did some more brainstorming yesterday. I read over my outline, and it's actually pretty solid. There's a few things I still need to figure out, like where certain subplots should go, but I know how to wrap up almost every character and I have the final battle figured out.
I just need to write it.
I'm hoping to throw some words at it when I'm on vacation next week. And then I'm doing July Camp NaNo with it, so hopefully I'll get about a thousand words a day. I'm going to aim for 10k by the end of June, which only puts me, what, 50k behind?
It's ok. I've kinda scrapped my project timeline. I know what order to work on things. It was useful when I wasn't sure. But things have fallen into place and it's clear what to work on in what order. Right now, anyway. Book three is first priority. Druid wars book one is second priority. And third priority is to spend this November writing something new for NaNo. The next adventure novella is lower priority, but I would like to get episode 2.1 finished by the end of the year.
In order to achieve my goals, I need to be writing a book a year. I wrote most of Towers of Kansas last year. This year is Scions of Mythos. Next year probably Order of Osiris. That's my general goal, for now. One book in one of my big trilogies per year, one to two novellas for the adventure series for fun, and a new project every NaNo so the well never runs dry.
I'm not sure if short stories fit into that or not, but I am going to keep trying. The Cafe is important to me. I will keep writing for it as long as other people keep writing for it. And I have short stories to tell within my existing worlds.
I'm also not sure where publishing fits into this. I had a super long private blog post the other day about my plan for that. Those plans haven't changed yet. But they may if this agent actually likes my book. And where one agent out of 30 has asked for pages, it stands to reason that at least one more might out of 30 others. I'd written off the chances of representation for this book. But now it's back on the table. Or at least, there's a possibility of it going back on the table.
I'll spend more time talking about my self-publishing plan in a few months. Once I know for sure whether or not an agent decides to represent me.
But, in short, the idea is, in two years, to put out all three MystWatch books over the course of one year. Every two months, then the box set. Then the year after that, put out short stories until I can release all three books of the Druid Wars series in one year. And then a year of other shorts until I can put out all three books in the Pandemonium trilogy. And then I'll either go back to MystWatch and do Scion Slayer, or maybe look into doing the Dante novels, of which there may be anywhere from three to five, depending. There's also the adventure novellas I could potentially do, although maybe not under my name, so that may not help. I also have a second-world fantasy series that could potentially come next. That's going to be six books as I have it planned right now.
I'm really aiming to do a trilogy a year, every other year, for as long as I can sustain it. I figure after ten years of doing that, I'll meet my goal of being able to quit my full time job at that point. And why stop there? I'll have ten years' worth of new ideas from NaNo each year to work with, too, in theory. And undoubtedly could write more in the MystWatch world, if I wanted.
And then maybe I can do a trilogy a year instead of every other. But at that point, I may not have to.
The too long don't read version of all that is, I probably won't have a book published for another two years. Which is fine. I still think I can reach my first goal and get a book published before I turn 40. And once I do, I'll pick up momentum and not stop until I can quit my day-job. Which should take about ten years, by every calculation I've done.
So hey. In twelve years, I should reach my second goal.
I can only imagine the third goal will follow within the next ten to fifteen years after that if I keep the writing up.
And considering I've been writing since I was in middle school, I have faith. In myself and in the plan. Even when I've claimed not to be a writer, I've still been a writer. I have three decades of history being a writer, so it stands to reason I will keep it up for another three decades, at least.
I see it working for Rachel. I truly believe she'll be in good shape in four more years, which would be the ten-year mark for her.
This thing is achievable.
We just have to keep writing All The Books.
So that's what I'm going to focus on. I'm done querying agents for a few months (I have, like, three more I want to try at some point, but I'm not in a hurry there). I probably won't worry about Cafe stories or adventure novellas until after book three is done. I will have some editing projects, but that's it. Maybe a beta read. Potentially beta reader feedback for book two.
But all of that has to take a back seat. I've procrastinated long enough.
It's time. I will spend the next three to four months writing book three. I'm going to stop telling myself it's late and that I'm behind, because I think that's also stressing me out. I'm right on time. The time is now.
You can't see me, my time is...
Dude, John Cena, get out of my head.
I'll check in next month and let you know how all that is going.
Happy Summer Solstice (and Litha)!