Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sparks Fly Sometimes or Strange but Wonderful Things Can Happen...

A strange but wonderful thing happened yesterday. I was asked for a short partial - 10 pages - and a few hours later, a full manuscript for my novel SPARKS FLY SOMETIMES: CONFESSIONS OF A ROCK PRINCESS (SFS). My one line pitch for this novel is: Life as a rock princess in the Denver music scene does nothing to prepare Jenny Sampson for life as a domestic goddess in the suburbs of Philly.

Those of you who have been following me for a while may remember I queried this novel in the spring and when I finished MURDER ON TWILIGHT CIRCLE (MTC) began querying that. Then I went on to begin the follow-up to MTC called MURDER ON SONGBIRD LANE and, since the 20th of September (yup, that's the exact date I started writing!) I've been immersed in my first YA novel called THE SECRET KEEPER.

So, back to the strange thing. First of all, the agent who requested it is someone I met in person at the Backspace Conference in May. I fell instantly and madly in love with her and wondered what devil I could barter my soul with to get her to represent me. I queried her, at her request, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Then she hired some help, got caught up with her queries, and lo and behold, requested my partial then full manuscript of SFS.

THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD NEWS
Said agent has kindly given me as much time as I need to review the ms. It's only been a few months since I finished writing it, but it seems like ages due to all the writing I've done since then. The good news is, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading SFS again! What an unexpected treat. The bad news is, I'm going to be slowing down on THE SECRET KEEPER, which I've been flying through at an average of about 2,000 words a day, while I re-read SFS.

You may be wondering why I need to review SFS since I completed it in May. I'm reviewing it because I know I'm a better writer now, and I'm taking my "new" eyes to peruse and lightly edit the entire ms. Fortunately, it's in pretty good shape. The biggest change I've noticed is due to the fact that since I finished writing SFS, I've become an avid Tweeter. That means, communicating in 140 characters or less, which translates into being a more economical writer. I'm eliminating a lot of unnecessary words in SFS or rewriting sentences to be more succinct. It's inspiring to see how far I've come in such a short time. I love SFS, and it's a gift to be given the opportunity to revisit it and tweak it that much more, all the while knowing it will be before the eyes of an agent I greatly admire.

So, there you have it. Like an unexpected bouquet of flowers, sometimes, when you least expect it, strange but wonderful things can happen. ;-)

48 comments:

Julie said...

Congrats on the request, and you have to admit, it's fun to wander back through SFS. You are being forced to visit an old and beloved friend. What could be better? (Oh, yeah, getting an agent as lovely as the one who requested it and seeing it published. All my powerful mojo is flying your way, but with the rain it might take a while.)

DebraLSchubert said...

Julie, What would I do without you? Wait! Don't answer that question. I wouldn't want to know. ;-)

MeganRebekah said...

What great news! Congrats!

It's funny, I've been thinking about writing a post about Twitter, and how it's made me re-evaluate and tighten my writing. Great minds think alike :)

Regina Milton said...

AWESOME. Congrats on that. You also bring up a very valid pint about tweeting. I need to use it to help me write better sentences.

Congratulations again. I hope all goes well. Your one-liner is great and the story sounds interesting.

DebraLSchubert said...

MR, Thank you so much. It's true. Twitter is a great tool for writers. It makes you consider every word you write. If you do a post on it, let me know. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Regina, Thank you, and I'm glad you like the one-liner!

Ray Veen said...

Pretty exciting, Mrs. Schubert -- let's hope this is 'the one'.

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, One of these days, one of these days...!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Congrats on the requests! Keep us posted.

I'm working through revisions of my own for a request.

DebraLSchubert said...

Caroline, Good for you! Best of luck. Was it from a partial or a full request?

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Requested re-writes. I love someone has read my manuscript from beginning to end and...no promises made...wants me to work on bits and pieces.

DebraLSchubert said...

Caroline, SWEET!!! I wish you the very best of luck. Keep us posted! ;-)

Susan R. Mills said...

Congrats!

Jody Hedlund said...

How awesome, Debra! Oh I hope, hope, hope it works out for you!! That would be wonderful to land an agent that you've already met and know you could work well with!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

You're the real rock star! Congrats to you! You're really in your groove it seems (cue Madonna "Get Into the Groove" in background now...) and I can't wait to hear what will happen next.

No writing for me lately. Too busy exploring and making new friends but it's fun. :-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Mandy, You're in Florida now? OMG! I want details!!

Sharla said...

Congrats! that's awesome!

It's funny because I'm playing with the same idea--I entered 250 wds of my old novel to the Secret Agent contest (Snark) and after reading a bunch of feedback from the other entrants, I find myself thinking more and more about that one instead of the one I'm in the middle of! Like you, I know I'm better now, and I'm thinking that maybe giving the old one a facelift and boosting it into fresh query-land almost a year after the first round...might be a good idea.

Good luck to you!

Kasie West said...

That is so awesome, Debra. Seriously. It just goes to show that when you send out queries you shouldn't just wait around, you should keep writing. You'll become a better writer in the process. Good luck.

DebraLSchubert said...

Sharla, Good for you! You have to keep moving forward, even if moving forward sometimes means looking in the rear view mirror.

DebraLSchubert said...

Kasie, "It just goes to show that when you send out queries you shouldn't just wait around, you should keep writing."

Absolutely. Write. Query. Write. Query. You never know which story is going to ring true with which agent. I'm blessed to have agents looking at two of my books. Hopefully, one of these days I'll have an agent just like you!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Congratulations! What fun, unexpected (I assume) news!

Jemi Fraser said...

Congratulations on the requests - it's such exciting news :) Crossing my fingers for more good news!

I had left an ms for several months, mostly due to my crazy busy life, and I was also so thrilled to see it again with fresh eyes. I made a LOT of improvements. It IS fun to see our own growth, isn't it?

Beth said...

How exciting, Deb! Please keep us posted!

DebraLSchubert said...

Paul, Definitely fun and unexpected and a whole lot of work! But, it's a good kind of work.

DebraLSchubert said...

Jemi, Good for you! It's amazing to see how quickly you can improve when you're genuinely dedicated. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, I promise to keep you posted. I'll stop by Nutwood Junction soon and say, "hello!"

Angie Ledbetter said...

Schube, great news! Hope the sparks fly enough to ignite a bonfire.

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, From your lips to Buddha's ears. ;-))

Suzanne said...

This made my day! Great news girlie!

Karen Walker said...

Congratulations, Debra. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Karen

DebraLSchubert said...

Suzanne, Thanks so much. I love seeing your beautiful face in my comment section. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Karen, Thanks for the finger-crossing. Every bit helps!!

Catherine Misener said...

Fantastic! And I agree with you on how Twitter helps one become a better writer. When I first started tweeting, I never thought I could get an idea across in so few words. Two months later, I've proven myself wrong.

Sending good thoughts as you review your manuscript and send to the agent!

DebraLSchubert said...

Catherine, First of all, welcome! And secondly, YES!! Twitter has definitely streamlined my writing, and I'm grateful for that. I fought it for a long time and finally went "kicking and screaming into heaven!" And thanks for your good wishes on revisiting SFS. Much appreciated. ;-)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Good news. Exciting. Best luck.

Succinct writing -- you and Hemingway.

DebraLSchubert said...

MJ, Mwahahaha!!!

Chuck Schubert said...

You go, sweetie! It's a great book! I should know, I was your editor-at- large on that one...fun to read. Good luck :-)

koralee said...

Wow...your life is so full..you amaze me with your energy. I do love your positive outlook! Good things do come to good people and you are one of them!

DebraLSchubert said...

Chuck, I couldn't have written this one without you. You're my muse. ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Koralee, Thank you for your kind and generous words. Coming from you, the author of the most beautiful blog in the cosmos, that means a lot.;-)

Stephen Tremp said...

I need to revisit tweeting my blogs as well. Although I do post links on Twitter to other people's blogs I find helpful, interesting, or insightful.

Stephen Tremp

DebraLSchubert said...

Stephen, Welcome! Yes, I always tweet my posts as well as others I enjoy. You have to be your own best marketer while helping others to succeed as well. ;-)

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Congrats!

DebraLSchubert said...

Aidan, Thanks so much. I'll be e-mailing you soon re: interview. ;-)

jdcoughlin said...

Wow! Congratulations! Isn't it funny that just when you're ready to move on, something or someone makes a request and you're back up and running. So happy for you. So happy for your agent who will make a great sale. To your Happily Ever After!

DebraLSchubert said...

Judith, "So happy for your agent who will make a great sale." From your lips to Buddha's ears!! And, thanks for being such a great support. ;-)

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