Friday, August 20, 2010

Jackpot Update

Nothing of real news to report except for an interesting incident.

Literary agent, Rachelle Gardner was conducting a webinar on writing query letters.  Rachelle has an incredibly wonderful blog where she gives hints, tips, and other information regarding writing and publishing.  If you are interested in writing or publishing, I'd recommend you checking out her blog.

In any case, it was a live 90 minute seminar on the Internet.  After logging in, Rachelle spoke for about 45 minutes or so telling how to write a query letter and all the ins and outs of the process. 

As advertised, 5 lucky people would have their submitted query letters critiqued live by Rachelle for all the world to see.  Everyone else would have their letters critiqued by her, but not live.  Five others won a 20 minute phone call from her!

It was an extremely interesting seminar.  At the end of the 5 live critiques, she indicated she had a few more minutes to do a couple more critiques.


My excitement was short lived.  She had a few good things to say about my query letter, but then the other shoe dropped.  She said that from my letter, my main character didn't look very appealing, being selfish, angry, and self-centered.  She said the story line as presented didn't appeal to her being that Owen wastes his money on things that we probably wouldn't want to read about.

At first I was devastated.

However, as I was able to think about it, I got really excited.  An agent who I highly respect (and would LOVE to have for MY agent) gave me her insight as to why my query letter didn't appropriately represent what my book was about!

In her words, she said it was about a selfish man who wins the lottery and spends the money on stuff he shouldn't. (obviously not an exact quote)

However, that isn't what my book is really about.

My book is about a revenge, redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation.  The lottery just happens to be the catalyst that gets everything going. 

My problem in writing the initial query was that I focused on the secondary storyline, i.e. lottery, instead of his journey to redemption.

After giving it a lot of thought, I see this as a huge blessing from the Lord.  I was trying to land an agent with a query letter that didn't reflect the essence of my story.  Now, I'll be able to "fix" it and query agents based on an accurate representation of my work.

To be honest, the crafting of this query letter has proved to be harder than writing the novel itself.  I realize how important it is and why it is necessary.  I just don't like this process.

I'd love to have you support this project by becoming a fan of Owen Rigsby on Facebook and/or followoing him on Twitter.  As of writing this post, Owen has 198 fans on FB and 284 followers on Twitter, including @RachelleGardner!

No comments: