By Thonie Hevron
I haven’t posted a progress report since November 12, 2016. I’m overdue and hope to make up for it with this. Last winter, I wrote that I had re-gained my book rights from Oak Tree Publishing due to the publisher’s ill health. In the intervening months, I’ve taken two major vacations, struggled with some worrisome health problems (all good now) and polished my third manuscript, With Malice Aforethought. I’ve been submitting queries to agents (for representation) and publishers (for a contract).
This week alone, I sent three queries out to two agents and a publisher. The deal is, I must wait for a response. But here’s the kicker: the timeframe for an answer (if I even get one) is anywhere from three weeks to six months—yikes! Who has that kind of time? Normally I wait a few weeks, then move on to another agency. All these queries must be researched. Agents receive from 20 to 100 queries a day. Given that workload, it wouldn’t be wise to submit a mystery query to an agent who only handles children’s book, would it? And even more checking is needed to make sure my mystery agent handles thrillers/police procedurals as my genre is defined. Again, a cozy (think Agatha Christie) mystery literary agent wouldn’t look twice at my sub-genre.
So. A lot of work. Which takes away from writing.
I have a fourth book in the wings. I wrote it in the mid-90’s so it needs updating and re-structuring. I hope to have it ready for a publisher/agent later this year.
As if I don’t have enough to do, my blog seems to be growing. A third retired LAPD officer is now sending me stories in addition to Hal Collier and Ed Meckle. Their posts are entertaining and serve my mission to de-mystify police officers to the public but particularly writers.
However, lately, I’ve been feeling like I’d like to butt in, too. Not stories but commentaries on the writer’s life, hence Writers Notes. So, I plan to write one post per month and publish it on Fridays. On May 12th, I’ll begin with, “It Takes a Village,” my take on the myth of the solitary writer.
My friend and colleague, Marilyn Meredith, will offer her ideas on the same subject on May 19th. Amy Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground Mysteries, will chime in on May 26th. I’ll provide links so you’ll be able to click right onto their websites.
June will bring another challenge. What topic and who will weigh in?