Aliens, Dystopias, and Query Sharks, Oh My!

Hello, humans! Apologies for the radio silence since my last update. I was decently busy in September with the aftermath of Worldcon, and I’m really in the thick of query submissions now as well as trying to maintain writing progress on my current novel.

The queries are all aflutter! So far, I’ve sent out nineteen for my fifth book and gotten back three rejections. The start of a bounteous harvest, I’m sure.

I’ve learned tons about the submission process since the last novel I pitched. My query letters are way shorter, and I dove deep into the Query Shark Archives for tidbits on what not to do. Query Shark is a terrific resource. I studied Professional Writing in college, and one of the program’s main strengths was how it taught students about the submission process, but I’ve still learned all sorts of things that either I’d forgotten, or which have changed since I took those classes.

I do feel badly about the delay between blog posts. Largely because I’ve neglected to Not Review several excellent books. I won’t do them full justice here, but When the Sparrow Falls, a debut dystopian novel by Neil Sharpson, was excellent. It features a complicated setting shaped by fallible, very human forces, and sharp, emotion-taut prose. It’s nuanced and thematically rich sci-fi, and feels like someone should’ve assigned it to me back in high school, though it only released last year.

Plus, it has a killer first line:

I shall begin with the hanging of Leon Mendelssohn.

There. It’s decided.

Is that not spectacular?

The other main book I’ve neglected to Not Review is Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. It’s basically Eurovision with aliens and the fate of planet earth at stake, written with the tongue-and-cheek sensibility of Douglas Adams.

I know, I know: that synopsis is similar to a Rick & Morty episode. But I believe this book came first, and anyway, it plays out differently, with more time to focus on the characters. It’s well-worth a read.

Well, I need to get back to querying. A conflux of factors may conspire to keep my blog updates somewhat sporadic in the coming two months, but my fiction efforts shall proceed apace!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s