Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Coming Soon!

The JRW Conference will be this weekend, and as usual I have signed up for an agent one-on-one, but this year I think I will use the time not to pitch, but to discuss the retirement of AX and perhaps look toward a synopsis or query for the WIP. It is almost distressingly early to be thinking about querying the WIP, of course, but the agent I plan to meet with is far too good to resist; and, perhaps more than the forward-looking, as little good as it does to look backward, I'd like a professional opinion regarding my instincts about AX and letting it lie. If the chemistry isn't good for that conversation, maybe I can just smile and tell the agent she has seven minutes to herself, and let her go get some coffee.

The old saw applies now, as it does for everyone, as it does all the time, "I haven't been working on writing/research like I should." Ohh the Great Should; who doesn't have Should-shaped bite marks on their behind?

The good news, of course, is that JRW gets me excited about writing - always in ways I don't even see coming - every blessit year.

And I get excited about JRW, too. I study for it, I anticipate seeing my friends and making new ones, little literary lullabies croon inside my head, singing songs of inspiration. I brace my bank account for the BOOKS ... and getting them signed! Squee!

I look at the weather and plan my outfits (hooray, it will be cool this year - a first!) and re-read interviews with whatever agent I plan to meet with, as well as researching all of them, in case we chat through the course of the weekend. I see myself in that chair upstairs, a couple years back, where I rewrote my pitch and was so excited (and block out memories of READING said pitch at Pitchapalooza, which is exciting, but which I have done twice now and am done with).

Perhaps it all sounds like a bit of a do, too much fretting and folderol, but it's an enjoyable indulgence, for someone like me. Getting out to a conference can be stressful and scary for some woodland creatures writers, but JRW is *mine*, and I love it and am grateful for it.

And so I contemplate what hairstyle *won't* be fussy, what sweater will look nice and be comfortable. What jewelry to wear, because my friends and I - a bunch of magpies - always gravitate to each other's sparklies. One doesn't want to be "too much" ... but you do want to garner the notice of pals attuned to your vintage yummy parure, or the boho seventies long, dangling pendant with just the right earrings. Pashminas are never so appreciated as they are by crowds of authorial Frowsy Women, and costume is never so much fun as when you are judging everyone else's of course!

So tonight I think, quietly, about how to ask what questions, and the smiles of those whose writing I love - and writing itself - and mine - and find: I am ready for bed.


Jeff said...

Have a great time at the JRW conference!

I can't offer a professional opinion on your novel, but I can say from experience that sometimes it's best to move on from something you've written. You're not abandoning it; you're just setting it aside.

DLM said...

Yes, and that's done; I'm not holding out hope she'll say "Why no, now is the time for exactly this novel!" I just want to find out whether my instincts about it as a product are correct. And my instincts about the WIP!

Jeff said...

That's what drives me nuts about the publishing business: the way agents and editors decide if it's time or not time for a certain book based on whether or not they sense that someone else has already started a trend. It seems to me that any time is equally good for a well-written historical novel about the Merovingians (or any subject, for that matter) if a publisher is serious about attracting readers to it. In any case, I continue to keep my fingers crossed for you!

DLM said...

Why thank you. But I do think the market has a lot to do with it, not just the gatekeepers. "The Ax and the Vase" is a hell of a good novel; but there's a lot to be said for burgeoning diversity too, especially in histfic. My sense is that basically I've written the ultimate white-dude-in-power novel and that may be something Mantel or Cornwell or Iggulden can sell without a problem, but as a debut novelist I won't serve my career best by serving something which is, in market terms, old hat. Once I get the WIP in order, I think that will be a FAR easier sell - and also very different from the beginning-to-be-old-hat-itself trend toward 21st-century feminist leads. It may still be up against some issues with the newer trends to Game of Thrones sex and violence, but here's hoping its nonconformity will be good for it ...