I just finished Blink, and I love it. I really do. But right now, I think I have to focus my efforts not on what came first, but what I think I can sell first. Which leaves Blink... well, pretty much waiting for its turn to shine. (Oddly enough, now that I think about it, the MC for Blink has the same problem.)
You see, RTL is timely. It's shiny. It'll make some people stand up and cheer, and others curse the day it was ever written. It strikes deep at a major problem and a major political issue, and it does it in such a way it holds onto the reader with both hands and won't let go. The MC is sympathetic. The villian is vile, but could be sitting next to you on the bus - exchanging pleasantries with you - and you'd never realize what currents of evil run beneath his wide smile and casual good looks.
Blink is a good book. In fact, I think it's a great book. I'm not sure if everyone else will see that greatness about it, though. RTL is a great book and I don't think I'll need to convince anyone else how great it is.
Yes, I know. I'm tooting my own horn. Seriously, though, if I can re-read one of my books and it stirs my emotions (even though I know what's going to happen all the way through), it's going to hit fresh readers just as hard.
So, as much as I hate to do it, I'm setting Blink aside. The idea here is that if I query agents about Blink, and they reject it, then I'll have to wait to query the same agents for RTL. (Unless I'm totally misinformed and agents really don't get testy about getting different queries from the same author in a short timeframe.) I guess it all boils down to the fact that Blink can wait. RTL can't. Whether Blink is published now or ten years from now won't change it's appeal. It's the same for RTL - I don't think the culture will change in any significant way over the next ten years - but now is the right time for it. (And yes, I know even if I get an agent and a publishing contract now, it won't actually hit the shelves for a year or more. It will still be the right time. Trust me.)
I'm still keeping the story for RTL close to the vest. I'll let it loose when I have something firm under my belt, and I have little doubt I will have something to talk about before mid-year.
I feel bad for Blink, but I can't help but be excited for RTL.
Have you ever had this happen?
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